This new decade is overflowing with twists and turns at every corner. 2020 was the year of uncertainty. 2021 is currently a real estate nightmare. If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know that, as a family, we are on the Dave Ramsey financial plan. We graduated to baby step three and fully funded our emergency fund. We then saved more for a down payment on a house. My husband and I were ecstatic when we finally set up a meeting with a realtor! It was time to look for our family home. We recited our wish list, put in the numbers and specifications on the realtor website, and reality hit hard. Only five houses showed up.
Our realtor reassured us to not worry and to stay positive. Yet I had to wonder if we were ever going to find a house. I shook off the doubt and did not let that hinder my excitement. We plunged into the world of buying a house! We looked….
Until it was becoming a nightmare. Houses (in Michigan specifically) were selling for at least ten thousand over asking. Have you ever heard of an appraisal guarantee? Yeah, I had no clue either. It’s basically bribe money for the seller. Let’s say you offered $250,000 on a $225,000 house. If you offered an appraisal guarantee of $10,000, and the house was appraised at $225,000, then you would have to pay $235,000. No matter what, you would have to pay $10,000 over what the house appraises for. This is on top of closing costs and your down payment. Does that make sense?
At first, we refused to offer an appraisal guarantee. We didn’t have the extra money to give away when we were already shelling out thousands of dollars. Yet my husband and I quickly learned that the sellers aren’t even considering offers without one. The white flag was raised and we agreed to offering an appraisal guarantee on a house. Our offer was still blown out of the water. My positivity quickly grew to discouragement and anger.
I’ll admit it – I was angry. I’m going to get brutally honest with you all. I was a selfish child complaining to my father in heaven quite often. Why haven’t you given us a house yet?! Why are you giving other people houses and not us? What did we do wrong that you’re holding out on us?? I feel horrible just typing those. However, that’s what I was thinking at the time. I would hear stories of friends having houses dropping in their lap, and my bitterness grew. My husband and I took a drive and I vented and cried my heart out. I couldn’t understand God’s plan. I was panicking because it was messing up my timeline. Fast forward to our house.
My husband showed me the nice colonial style house online (check number one – I did not want a ranch) and I numbly agreed to go take a look at it. I was used to rejection at this point so I was indifferent about any house we saw. The kicker was, they hadn’t posted any pictures of the inside yet. However, since they put the house online before it became officially on the market, we assumed they were waiting until the launch day. We got to the house and it was on an acre of land with woods on one side of it (check number two – we wanted to be more in the country). My spirits were slightly lifted when our realtor called the seller’s and told us some interesting news. They were installing new carpet and it hasn’t come in yet, so that’s why they still haven’t posted the inside pictures yet. On top of that, we were the only people scheduled to see the house that day. We walked in the door and it checked every box on our list. My husband and I looked at each other and I knew we had the same thought – we might actually have a chance at this house.
Since there was no other interest in the house, we decided to take the plunge (again) and send in an offer. My hopes were not high, in fact, I had no hope at all. We’ve done this dance before, and our previous dance partners have left us in the dust on our butts. Yet while we waited for an answer, my Mom had me listen to a new worship song called “Wait on You” by Maverick City Music and Elevation Worship. As the music and lyrics enveloped me in God’s presence, I broke down. God brought my feelings of anger and bitterness to the forefront of my mind. I felt so ashamed. There is a verse in the song that says:
“It’s about what you do when you wait,
Why complain? When you can praise…”
With tears streaming down my face, I said I was sorry over and over. I was so sorry for the irrational, childish way I was behaving. I started to praise. I listed everything I was grateful for; everything that was a blessing in my life. I drew in a deep breath, and smiled genuinely for the first time in a long while. After the song was over, my husband came to me and told me that we had to schedule an inspection. It took a moment to sink in, but I realized that WE GOT THE HOUSE!
Needless to say I bawled my eyes out again.
Maybe God was waiting for my attitude to change. Maybe He was protecting us from a house we thought we loved but would end up hating in a year. Who knows? All I know is that I serve an amazing God who knows the very hairs on our heads; the God who sees you and listens to your grumbling, yet still loves you. The God who turns our mourning into dancing. The God who blesses us with more than we deserve.
I am beyond thrilled to start making this house our home. Through my (uncomfortable) vulnerability, I hope our testimony shows just how much God cares for us. I don’t want to pretend to be a perfect Christian, because I’m not. We all go through seasons where the valleys are just plain tough. Yet I could not agree more with the song; it’s about what we do in the waiting. Once I corrected my mindset, God gave me an answer. I believe these lessons are designed to help us grow. We need to lean on God entirely for our strength. While we wait, let’s praise.