It was mid-April 2013 when we sat at the kitchen table with our realtor discussing price points and all of the other details of listing our house for sale. Timing was important to me, I wanted to sell and buy quickly, to have it all said and done by the time school started again in the fall. That gave us about five months.
But we had to list our house and get it under contract before we could even really start looking for a new home, ie. we had to let go of one thing before grabbing on to the next, and this had me worried.
As the meeting was winding down, the realtor tucking our details into a nondescript manila folder, I let the smallest bit of my anxiety slip out. "I'm just afraid we won't find something," I said.
I don't know why I said it, I knew no promises could be made. Maybe I thought saying it aloud would be enough to make the fear go away.
Our realtor spoke up then, in a move that surprised me. "Don't worry," he said, "you're in good hands."
(I think he felt like he had to say something.)
I looked at him then, this man a good bit younger than us with no wife and no children and knew he couldn't begin to understand the weight of my concern.
But his words did help.
It wasn't his hands I pictured, but His hands and that was enough to remind me of the One we were trusting as we leaned and leapt toward something new.
Maybe you know the story by now, how we didn't find a house in time and nearly missed finding an apartment before that same realtor welcomed us to rent one of his. I'll always wonder whether he remembered what he said at that table, whether he felt any obligation because of his words.
He was hesitant and we were desperate and so he played the dual role of realtor and landlord while we continued to hunt for houses.
As time passed and we failed to find a home, people felt the need to point out the obvious - that it benefited him for us to continue to rent. They asked gentle and leading questions like, "Are you sure you trust your realtor?"
When we lost the farm house, the one that felt perfect, I sent John an email:
"I know this isn't helpful, but I'm not sure I can work with him any more . . ."
I didn't think he'd cheated us, didn't really think it was his fault. But sometimes when you can't do one thing (i.e. buy a house) you really want to do something else (i.e. find a new realtor) just to feel like you still have a little power left.
We hung in there though and he drove us to see houses in a wider and wider circumference from the places we really wanted to call home.
A month later he called with the impossibly good news - the fail-proof deal had fallen through and we now had the exclusive opportunity to bid on the farm house before it went back on the market. Within days we were under contract and seven weeks later we met at a local lawyer's office for closing.
It all seemed too good to be true, it WAS too good to be true and I felt strangely giddy as the room filled with more and more official looking people dressed to the nines. Our lawyer, two bankers, a lawyer and realtor for the estate and our realtor and mortgage broker filled the room with quiet chatter while my husband and I signed a hefty stack of papers.
I wanted to giggle (and nearly did) and then I wanted to cry. Looking up, my eyes came to rest on a water bottle I'd picked up in the waiting area - one of the fancy ones with a special label advertising for the business that handed it out. Beneath the lawyer's name was their slogan in big, bold letters, "Trust Matters."
I thought back to that evening at our dining room table, to the fear I felt then and the worries that hovered for nine months straight. We hung in there though, because we trusted. We trusted our realtor, we trusted each other and most of all, we learned in newer and deeper ways, to trust in God.
Trust matters, my friends, trust in the One who holds us, trust despite the fear and worry. Trust is the road the leads us on shaking legs beyond the reach of our own sufficiency.
I have dear friend and sister in Christ who's starting a long and difficult journey toward health and healing - she is being invited to grow in trust. Click here: Help me be half the woman I am today to read her story, share it, offer words of encouragement or donate. How is God inviting YOU to grow in trust?
This post is linked with Playdates with God and Unforced Rhythms.