Stepping OUt in Faith
When Dave and I made the decision to move from Iowa to Maryland, there were a lot of uncertainties.
How would we make money? Where would we end up? Can we afford to do this? What about church? Friends?
Big questions we had no answers to.
Nonetheless, we left. We said goodbye to the things that were certain and comfortable for what was uncertain and uncomfortable.
Some people probably thought we were crazy. But you know what? That’s okay. We didn’t need anyone to understand or give their blessing. Our decision was between us and God… and my parents, of course. We would have been homeless without them.
In spite of all the uncertainties, what left me without doubt, was the peace that passes all understanding I felt in my soul and the fact that Dave and I were in agreement.
God was also good to me by continually sending confirmation that he was calling us to take this leap of faith.
For example, before we left Iowa, I came across these words by Brennan Manning:
“There is a wildness about the life of a pilgrim, who leaves what is nailed down, obvious and secure and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered his presence and promise. “
Yep. That about sums it up. We had no guarantees of what would happen and, honestly, it was scary at times. But, we held tight to God’s presence and promise and now I am in awe of what he has done for us.
We are three months into the move and there's a lot to tell. I’m not going to get into everything that’s happened, but I do want to share about the latest answer to prayer: Our new house.
So, the story goes, Dave and I had been browsing Zillow for weeks, getting a feel for the houses available in our price range. We began going to some open houses and spent time exploring neighborhoods and different areas of interest. It was fun getting reacquainted with the places of my childhood and visiting new ones.
Then one Saturday not too long ago, I happened to see a townhome on Zillow that piqued my interest enough to say to Dave “Hey, I want to see this place. I’m going to request a showing-just for fun. I know we’re not ready to buy yet, but…” Dave was on board and I contacted Zillow to request a tour. The long and short of it is that I ended up backing out. Up until that point, we had only been to open houses where there was no pressure. It was simply window shopping. Requesting a tour felt different. We were getting someone else involved, and all of a sudden it felt like too much, too soon. I remember saying “Lord, if this house is for us, please save it. Now doesn’t feel like the time.”
The next day, my parents and I happened to be in the area of this home, so we drove by it. My feelings of awe dissipated and I put the idea of it on the back burner.
However, it did initiate a conversation with a realtor and we made plans to officially start looking at homes the following Sunday. She sent me houses to look at online and put together a list of showings. Then, after church, on September 3rd, we grabbed a bite to eat downtown and headed off to start the house hunting process. Mind you, we had no plans to find anything that day. And, after an hour or so into it, I was convinced we wouldn’t. I wasn’t liking anything enough to even consider it. I was looking for my diamond in the rough and I prayed God would give us eyes to find it.
Little did I know, the house that sparked the decision to start looking, was on the list. One look inside and I was sold. It checked a lot of boxes. Was it exactly what I envisioned? No, but it had the most amazing kitchen and it did have a fenced back yard. There was even more privacy than we had seen in other townhomes. It felt clean and well-cared for. New carpeting and a lot of natural light filled the main level.
The catch was, it already had an offer. If we wanted it, we would have to put in our own offer ASAP. That is NOT the way I wanted this all to go down. Remember I said we had no intention of buying anything right away? Well, finding this place took us by surprise and I wanted time to think through whatever decision we made. Turns out time wasn't on our side and a quick decision needed to be made. So make it we did. I wanted that house. Or, at least, I wanted to make an effort toward that end. We thought it was a long shot. We had no idea what the other offer looked like, but we had the advantage of a quick settlement on our side. No contingencies. No home to sell first. I went to bed that night thinking, “what will be, will be.” If the home owners don’t accept our offer, it’ll be okay. It wasn't my diamond and we’d keep digging to find it.
Fast forward 12 hours, I was driving to work and had the song Holy Forever by Chris Tomlin playing. I turned up the volume and sang along. While I was doing so I envisioned singing this song in our prospective new home. I don’t know how to explain it other than God’s presence washed over me. He was with me in the car and he was with us on this journey.
Not 20 minutes later I got a call from our realtor. They accepted our offer! “What Seriously? This is happening? Oh. my. goodness!” I’m not sure if I voiced these thoughts, but I sure did think them.
A few inspections and negotiations later, things continued to move in our favor. Yesterday I got the keys. I’ve been to the house twice since and I continue to feel excited and hopeful about our new home. Months ago, before we embarked on our brand new life adventure, I hopped on facebook to tell everyone our news of moving and I said “We might not have all the answers today, but I am confident we will look back and say ‘Look what the Lord has done.’”
Friends, Look what the Lord has done! I give him praise for everything. Every little detail. We stepped out in faith that he was leading us and he has honored that. For years and years I have struggled to really believe I am worthy of God’s yes- of good gifts from the Lord. Sure, I saw his blessings all around me, but I did wonder if he really truly cared about my heart desires.
God has gone to great lengths to teach me that he delights in giving good gifts to his children. Even me. Especially me. Especially you! Not because of anything you or I have done, but because of who he is. It's his nature. In the telling of my story, I hope you see that and believe it for yourself too.
So, that's it. For now. The part of the story that tells how my husband and our two dogs packed up a few meager belongings and left Iowa, moved in with family and now find ourlselves living out my hopes and dreams. For 24 years I prayed to live closer to family and now I am back in my home state, only 23 minutes from my parents and within driving distance to so many other family members. God is good.