But what do you do when better seems so far away, and all you can feel is today's sting of loss?
Despite my best intentions, I am in slight state of mourning.
The amazing blue house that started this journey of selling our house -- the one that motivated us to toss piles of random stuff into the garage so the realtor could snap tidy photos of every room for the MLS listing, the one that caused to wait on pins and needles for that first good offer -- that house sold today.
But, not to us.
The first time they passed on our offer for another was difficult. But, then those buyers changed their mind, and it it was our turn. Between having a contractor come out to look at our desired renovations and how we would financially swing them, we inexplicably lost out again to another buyer.
Throughout the process of looking at over 25 other properties over two counties and a span of 40 miles during the last month, I still believed somewhere deep in my heart that this deal would fall through leaving "our house" ready for us to swoop in with our finished escrow, money in hand.
I didn't realize just how much hope I was holding out for this particular ending until now when I saw the email from our realtor letting us know the escrow had closed, and it was gone.
Earlier this morning as I was journaling, I reaffirmed my belief that God does want to give good gifts to me. In fact, I do believe that there is a reason behind this door (and other doors) closing. Some would say that what God has for us down the road tomorrow is even better than what He didn't have for us today.
But, the truth is...the not getting what we thought He wanted to give us hurts...today.
We did everything possible to buy that property and we still didn't get it.
If that isn't a final answer, then I don't know what is.
Any maybe that's the comfort in this situation.
Throughout this process, we have prayed that God would shut doors that need to be shut and open doors that only He could open.
Meaning...that for all of our exertions of trying to force and prop open this door of our "dream property," God does not and never did want that door opened.
It's still a bit of a hard pill to swallow, to be honest.
But, as I sit here in my cozy almost-sold house and I think about how seamless things have been for the sale of this property, I know that God has cracked wide open the door of selling this home. I am not sure I could have scripted it better...in fact, I know that I couldn't have even if I tried.
- This morning as I sipped my morning coffee, I realized that we are going to be selling and moving out of this house exactly 13 years to the month of buying and moving into it.
- We will own our house through the end of May -- perfect timing for the previous owner whom we bought the house from to be in town for a wedding and to come by for a look at her childhood home and perhaps a cup of coffee.
- The closing of our house at the end of May, and the 30 extra days we will have to rent back to the new owners through June will make it possible for us to finish homeschooling for the year, for Rylie to finish out his school year, for him to enjoy watching the World Cup in the comfort of our living room with our cable all hooked up, for our kids to go to VBS, and for Declan to go to week of soccer camp -- all from the safety and comfort of our home.
- All of the kids will go to the VBS all morning for an entire week that last week in June -- giving us 20 hours or so of uninterrupted time to sort, pack, move and clean.
- The girls will leave for church camp the day after will leave the only home they've ever known -- giving them the perfect place to process and experience any sense of grief or loss they will likely feel.
If that isn't amazing timing, I don't know what is! Add into that, the first summer in years that Rylie has not been committed to teach a summer class or camp in June, and I'd say it borderlines on miraculous.
If you add in his not being committed to work until after mid-July -- allowing us to keep the camping reservation I made earlier in the year (before all of this house selling madness) and that the kids are so excited about, it's even more amazing.
In fact, we have literally nothing at all on the calendar in the first part of July (again...hasn't happened in I don't know how many summers), and this openness is going to make it possible for us to finally go up to Oregon and visit Rylie's dad and his brother and family who just moved up last year.
No house. No mortgage. No problem.
Just add in my sister and brother-in-law's pop-up tent trailer, and our home for July has now become a house on wheels.
And the kids are so excited about the adventure of it all.
Me...I'm getting there.
But, I am getting there. Because it all seems so beautifully orchestrated. We were thinking we wouldn't be able to get up to Oregon at all due to finances and schedule issues. And now those have been swept away like dust bunnies.
We may not know what will happen the last part of July when we need to be back in town. And, true, it will be difficult to hunt for a house if we are in another state.
But I'm not worried.
After all, this last week has proven to me that God is the Master of Time. Our realtor was gone for a week and would you know, there was not even one property that we were remotely interested in seeing. I was stressed that something amazing was going to pop up and we would lose it -- especially being so near to the end of our window to find a place to move to from our current house.
So, I have full confidence that will not miss out on God's best for us because we are visiting family. Will God surprise us by bringing something to us before we leave this house in June? Or maybe as we are on the way back in July? Or will it be when I'm sitting in an apartment dining area months from now?
I don't know.
And for the first time...in a long time...that's okay.