It was a random day in March of 2021, I think it was sometime in the afternoon and oddly enough, I was in my room filming content and the doorbell rang. It was our landlord coming to tell us that we had 30 days to move out of the house we had been renting for the last eight years. [Wow, eight years! I had a baby in that house, a dozen birthday parties, and sent two kids to school for the first time.] So many milestones and memories, but I digress.
I remember feeling numb and having an out-of-body experience when my husband showed me the notice letter. I think I just stared at it for a bit in disbelief. In a matter of minutes, my life was turned upside down. Very quickly this fear that I hadn’t felt in a while washed over me and I was thrust into what would be the craziest, whirlwind seven months of my life!
My husband and I were faced with a barrage of high-pressure and time-sensitive decisions. One of which was, WHERE THE HECK ARE WE GOING TO LIVE? I think the fear of not knowing where we were going was the scariest thing of all. At first, we were considering purchasing the home from our landlord. I mean why not, he was trying to sell it because the real estate market was on fire at the time. We figured it didn’t hurt to try. We started the process and let’s just say that it didn’t go the way we were hoping it would. Our landlord wanted WAY more than what we were approved for and we didn’t want to give him a whole lot more because we had basically paid the mortgage for him over the length of time we were there. Needless to say, that fell through and we had to actually pack up the house that we had lived in for 8 years.
Now just for context, we are packing up this house, but it was a solid week where we didn’t know where we were going to live. We had been intensely looking for a place for a few days and we couldn’t find anything. Not only was there a shortage of homes to buy, but there was a shortage of homes to rent as well. Everything nice was too pricey and I didn’t want to pay the rent amount of a mortgage. I wanted to buy a house! I was adamant about that. My husband and I finally settled on an apartment. I know. I know. From an almost 3000 sq ft house to a 1200 sq ft apartment. It was the faithfulness of God that there was one unit available and so we jumped on it. We moved our five-person family into this tiny 2 bedroom apartment. We had to seriously downsize and get rid of mostly everything. We ended up needing to get a storage unit for some of the items that we couldn’t fit into the apartment. We managed to get everything out way before our deadline with a couple of weeks to spare, but the kids still had several weeks left of school. I didn’t want to pull them out right at the end of the school year, so every day for about 12 weeks I would drive back and forth to the schools in the old neighborhood. It wasn’t super far, but it wasn’t that close either. At least we had a roof over our heads! Thank you, Lord!
Journal Entry from April 12, 2022:
Last official day at Waters Rd, eventhough I’ve been living somewhere else for a week now. I was so busy moving and packing that I hadn’t had a chance to feel anything except tired. Now I feel very sad and a little bit depressed. Not sure what’s next and this apartment is so small.
So here we are, living in this apartment that wasn’t even a quarter of the size of the house we moved out of. In that first few weeks, I experienced every emotion that a human being could possibly feel 10 times over and sometimes all at the same time. Anger (a lot of anger at God and myself), shame, fear, depression, confusion. For some back story: I had been holding on to a promise that God would bless my family with a new home for a few years and in that season that promise seemed further away than it ever had. Finding myself in this apartment really broke my heart and made me question my relationship with God.
I had to be honest with myself about a lot of things. The biggest thing being, our lack of obedience to God’s instruction and direction. He had told us a few years back to pursue the process of buying a home. We would look on occasion, but we never seriously stepped out on faith to move in that direction. It was mostly FEAR. You know money or the lack thereof, credit scores, etc. So in being honest I learned that we were basically being pushed out of the boat by force because we hadn’t stepped out on the water by choice. (Read that Again.) That helped me to be less angry with God, it even gave me peace because even in my lack of faith and disobedience God still provided every step of the way. I REALIZED THAT HE IN FACT WAS FAITHFUL!
Chile, I have to skip ahead a few months because I will be here all day talking about this and it’s just the first half of the story.
Let’s fast forward some months to the end of Summer, so about around the end of July beginning of August. We had gotten preapproved by a couple of different lenders and we had played around with the possibility of building a house, but for a few different reasons that just wouldn’t seem to come together. I wanted a new construction that no one had lived in and I thought building a house was the only way to go. We had been looking for a few weeks, but it just wasn’t happening. I told my realtor, let’s just see if we can find a new construction that is already built and ready to move in. So we both went on the hunt one day when this gorgeous house pops up online. [In the midst of all of what seemed like rejection after rejection and no after no, I still felt God pushing me to keep looking and not to give up.] I immediately contacted my realtor to let her know that I wanted to see the house ASAP.
Everyone fell in love with this house. It was stunning! Brand new and never lived in. You could still smell the fresh paint. My husband said let’s put a contract on it, so that’s what we did. *Sidenote: the home buying process is a real-life horror movie at best. I’m not really sure why they make it so hard. You literally feel like you are walking around butt-naked for several weeks. That’s the best way I can describe it. LOL!
The next two and a half months were like the scariest roller coaster ride you’ve ever ridden except it seemed to never end. Like as soon as you pulled up to the terminal and tried to get off, the ride zooms back to the track at max speed, only to continue repeating that same cycle over and over again.
We put in an offer on the house. The seller had one other offer (Only one, which was kind of a miracle the way the market was at the time). It was like God had hid the house just for us. It was an agonizing 24-48 hours waiting to hear back, but we finally did and the seller accepted our offer. He even agreed to the one and only contingency we had which was to pay our buyout for terminating the lease on our apartment. HE AGREED! Another miracle! There was another caveat to our contract, we needed a large amount of money for our down payment that we didn’t have. Honestly, we had been saving, but not to the extent that was traditional for someone going to buy a house. We needed a lot of money. A Lot. It was an act of faith to move forward not knowing where the money was going to come from, but we did. It was a blur the day my husband called to tell me that we had all the money we needed for the down payment. Another Miracle!
Everything seemed to somewhat level off once we had the downpayment locked in. We had gotten preliminary approval from our lender and it looked like we were about ready to close. Our closing date was set for the end of September and we thought we were on track to meet that date. We were so excited! Still on edge, but happy because it was we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Girl, when I tell you it seemed like somebody moved a huge bolder in front of that tunnel! That light went to complete darkness. It’s crazy how I can sit here and make jokes about it now. There were moments when the anxiety and fear were palpable.
We got our first CD (closing document), this is the form that breaks down what is due at the closing table. Well, our down payment was $5000 more than what we had put aside. This was a blow because God provided the original amount we were told we needed and now we would need more. A whole lot more. Thankfully, our realtor came up with a way to get the extra money, but this meant we would have to go back through underwriting, (mind you we were pretty much done the first time around). That second time through underwriting was pure HELL! Everything that could go wrong went wrong! We missed two closing dates, the seller got frustrated that we hadn’t closed and wanted to keep our earnest money and make us pay him $125 a day until we closed. I know at least 2 or 3 times the underwriters working on our loan went on vacation, so they would bring on someone new which meant certain paperwork would have to be resubmitted. We got so close to our contract deadline that it almost expired. I could go into more detail, but I think you get the point. We knew that this was our house no matter what was being thrown at us. We never let up on our faith, I guess that’s why there was so much resistance.
We closed on October 18, a day before our contract expired! Whew!!! We got to the closing table and walked away with a check for overpayment! Haha!!! After all that extra money they said we needed they ended up giving us money. I’m sitting here in the house writing this blog post and it’s still hard to believe that it’s mine and that I get to live here every day.
GOD IS SO GOOD!!!
Journal Entry from October 27, 2022:
WE. BOUGHT. A. HOUSE!!! We finally closed last Tuesday and I’m super excited. Tonight is our last night in this apartment. Thank you Lord! As grateful as I am that our family had somewhere to live, I’m so glad this wasn’t end game for us. Our new home is absolutely stunning. Looking forward to making memories and to eventually making it our first rental property.
I know for sure that this is what God wanted to do for us all along, but he was waiting for us to step out on faith. Granted he had to kick us out of that boat at first, but we got the hint. Now our situation was extreme and God accelerated our miracle because he only meant for that apartment to be a temporary holding place. I know a lot of that acceleration was because of the things we did while waiting. We sowed like crazy and it wasn’t large amounts because we couldn’t spend a lot during underwriting. I stayed in the Word and listened to preachers. I was making confessions almost every day, and whenever things looked crazy (and there were a lot of those times) I would make sure I didn’t say what I saw but only what God said.
Everybody’s story is going to be different and so is everyone’s faith walk. But it doesn’t matter because God doesn’t change. No matter the circumstances, He is good and He is faithful and if you step out onto the water He won’t let you drown. And that’s on Mary had a little lamb!