I could hear the rhythmic pulse of my tires on the expansion joints within the concrete of I-475 as the now familiar exits passed me by. The drive to Flint has become shorter and shorter since my mind can now travel to a different location rather than scrutinizing the words on the signs to ensure that I don’t get lost or go the wrong way on a one way. It’s been two months of house hunting, and this one seemed like a promising deal. The boys air guitar-ed and drummed to Sweet Home Alabama in the back of the van as Jen and I hammer out the details of our inner thoughts. We have been all over the city, looking at houses of all types, sizes and neighborhoods and the search parameters are narrowing down to a few streets, one to which we were headed. Taking the less direct street into the neighborhood, the right side of the street offered the view of a mildly wooded hillside that dropped down to a dense grassy field. Just beyond the field wound a small creek that I could imagine the boys playing in and building damns from fallen tree branches and rocks they picked out of the flowing water. On the opposite side of the street the diversity of houses, each sharing a story of a time, an era, passed us by as we imagined that one of them could become a home for us.
Although not on an epic hike in the deep forest, the tour we received from this homeowner revealed the passion for his craftsmanship that has made this 100-year house a home. He planned, demoed and created a beautiful masterpiece that was a difficult sell for him and his wife. Unlike the typical pictures online that do not represent reality in any way, this home looked and felt like it was straight out of a magazine, almost feeling too good to be true. Was I in Flint still? Working toward the backyard I searched for my imaginations perspective on living in this place, walking through these doors every day, shoes on, shoes off… did the yard have trees for our tree tent? Yes! That night Jen and I were very much on board that we could live in this house, envisioning our kids playing with the neighbors up and down the small streets that were boxed in by two parks.
The offer was in. Then, we wait. My mind wouldn’t turn itself off. What would be the next step? I mean, no house is completely perfect, there are always things that need to be taken care of… but what would make the most sense with the money we would have left? This may have been the longest weekend of my life. The longer we waited the more we doubted that we would not be chosen among the other two offers. Do you believe in miracles? I do believe that God still works today in many different ways, sometimes in straight-up unexplainable ways that leave one wondering—how in the world…? Other times I see God working through our circumstances to develop in us His plans. Reading last month blog, 91-When Lemons Abound, I was challenged all over again as I still deal with the disappointment of our offer being turned down. Were we not wealthy enough? Were we not the right fit for neighbors that were left behind in the sale? Is God directing us or are we following our own desires? It seems that our timing is always off but then again, it’s not about our timing!
Let me end with this: God has called us to move to a city that currently has an inflated housing market with not much to offer within the city limits, smaller space, closer neighbors, and with a time table that feels too fast to make a wise decision. Why? Our pastor on Sunday spoke about having faith. Often our response is that yes, we have faith but we need to be wise… But is our wisdom and excuse for fear? At what point do we move forward by faith when it contradicts conventional wisdom? I am challenged and continue to chew on this point as we resume our search for a house in Flint. What area are you holding back in? Where is God pushing you to step out in faith? Are you using wisdom as an excuse for fear? Be bold.