The Moment Everything Changes

I can’t promise this post will make sense, or be cohesive in the slightest, because my brain is SPINNING.  I’m writing this roughly 12hrs after going ‘under contract’ on a house in North Carolina, approximately 30 minutes after accepting a new job, and roughly 15 minutes of just staring at a wall.   Spelling and grammatics are gonna take a back seat to FLIPPING THE FREAK OUT and grasping at sanity with my literal fingertips through this here keyboard.

That gif get’s close to capturing my physical reaction to ALL. OF. THIS.  Stuck in a state of perpetual…..OMG, what is actually happening right now?!?

I’m writing this now, but will likely post in a few days as I work on telling as many people as I’m able to in person, but things are moving FAST (as I’ll explain in a minute), and I need this space to process, look back on, point people toward.  I want to remember THIS moment.  Moments where your life is about to change FOREVER and the world doesn’t yet know, and hasn’t yet weighed in.  That brief window is equal parts sacred and scared and its not lost on me how eerily close they are.

I prayed for this.  Y’all joined me in praying for God to make His plan for our family clear.

I should know by now, experience has taught me, to be very careful with my ‘do whatever God’ prayers.  HE is equal parts sacred and SCARY.  For the LOVE!

I guess I start with reminding myself that I can see God ALL over this.  That is the ONE thing that is holding me together right now, as my brain tries to suck every last bit of peace out my soul and replace it with panic attack level anxiety.  The physical response to excitement and anxiety are DAMN close, and I can’t tell which one has me right now.  Heart and mind racing, can’t focus on anything other than typing the words out in front of me, want to call every one and no one at the exact same time.  Breathe.

Going back to the beginning.  I wrote the ‘Seven Year Itch‘ Blog, essentially giving ALL the turmoil to God.  Kevin and I have been talking about a ‘potential’ move since January, and I was getting weary of the ‘what could be’ conversations.  That Sunday I prayed that God would make it completely obvious if we were supposed to stay or go.  Over the course of the next week He answered that prayer.  It wasn’t anything glaringly obvious, until it was.  Our main argument for staying in this crazy location was because of the community we couldn’t imagine replicating anywhere else.  On Monday night of that week, I had a get together with some of my girlfriends and conversation turned to how so many of us were talking about transition in our lives.  Comments were made that gave my heart pause that perhaps the people I swore would be here forever might not be, and a little voice said ‘don’t make decisions for your family based on what other people might or might not do, you will only ever be disappointed.’  I filed that one away as interesting but not ‘obvious’.  Tuesday of that week we met with another friend that doubles as a Mortgage broker, and she walked us through our options should we decide to stay/look in this area.   We qualified.  We absolutely could look and make an offer.  HOWEVER, to get something that would fit our family it would be further out, and it would still INCREASE our monthly payments by ~$300-$500 per month.   Both Kevin and I walked away from that meeting without peace that we were 100% for sure supposed to stay here, but there was still a possibility of finding that ‘miracle house’, so we reached out to what might be the best realtor in the area (another friend) in the hopes of tracking down that diamond in the rough.  We would spend our weekend with him looking at open houses.

Friday of that week I got together for a play date with a friend.  For over a year we hadn’t really been able to make a connection happen and suddenly it just worked and I was thrilled to catch up.  Over the course of the play date information came out that more transition was occurring that I hadn’t been aware of, and as much fun as I had catching up, I couldn’t help but leave feeling like the purpose of the play-date was more to re-establish a connection that would prove useful in the future should our family stay.  I didn’t like the feeling it left in my stomach.  I absolutely know it was not the intent of my friend to make me feel like the value of our friendship waxed/waned based on extenuating factors, but that is what it felt like to me.    Again, on its own, not overwhelming convincing evidence…. it wasn’t obvious until it was.   Saturday evening of that week, I received a text that broke my heart but also answered the prayer I’d prayed at the beginning of the week.  It became obvious that this season of our life was coming to an end, and it was time for me to let go and look to what new thing God would have in store for us.  It’s not important what the text said, though I know that will piss people off that might read this and just NEED TO KNOW.  Honestly in the grand scheme of things I promise you it’s inconsequential, more transition within our community.  I didn’t sleep hardly at all that Saturday night, and eventually in my unrest turned to the YouVersion Bible app to see what God had to say on the matter.  The verse of the day was from James 1:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

The highlighted parts are what jumped out to me when I read it that evening.  These past 7 years have held many trials as well as joys.  Our community has seen a LOT of transition over the years we’ve been here, but throughout we have persevered.  When I read that verse however, that tiny little voice said ‘it is finished’ when I read that line.   Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t read on that I am ‘mature and complete’…. bwhahahahah…. hardly.  Just that I felt a finality to the trails we’d persevered through up until this point.  As I read on, and got to the asking for wisdom, the prayer I’d prayed at the start of the week came to mind.  I’d asked for God’s wisdom, and while I don’t always like the answers to prayers I get, getting to that last highlighted portion confirmed it for me.  I asked.  He answered.  It was NOT for me to doubt or question HOW He answered.  Also, just for clarification, it was not a finality that the COMMUNITY was finished.  Not even close.  I have no doubt it will thrive forever, there are and will ALWAYS be incredible people committed to making this community great.  No.  This was a personal answer to prayer, that I’d asked Him to guide my family, and this was how He saw fit to give Kevin and I clarity personally.

So that get’s us to confirming we were to ‘go’.

We’d been haphazardly looking at listings since January, unable to commit without the peace we were supposed to go.  With that firmly in place we cancelled our weekend of open houses in this area and doubled down investigating listings in North Carolina.   We had a few conversations about the other two locales, but were unified that NC was where we were feeling called.  We found one we both loved, and with our impending family vacation to Hilton Head, SC that coming weekend, we contacted an agent to see if we could walk through it on our way down.  Saturday morning 5/13 we piled into the car packed for vacay, and made a pitstop in NC.  We both liked the house and decided we wanted to submit an offer.  The realtor we’d contacted was a internet recommendation based solely off the listing, and neither Kevin or I were impressed when we first met him.  We told him we’d like him to draw up an offer and we wanted to submit ASAP, but had to get on the road to our final destination.  He said he’d take care of it, so we parted ways.   As we drove away, both excited by the prospect, I prayed God would again make it obvious if that wasn’t the home for us.   It had been on the market for several weeks without an offer, and then out of the blue hours before our agent could submit one, another offer was submitted/accepted and suddenly that home was off the table.   Obvious.

We had an AMAZING week in Hilton Head.  I’ll write a post and get some pictures of that up soon, but first things first (freaking out)… and by soon I mean possibly in a few months if I remember with everything else going on.

Given we’d drive right through NC on our way home, we decided to spend this past Saturday down there again with a NEW realtor that was recommended through a friend, and see if anything popped.  To set the stage for the house we ultimately submitted the offer for, you need to appreciate that at this point we’d personally walked through ~20 houses (from the trip a month+ back, the one on our way down, and ~7 this Saturday).  We’d also looked at hundreds online since January when we started perusing the listings.  When we walked into the home we submitted the offer for, BOTH Kevin and I immediately felt something.  He articulated it first.  His words were ‘this feels like home’.   It was charming and inviting in a way that none of the other houses had grabbed us.  It was listed at more than we had wanted to spend, but also provided more house than we had been looking for, and to keep it in perspective would STILL allow us to come in with housing payments less than what we’re CURRENTLY paying.  We knew this could be a forever home, if it’s where God wanted us long term.

We drew up the offer, and I prayed the same prayer.  Make it obvious.  We submitted a lower than asking offer AND asked them to pay closing, they agreed and THEN of their own volition offered to replace an expensive built in kitchen appliance that technically still worked but was ‘on the fritz’.  They volunteered.  I’m pretty sure that’s unheard of.  We didn’t obviously realize it was on the fritz during our walk through, and I’m pretty sure inspections don’t look at the functionality of appliances, so it would have been an unpleasant surprise to walk into.  I’m am still 100% prepared to walk if the inspections yield obvious red flags, but I can’t deny the offer process felt supernaturally smooth.

You guys…. This house…. It is my DREAM home.  If God has a better option in mind, I’m completely fine letting Him continue to show off.  If I were reading this, I’d be telling myself to shut up and show pictures already, so here ya’ go 🙂

THIS IS NOT EVEN REAL…. My brain cannot process that I’m under contract on THAT house?!?  I just can’t make sense of that being my present reality, that living in that dream world would be CHEAPER than what we’re currently paying.  Don’t rain on my parade… I get owning has more expenses than renting in regards to repairs, etc…. BUT that comes with the obvious benefit that we’re investing in OUR asset rather than paying toward someone else’s.

Ok… So I feel like I’ve covered how we got to the offer…. The house practically sells itself, and all signs pointed to we should look.

Here is where the rug got yanked out from under me.  June 16th.  Closing.   No Words.  Heart breaking.  Heart exploding.  We’re month to month on our rental contract, so Kevin is inclined to have us out by July 1st.  His 40th Birthday.  I was originally very anxious about what to do for his 4oth, given my bday was spent on a boat in the Caribbean.  How was I supposed to top that?!?   Dream Home?  Sure God, always one upping me.  Next year Kevin is getting a tie, my heart can’t handle all this.

Because that wasn’t enough.  The new job.  I wasn’t even looking, and an old boss reached out and invited me to apply.  I’d stay with Dell, but getting to learn something new with the business which is exciting given I’d been doing the same thing for the last 7 years.  Because God loves details my official transfer day to the new org would be July 5th, giving me just BARELY enough time to tie up every loose end under the sun over the next month here.

So you’re up to speed on the logistics of it all, but I haven’t even touched on the emotions because they haven’t caught up to me yet.  I’ve already got a girls night planned for tonight, tomorrow, and the next with individual girl friends because Kevin is just not grasping the magnitude of my freak out quite yet.  I think he thought I was upset about it all last night when the offer was accepted because I couldn’t form words, and immediately started talking about all the parties I still needed to plan.  We are SO different.  We’ll only be four hours from DC, so we’ve already talked that we’ll make visits up, and hopefully not have to BEG people to come down.  People are my life and moving doesn’t remove them from my life, it just provides a challenge for me to overcome.  I am ALL about overcoming challenges when it comes to seeing my people.  Mountains will move my friends, I WILL see my people.  Also, I really hope my people will come see me…. This is me talking to YOU people, come see me, PLEASE!

Whew….. There…. Panic Attack avoided, its all here in black and white.  I can process life so much better when it’s in black and white.   Reminding myself God’s hand is ALL over this.  It is, you see it too right?  I’m not making this up, I’m not forcing the square peg into the round whole?

I can’t look at the big picture, the enormity of everything going on right now because I will hyperventilate.  I can only do the next right thing, and for the last hour the next right thing was processing ALL of this here, in semi-rational thought.  Remembering the details that got me to this second in my life so I have a touchstone to fall back on when inevitably new trials present themselves and we’re tasked with persevering AGAIN.   It all goes back to that prayer I prayed after Selah was born, here, from Exodus 33.  God if you’re not with us in this, I don’t want to go.  Be with us.  His response there, and I feel it again ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I love you and know you by name’.

Be with me in this friends.  My heart breaks at the thought of leaving, and I get sadness that comes being left, as other friends have transitioned out of this place before me.  The leaving is beyond hard.  I want to be compassionate toward the sadness leaving might cause, and understand a pulling away or withdrawing.  I’m believing friendships sustain irrespective of proximity, and that the friendships I’ve made here are equally committed to overcoming challenges when it comes to seeing their people! Please keep praying for my sanity through this month, pray for the inspection process that it yields a solid home that would be good for our family for years to come.  Prayer for favor to sustain throughout this process with the prospective sellers.  Pray that we can maximize the time we have left up here.  Pray for the community we’ll move into, that divine connections will be made with families and my kids will make friends that will help build them up and protection from those that would seek to tear them down.  Pray for everyone in transition currently, that God would provide their path forward with the clarity I feel He’s given us, and the courage to leap even if the prospect is TERRIFYING.  Any specific ways I can be praying for you?

Love you all SO MUCH, and appreciate you humoring my word vomit when I process things out loud online 🙂

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