On my run today, I remembered a house I still pine for.
We lived in rural East Texas where my husband had been recruited to work in a hospital there. Coming from Washington State, you can imagine our shock and joy when we started looking for houses. The prices were to die for! Wow!
At this time we were living in a rental home infested with scorpions. They’d be in our shoes, on and under our beds, on the ceiling ready to drop on us, in our cereal bowls, in folded laundry. I had three kids under five then, and life was a little nutty. And oh, how I wanted to buy a home.
We saw several three-story Victorian mansions in need of more-than-repair. We pretty much looked at all the inventory in town, waffling here and there about homes. And then one day our real estate agent told us he’d found it.
Oh how he did!
On three acres, the old farmhouse had a wrap around porch. Because it had been sided with asbestos shingles, what had been preserved underneath was in pristine clapboard condition. No knots, just beautiful, untouched wood. The home was painted white. When we walked inside I almost started crying. The contractor had gutted the house, put up new drywall, but otherwise left everything intact.
Beautiful, original hardwoods, transom windows everywhere, higher-than-high ceilings, lots of bedrooms, a re-done kitchen perfect for the period. We wrote an offer on the spot. We offered just a little bit below what the seller was asking. (I still can’t believe the home was in the $120,000 range. Wow.)
I dreamed of that house, decorating it in my mind. But when the real estate agent came back and said he didn’t accept our offer, something inside Patrick and me caught. Both of us, though enamored with the house, felt we should offer higher. This made no sense to either of us. So we held our ground and didn’t re-offer. We let the beautiful home go.
Only later did we find out that the house sat across the street from a terribly drug-infested strip of homes and that there’d been a murder there. Or that the house, though beautifully renovated, needed something called CENTRAL AIR and HEAT!! But more than that, we thank the Lord for preventing the sale because we probably couldn’t have sold it when we needed to. In the span of another year, we’d pick up and move to Dallas, where Patrick attended seminary for four years. That house would’ve prevented the move.
So I thank God today for not giving us my dream house. In so many ways. I type this from my dream house–a sweet brick-donned home in a quiet neighborhood, with good friends nearby. What an adventure we’ve had between the two houses–including the loss of a house, our lives in a tiny attached villa in southern France, to a stint in a barn apartment, to here. It goes to show: God is trustworthy. And He holds His kingdom and His plans in the palm of His hands.