Learning to walk by faith and not by sight is a process. Jason and I had found our home, and we believed that it was ours, despite the obvious problem that it was not financially possible or practical. We felt a little shy about this. Our hope sounded crazy to most people.
For the next six months, we showed our home to interested people. Every weekend we put our plans on hold, cleaned the house frantically, and opened up our house for showings, which we had to do ourselves because we weren’t working with a realtor. This quickly became annoying. Most people who called were not serious. A few came just out of curiosity,to see the pretty historic home. No one made an offer. We cleaned, we prayed, we showed — and nothing happened.
We became very discouraged. What were we thinking? Even if we sold our own home, which looked unlikely, how on earth could we buy our dream house? The owner had not even agreed to separate the house from the huge parcel of land that came with it. She just told us to pray and left it at that.
There came a time when Jason and I sat down and really hashed it out together. Should we just give up? Or did God really speak to us about that house? We spent a few hours talking and praying, and came out confident. No matter how long it took, we would continue to believe God for that house.
But we didn’t just wait. We had permission to walk around the property, so Jason got up early on Saturday mornings, drove across town before the sun came up, and walked the land, praying over it, asking for wisdom. He prayed that it would be a place of peace and joy, a blessing not just for us, but for anyone who came into it. For months, on our date nights together, we enjoyed dinner in town and then drove to the house and prayed over it together. We prayed that the Lord would work it out in His timing, not ours. We prayed for favor in our finances and in the sale of our home.
In the meantime, people kept traipsing through our house every weekend. One Saturday, after I’d cleaned frantically for a no-show, I answered the phone and spoke to yet another prospective buyer. This one was an older man, single. He wanted to come see the house — in 15 minutes. He was, in fact, across the street in his car, hoping he could get a tour before driving back home to Charlotte that night.
I said yes and flew through the house throwing toys in baskets, shoving things in closets. The kids groaned and griped about yet another interruption.
But this time was different. The man loved the house and spent nearly an hour and a half inspecting it. He was originally from Salisbury, and he wanted to retire here. He WANTED an older historic home, and he wanted to invest money into fixing it up. Our house was perfect for him. Inside, I was jumping up and down. Yes! Finally!
But — unfortunately, he had to sell his own home first. My heart sank. I knew how that worked. Houses do not move quickly around here.
His was no different. For the next three or four months, he called us to reassure us that he wanted the house. But he was, like the rest of us, stuck with his own piece of real estate to sell, and it wasn’t moving. In the meantime, we tried everything. We reduced our selling price twice.
This time of waiting and praying lasted for nearly a year. And in the middle of all this, we faced some very difficult events, including the unexpected illness and death of Jason’s father and my grandmother. Nonetheless, we kept practicing our faith. And it was PRACTICE, because what we believed for certainly could not be seen. I’d never believed steadfastly for something like that in my whole life, and it often felt foolish, or even selfish. But in my heart I knew that it was more than just a dream home for us — if that was all, we would have picked a fancier house with more bells and whistles. We believed for this particular place because the Lord whispered it into our hearts — it was HIS mark on it, HIS hand we recognized.