Two summers ago we sat down with a realtor to discuss our options for moving closer to the children’s hospital. I’m not sure if our quest for a new house was because we were ready to move as much as it was a desperate attempt to make life with Nathan easier on us. We were driving down to the hospital for therapy, and other specialist visits, at least two times per week. We had lots of carpet in our house and Nathan had begun using a walker. His formula and medical supplies were taking over the pantry and well as his bedroom closet. And I kept thinking long-term I needed a way to keep him safe in our open-floor-concept kitchen. Yet the thought of moving was very overwhelming to me and it hurt to think about leaving this place where so many significant things happened in our lives. I said to the realtor, “Do you ever have a client who doesn’t like their new house as much as their old house?” She told me her clients have a hard time leaving the house where they had their babies. She also said, “You have the trifecta here. A cul-de-sac, a green area behind your back yard, and you’re within walking distance to all three schools.”
We both knew it wasn’t the right time. God doesn’t always speak clearly, but in this instance He did. It was clear we needed to stay. It was hard. I lived in the tension of wanting a “better” house, yet appreciating the memories and the low mortgage of our current home. The reality was that this house was God’s best for us.
This Spring, after waiting and praying for two years, we sensed that it was time to get our house ready to sell. You know if you’ve done it before that it’s a lot of work. The cleaning and staging. The signing your name to endless pieces of paper. However, this process has not just involved a lot of physical work, but emotional work as well.
Let me just explain how crazy this real estate market is here if you’re not from this part of the country. There are people putting offers above asking price on homes which are not accepted, because they are one of eight plus offers. The demand far outweighs the supply. The economy is booming here and its sheer war when it comes to home buying.
So just imagine how nuts it must have looked when we listed our home without having anywhere to go, factoring in a child who ends up in the hospital at the most inconvenient times. This was a huge step of faith for us.
I shared my insecurities with a friend in a text message. She texted back:
When God speaks you listen. Build your ark and don’t look back. Noah listened. Your family is like no other. It will always look different, feel odd, and look “off” to others. Be bold, be courageous. God has big plans for your tribe.
True to market conditions it sold. In three days. We had three offers above asking price.
The same time all this house selling was happening, there was a home that we were interested in buying that just dropped in price. It had been on the market for a month (unheard of in this market as I said earlier). It’s a cute house, with a very unique layout. One that just so happened to meet all our criteria for Nathan. We had sold our home and felt more confident in putting an offer. We did. Then we waited. For one. whole. day. That may not seem like a long time, but believe me, it was a long time.
During those 24 hours I recognized a much deeper struggle in my heart. All of my fears began to surface of what would happen if they didn’t take our offer? Where would we live? Could we really move twice, with two kids and a boatload of medical equipment and unplanned medical problems that inevitably pop up with Nathan. The thought of living in an apartment for any period of time, depressed me. All of these nagging questions led to the biggest question my heart was asking which was “Does God really want to give us good things?” Because for the last few years everything from the outside has not looked like good gifts. Nathan’s syndrome has wreaked havoc on all aspects our lives. The circumstances of our lives do not reflect the “blessings” that we Americans commonly call prosperity or “getting what you want.” I’ve learned more of the true blessings Jesus spoke about coming through being “poor in spirit” and among “those who mourn,” in the last three years than I ever knew before Nathan. I know this, but would I still believe this if we didn’t get the house? Somehow it all came down to that question for me.
My husband was a rock through the whole process. My analytical husband kept telling me that He felt an urging stronger than any logic pushing us to move and that God would take care of us. So I trusted his leading. He was the tangible expression of God’s promise of provision for our family.
After our long day of waiting, our offer was accepted. We got the house.
The new house is one mile from where we live now, so a whopping one mile closer to the hospital, but in the last year we’ve transitioned to mostly all home health therapies for Nathan. It has wide hallways and flat hard surfaces throughout making it easy for Nathan to navigate with a walker (and even for Bob). It’s unique layout allows us to make a playroom/therapy off the kitchen where we can keep Nathan safe when I’m cooking. It is a great house for entertaining, and we have begun to realize we need to invite more people into our lives as it’s getting harder for us to get out with Nathan as regularly as we did before. The backyard is a little boys dream world to explore. And get this: it is located on a cul-du-sac, backs up to a green belt, and is within even closer walking distance to our neighborhood school without having to cross a busy street. The trifecta.
Sometimes God’s gifts are disguised in things that are hard and different. Sometimes they surpass all that you can even think He can do.
Seven years, to the day, from when we closed on our current home, we closed on this new house. Seven years. The year of completion.
I am only left saying, Only God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” – Ephesians 3: 20
My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
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