listening for God’s voice

Posted: July 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

It’s hard to squeeze writing into busy everyday life under the best of circumstances; sleeping 10-hour nights multiplies the difficulty exponentially.  Waking on a Saturday morning with nowhere to be is like discovering a yet-unwrapped birthday present hidden under the bed.  What a great luxury, the time to sit and listen for the voice of God with my fingers on the keyboard.  A nice break from the little bursts of the Facebook feed I’ve been finding in moments between daily tasks (read:  one of four locations – sitting eating a meal, sitting in the bathroom, standing while something cooks in the kitchen, or sitting in a waiting room/standing in line any old where at all.)

I look back across recent days and it’s a symphony of listening, punctuated by stunning notes of grace, mercy, and provision.

There’s the house.  Having made the somewhat frightening decision that it’s time to become homeowners, we’ve been on an adventure.  First we set our sights on a fixer-upper, only to be diverted literally the day we were going to sign a purchase agreement by an offer from our current landlord – why not buy the place we’ve been living in for two years?  This was G’s heart’s desire and prayer, so it felt like maybe an answer.  Doubly so because the price was unexpectedly affordable and the landlord was willing to take down a tree I needed gone to make the deal a go, at a cost of more than ten grand.

We pushed into the process, eventually hitting a snag during inspections that killed the deal.  By that point we’d already invested a bit of money and no small amount of work in helping to prepare the house for said inspections (living in the house one wants to buy is uniquely motivating in that way), plus about a grand for the inspections themselves.

I’ve heard people lose their joy in such instances, but as we surveyed the landscape of our circumstance, we could only find gratitude.  Grateful that our landlord had wished to bless us, even if it hadn’t worked out.  Grateful that we’d found favor and cooperation with the landlord next door regarding that tree – he doesn’t read as a man who hands out favor easily.  Grateful that we had the means to pay for all that without it breaking us from moving forward after the sale failed.  Grateful to have been rescued from the things those inspections uncovered.  Grateful for our faithful realtor friend and our sharp mortgage broker, who have both been invaluable guides through the process.  Grateful that we’d taken a homebuying class that helped us understand what was happening at every turn.

The fixer upper was (is) still for sale, but by this point we’d had sufficient cooling time to realize we didn’t want to return to that attempt (and it seems unlikely it could survive the tests for our financing, anyway).

Lo and behold, there was another house just 2 blocks down the street.  Well-maintained, move-in ready.  We toured.  G was ready to make an offer while we were still inside the house.  I said we’d go home and sleep on it.  We went home and didn’t sleep on it.  The decision was made.  We’re mid-process on buying that house now.  We learned in our homebuying class that really, “You haven’t bought a house until you’ve been to the closing.  Any sale can fail at any point in the transaction.”  So I don’t say we have it locked.  But thus far it has passed inspections and/or the seller has made the accommodations we’ve asked for, where it hasn’t.  We think we’ve found our forever home.  We’re holding that loosely, but also have started packing boxes in preparation for our scheduled August closing.

Buying a house is part of an ongoing conversation I’ve been having with God about money for – well – years now.  It’s fun to watch the ways He’s teaching us and providing along the way.  It’s freaky supernatural, the way He’s helping me to shift my attitudes, focus, and priorities.  This is “growing up” at a whole other pace and on a whole other level.

Since buying the house we live in didn’t pan out, does that mean He wasn’t leading us that way?  I don’t pretend to know for sure.  I think the failure doesn’t cancel the possibility.  Maybe He was helping the landlords discover the problems found in the inspections, while it’s not yet too late to fix them.  Maybe He was helping them get that tree down before it could cause the harm or death I saw it having potential to cause – maybe He was doing that for our landlords, or maybe for the poor, elderly tenants next door, who were really in more danger from it than our property was.  Maybe He was teaching us that we can lose a grand and our world doesn’t end.  Maybe it was all those things or none of those things.  I know for sure about God that He moves in ways that escape our understanding or interpretation, and at 50 I’m more at peace with that than I once was.

We’re nearing a thousand words and I’m just getting started.  I’ll stop here for a breakfast break and make part 2 a separate entry.  Maybe you’ll join me there too!



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