We’ve been in NYC for almost 6 months now and it has been truly amazing. I still have moments where I walk around the city marveling at the fact that this is my home. We are thankful the transition has been so smooth and I’m personally thankful to be serving as a pastor with a great community. It has been a challenging, encouraging, and an immensely growing experience.
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, but it also marked the 6 month mark of when we closed on our house. When we put our house on the market on June 24th last year, we prayed for 2 things. 1) That God would sell our house & 2) that God would bring people into our home that loved our neighbors as much or more than we did. If I’m honest, my main prayer was for the sale, but I had seen houses turnover on our street to people who did not care for the neighborhood, and I didn’t want to see that happen.
Only 2 people looked at the house in the first month, so things were not looking good. So we decided to have an Open House and that’s the day that God decided to answer both prayers and sold our house.
We had sold a lot of our stuff and had decided to use the cash to escape the stress of selling a home to go to Sea World during the Open House, but immediately after getting on the freeway, we discovered we didn’t have the cash. As we turned down our street to return and get the cash, there was someone pulling a flyer from our For Sale sign. We waited cautiously as they exited the cul-de-sac, but I waved them down and informed them about the Open House that would be starting in 15 minutes. Inside the car, 2 couples responded that they would return.
We decided to wait for our realtors, but at the start time of the Open House, they were not there, but the car we had just seen had just pulled up. Frantically & a little frustrated by the situation, I called the realtors & we came to the conclusion that I would be opening the house and letting them look at it while the realtors were on their way. I let them in and waited anxiously across the street. When they came out, my wife lovingly said “Go sell our house!”
I approached the 2 couples and began to talk to them about the house, our history in the neighborhood, why we loved it, a little about the neighbors, etc. I discovered that one couple was living close by in Round Rock & the other visiting from Dallas. They had mentioned that they had seen the house online & loved it, that it looked spectacular (all my lovely wife’s doing) and wondered why and where we were moving.
I shared with them about New York City & the opportunity to become a pastor at a church there. The couple from Dallas asked what church and we soon discovered that they had recently heard JR, lead pastor at Apostles, preach at their church in Dallas, the Village. We then discovered the wife of the couple from Round Rock knew Amber’s old roommate who worked at the Village since she had moved from Dallas.
We immediately began discussing our local church involvement and began to see that we were very like minded in our desire to love our neighbors as Jesus had loved us. They said they had been praying for a place where the previous owner had cared for their neighbors (see prayer #2 above) and hoped to continue caring and loving the neighbors well. They asked when we had planned on moving, to which I replied that we would be moving when we sold our house. They said “Well, hopefully we can help you out with that.” About that time, our realtors arrived and exchanged information. A little while later we finished talking and headed our separate ways.
On our return trip from Sea World, we received a call with an offer on our house from the couple we had just met. The next day, we had accepted the offer. Over the course of the next month we sold over half of our stuff, talked to the future owners about the house & neighborhood, we met them for dinner & then on Sept. 9th, we closed on the house.
The circumstances of the day were not merely a matter of fate, but a clear work of God to sell our house. We were sad to leave our home, we had started our family there, made friends with our great neighbors, and loved the community. But we left knowing the family that was replacing us would love our house, our neighbors, and our community even better than we did.
Because of that, I’m thankful that 6 months ago, God sold my house.