Admittedly, I struggle with patience – I am one of the least patient people I know.
Waiting is hard for me and I often don’t do it with a happy heart.
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
In May 2006, I bought my first home. It was a three bedroom cape cod with gleaming hardwood floors and nestled under the shade of an old oak tree. I was 30 years old, a new homeowner, and planning a solo trip to Paris.
I had everything to look forward to.
And yet, I was unhappy.
I wanted more.
I was ready to move on to that next season and struggled with the concept of resting in the moment. I simply couldn’t enjoy it.
I certainly was not waiting with a happy heart. I wanted more than anything to be married. At that time, God’s plan, His will, seemed completely indifferent to my heart’s desire.
But then, just a few short months later, in the fall of 2006, I met Rob, my future husband and in the summer of 2008 we were married.
So much for God’s seeming indifference.
Ready for That Next Thing
Are you always preparing for the next thing? Ready for your children to move on to that next season, ready for a new career, or a new home?How do you wait for something outside of your control? #WaitingWithAHappyHeart Click To Tweet
Waiting is hard.
Waiting when you don’t understand why is even harder.
Frankly, it leaves me feeling like a toddler constantly asking “Why?”
I’d like to think that I have a good take on what’s best for me or my family; however, I am absolutely certain that God knows what what that next best thing is.
I wish that I understood His timing and that I had a roadmap to His will for my life. I also wish I knew why that next best thing doesn’t always coincide with my next best thing.
Do you ever feel like this?
A Question of Timing
Let’s circle back around.
In May 2006, I purchased my home and in June 2008, Rob and I were married. At that time, he also owned a home. His was bigger and also home to his children (if not also the home he and his first wife had shared.) The wisest choice was to leave my home and move into his, ours.
It was difficult to leave my home behind.
It wasn’t long though before the bottom fell out of the housing market and my once cherished home became a financial burden to our family.
The value dropped and dropped. We didn’t have enough money to pay someone to buy it and struggled with the process of renting it. Despite all of this, Rob and I were committed to honoring our obligation.
That commitment almost broke us financially and drove us into debt.
Maintaining the aging home as tenants came and went also took a financial toll. At one point the value of the home dropped to almost 50% of what I’d paid for it. We despaired of ever being free of this burden.
In May of 2016, almost 10 years after I purchased it, we tried for the first time to sell the home; listing it for $99,800.
Three months later, after no interest, we dropped the home by $10,000.
Two months later, we dropped the price of the home another $4,000.
We prayed for buyers.
We prayed for natural disasters.
At the same time, we knew that if we did have a buyer, we were substantially underwater and would have to come to the table with a fair amount of money. Eventually, 6 months after we listed, the home was pulled from the market.
God hadn’t answered our prayers to sell the home and we had no other option but to return to renting.
This time we found a great management company, one that was able to collect more rent than we ever were. After spending more money tor repairs, we eventually listed the home for rent about 4 months later. The management company found great renters, and even though the rental fees did not cover all of our mortgage and taxes, it was more than we had previously brought in.
At the first of this year, with the continued market improvements, we explored again the possibility of selling the home. We prayed about it and thought perhaps this just might be the year.
We were not waiting with patient, happy hearts.
Ours were more desperate and bleeding.
We were afraid to hope or expect too much.
The first realtor we spoke with came back with a listing price less than what we owed on the home and our hearts sank. Again, it felt like we might never be free from the burden of this home.
But after watching the market and chatting with others, we wondered if maybe he was wrong. We decided, still hopeful and prayerful, that we would seek a second opinion.
We spoke with another realtor. Our timing wasn’t ideal. It was the first part of the year and we had a lease with tenants that extended until the end of June. It would be almost half a year before the home could be available for occupancy.
I remember our realtor taking the time to meet with me and listening to our hopes and dreams. She walked through the home with me. I shared our backstory, the things I really enjoyed about the home and the challenges it presented, especially financially.
Days went by and she came back with a timeline, a plan, and a listing price far above what the prior realtor had suggested. I also came to realize that we had a shared faith.
So I shared with her some more. I told her about our dreams for the future and the fleece the sale of this home represented. I told her about some of our struggles and it was clear she understood the anxiety carrying this home for so long had created.
After much prayer and discussion, Rob and I decided to work with her and work her plan, even though it required a few more months of waiting.
Here we were, waiting again.
It felt like were always waiting when it came to this home.
But not for long. We finally listed the home in the late afternoon of Thursday, April 11.
Almost 24 hours later, we received our first offer, a fair amount over asking. Within 48 hours we received a second offer for the home. It matched the price of the first one. In the three day period following the listing, the house was shown 9 times and we received 3 offers. That Sunday afternoon (April 14) we accepted both a primary and a secondary offer. By Tuesday of that week the home passed inspection with no contingencies and just one week after the listing we had the appraisal completed (which came in at the sale price!)
If God had answered my prayer in 2016 and provided a buyer, we would have had to pay to sell the home. We would have been required to come up with a lot of money we had little access to. We would have had to rob Peter to pay Paul.
But instead, He let us wait.
And, years later, He put Erin Klinger, an amazing woman and realtor, in our path and set things into motion.
Now, we have a closing date and a plan to walk away with money after the sale. It almost feels like a dream things went so smoothly and quickly. Never did I expect we’d make a little money selling this home.
It was an answer to prayer.
And, ‘Yes’ we are still technically waiting to close – but I am trusting God on this one because I can see His handprints all over it.
His timing, not mine.
How much easier when it’s His way.
What about you? Are you waiting on God?We can wait with confidence because He is faithful. He does not forget. #HappyHeart Click To Tweet
Are you waiting for an answered prayer? Are you waiting for relief from a burden to great to carry?
Let me encourage you that the same God that sits on the throne of Heaven hears each of your prayers and cries. He sees the tears that roll down your cheeks. He knows your frustrations.
You can wait confidently.
You can wait with a happy heart.
He did not forget about me, He has not forgotten about you.