Sunday, January 10, 2010

Our Story: Chapter 1 (unabridged)

Warning!

The following story that you are about to read is evidence of God’s amazing presence in our lives. The story is true. However, unlike most stories like this that you read, the names in this story HAVE NOT been changed. They have not been changed because the people involved actually want to share their story and hope it has some sort of impact on your life and your relationship with God.

Well, most of you reading this blog are well aware that back in September of this past year, Joy and Dawson and I did something pretty crazy! Having just sold our house, we left our jobs, friends and Joy’s family back in Indiana all in hopes of beginning a new life in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

For those of you who don’t know, this whole process actually started back in early spring of this past year, when, by faith, we put our house up for sale because we felt that God was telling us to sell our house and potentially head out West. Needless to say, we were very hesitant about putting the house up for sale. Our reasons were very legit - a bad economy and an even worse housing market. To make matters worse, several of our neighbors, and others around town were desperately trying to sell their houses as well. While several of our neighbors were selling to avoid foreclosure due to job loss and loss of income, our reason for selling our house almost seemed ridiculous. We felt like God was telling us to put the house up for sale and that He was preparing the way for us to finally make the move out West.

Just to give a little more background, our idea about relocating to Colorado actually started a couple of years ago. For those of you who don’t know…my family (Jason’s) all live in Colorado. Joy and I probably vacationed there at least once a year. Not surprisingly, we fell in love with Colorado and always dreamed of one day making the move a reality. But given the bleak state of the economy and pitiful housing market, it seemed quite ridiculous to even attempt to sell our house. Along with that, in lieu of a highly unstable and obscure job market, it seemed even more outlandish to leave our secure and comfortable jobs if and when the house ever sold! So you can see…we were very hesitant about doing so, but eventually, in total faith, we put a “For Sale” sign up in the front yard.

We put the house on the market in late March and then the waiting game began. For those of you who have ever been through this process, you know how “fun” it is every time you have a showing…thinking that this is the one…only to never hear anything back from the people who just tromped through your home for a half an hour! Man…all that time spent cleaning and organizing…all for nothing, right? Wouldn’t it have at least been nice to have heard that they at least thought your house was nice? Even to hear back that they thought your house was a dump! Actually, here’s a true story about one showing that we had fairly early on in the process. It was a very positive one and it even seemed like there was some “God stuff” involved. But all hopes were dashed when we came back to the house after the showing to find a note from the showing realtor that read, “Great showing…the couple loved the house, but were concerned about all the stuff in the neighbor’s back yard”! After that, I can’t tell you how many times Joy and I wanted to go over to our neighbor’s house after dark and “take care” of that “stuff”!

At least we were getting showings, right? But after so many showings you start to get a little apathetic and you’re ready to give up. So then, fast forward four months and in early August…just about the time we were ready to throw in the towel, we got calls for two showings in the same weekend. Though we always prayed before each showing, I can’t say that our hopes were riding too high at this point. Having had nearly eight showings prior to no avail, we our expectations were basically none. Well, long story short…the showings came and went, but the cool part of our whole story begins when we got a call the next morning from the realtor of one of those showings whose client wanted to come later that morning for a second showing! A second showing…we had no idea what to do!!!! We’d never had a second showing before! Our hopes were rekindled as we nervously prayed for God’s direction and His will to be done.

Well much to our disbelief, this second showing soon turned into an offer, which of course turned into a counter offer. The amazing part of this part of the story is the fact that our counter offer actually included very specific aspects that we prayed over and that we basically told God, “if this is your will for the house to sell and for us to pick up and move out West, then please let the buyer accept these exact conditions with no other conditions or counter offers.” Being such a “buyer’s” market, we had our doubts that the buyer would accept such exact terms…mainly because the terms included a higher asking price and fewer concessions. Needless to say, though, our doubts were transformed to belief the next day when we got the call that the buyer accepted our terms one hundred percent! And to top that off, our realtor informed us that the process would go very smoothly given the fact that our buyer was doing a conventional mortgage and was putting down 50%! That’s right…FIFTY PERCENT!!!!

Wow! With the realization of the house now sold, the reality of God’s will and direction finally hit us and really started to sink in! This was it! We had prayed before that if God wanted us to make this move that He would sell our house before September when our sales contract was up and before we both headed into a busy new school year with our jobs. With the offer having been accepted in early August, the timing of the sale was absolutely perfect! A God thing….you bet!
So then, like I said, the reality of God’s direction finally started to sink in. Joy and I both had a very difficult time with the entire decision. Moving out West meant that we both had to leave our jobs, friends and Joy’s family…all very difficult decisions! Joy can tell you that I probably had a tougher time with everything more so than she did. I had many nights where I just lay in bed unable to sleep…my mind racing back and forth…worrying about whether or not we were doing the right thing and worrying about what the future held. My toughest day was the day when I finally told my boss and co-workers of ten years at Youth for Christ that I was resigning. I came home from work later that day and just laid in bed sobbing. I’m sure Joy didn’t know what to think. She doesn’t ever see me emotional like that. I think she just knew how tough of a time I was having with the whole decision.

I tell you all this just to assure you that our decision was not a “grass is greener on the other side” kind of thing. We had prayed very sincerely that God’s will, not ours, would be done. We only wanted to move out West if that’s what God wanted and if that’s what He was calling us to do! We really wrestled with the whole thing…like I said, probably more so me than Joy. By nature, I worry a lot…and I worry even more when I feel like things are totally out of my control. There were several times that I wanted to “play it safe” and just forget the whole idea about moving. Staying put meant jobs and a secure income. Staying put meant being close to friends and family and being comfortable and in control. Although we’d have my family out West, moving meant no jobs, no income, no security and total lack of certainty and control. Time and time again, though, through experiences and through His Word, God continued to show us that this was the direction that we were supposed to head. So, with nothing but faith in front of us and our gaze fixed solely on God, we packed up a U-Haul, said our goodbyes to family, friends, co-workers, our jobs and our house and heeded to the friendly voice of our trusty GPS as it guided us out West to Colorado Springs, Colorado!

Though we had the security of living with my parents until we found jobs and got settled, I have to say that my heart and mind hardly felt settled! I say “my heart and mind” referring to me (Jason) because unless she hides it or simply puts on a good game face, Joy possess the innate ability to remain a lot more patient and positive in times of complete and utter uncertainty than I could ever dream of! But despite my doubts and times of weak faith, God proved that He was in total control the entire time…even when we didn’t know it!

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...TO BE CONTINUED...

5 comments:

Flick Family said...

awesome! i totally get it....your reaction is the same that i had with our big change. still hoping for the call that our house has sold, though. yikes! thanks for sharing so honestly!

♫♪Briana♪♫ said...

man!! what a neat story!! i guess i never really realized how much God was truly involved! how dumb of me!! post the continuation soon!! i am going to be imapatient till i find out everything else!! :) Oh, and by the way, you both are such an amazing example to me on trusting God!! :) :) :)

aunt diana said...

Wow - how neat it is to hear more of the background of this whole process. So awesome how God kept working through situations and as hard as it was, how you kept trusting and let Him be in control. Some of this even got me teary eyed. Can't wait to read the rest:)

Mom said...

Son - you express your thought very well. This is so good to journal what God has done in your lives and will do. Needless to say we are so blessed to have you all here in CO!

Jess said...

Thanks for sharing, Jason. I SO needed this today...