Sometimes I post updates and things, but usually not, let's be honest
How does one summarize almost a year and a half? So much has changed since Simba passed. I would have to really sit and think of what has happened. In some ways, it feels like not much. In other ways, the world has completely turned upside down. Here are a few of the highlights I can think of.
1. We’ve taken in more rescue cats and are now up to eight because we are terrible fosters but great at foster-failing. (Side note: brown mackerel tabbies are now the majority in the household, which is just evidence of God being funny and in all the details. I told my husband, in passing, a few years ago that if I could ever choose a cat — you know, as in “go out and adopt one on purpose instead of just keeping a rescue” — I wanted a brown tabby. As in one. Sometime after that, God was like, “Oh, here are two semi-feral kittens. But they have white on them, so here’s a fully brown one. Oh! And another. Ask and you shall receive an abundance!” And then there were four.)
2. I started making candles more seriously, which has been super fun yet time-consuming. I do have some things figured out, finally, and will be working more on this soon.
3. I finished writing Perception (A Bridge of Starlight Trilogy: Book One), sent it to my editor, got edits back, and haven’t finished them all, because…
4. We are moving to Tennessee (which I still cannot always spell correctly on my first try)!
Since before we got married (and we’ve been married for about 10.5 years now), my husband and I have talked about moving south/closer to the mountains. It was always one of those, “Someday, we’ll do this,” or, “I wish we could do this…” things. For years, we batted this idea around, wrestled with the desire, only to shelve it as a vague future goal with no real plan to achieve said goal because, well, it felt impossible. For more reasons than most people know. Not the least of which was how many pets we had.
But this past winter, something snapped, or clicked, or something. My husband began fiercely pursuing finding a job and had several promising interviews. We simply started moving forward, and as we did, God directed us, and the undercurrent driving us forward got stronger, and we plowed toward four major hurdles:
1. Husband finds a job.
2. Husband finds a place to stay.
3. We sell our house here.
4. We find a house in Tennessee.
On February 22nd, he got a job offer, and the whirlwind began in full force. Hurdle one crossed.
On March 7th, exactly a week before he started his new job two states away, during a split second of tornado/straight line wind in the wee hours of the morning, our neighbor’s massive pine tree fell on our house, poking about fifteen holes in our roof (over the garage). (Fun times dealing with insurance ensued for the next month and a half.)
On March 12th, about twenty hours before he was set to leave for TN, we were finally able to secure a place for him to stay (at a church). Hurdle two complete, and a miracle to boot.
On April 11th, our house went on the market. By April 13th, it was under contract at full asking price. One of the perks the buyer liked was that the house would be getting a new roof, and she was even able to pick the color. (Closing date was originally May 13th with possession till June 3rd.) Hurdle three well underway and an answer to pleading prayers.
Then everything ground to a seeming dead halt. If you aren’t aware, the housing market is madness right now. Especially in places like TN. And especially in our price-point. Houses go so fast it is insane, and there is no way we could compete with anything that got into a bidding war or went over asking price. My husband has looked at probably thirty houses, and most were under contract within days, some mere hours. Many of the ones we were interested in were pending/under contract before he was even able to set up a showing.
Time ticked away, and there was just nothing. Nothing in our price range that wasn’t trash or gone in a heartbeat. Nothing on the horizon. And nothing we could figure out to do differently. Sometime in here, our buyer had to push out the closing date to May 27th, and we were able to extend possession to June 10th. But still, that meant that to close in time, we’d have to have an offer accepted no later than May 10th.
I cannot even convey how frustrated and discouraged my husband has been, how trying the separation has been with him there and me here, how much spiritual warfare there has been surrounding this whole thing, and how many times we’ve wanted to give up. Yet we have continued to inch forward, even if we feel like we’re crawling, dragging ourselves with bloody hands. Hope is no fragile thing. Perseverance is all grit, no frills. And trusting an unseen future (in a largely unseen place) to an unseen God is not for the faint of heart.
When we first told people we were moving, we said it would take God moving mountains to get us to the mountains. And we knew he could, that he would, that if he was calling us there, he’d clear the way. Knowing that and actually walking it out are two different things. Yet he is a God who casts mountains into the sea and makes ways through oceans and deserts, and every step of the way, he has provided. He has always provided. He is forever in control. Each time a house fell through, we pushed through the sting and discouragement and reminded ourselves and each other that he sees what we don’t, he knows what we can’t, and he already has the place for us.
On May 10th, my husband was able to see a house that wasn’t yet on the market (a house our lender — who we’d only gotten connected with due to wanting to put an offer in on another house — told our relator about). I had only Google-mapped it. There weren’t any inside pictures since it wasn’t on the market, and my husband was in so much shock at its niceness that he forgot to take pics or videos. So when he texted and said, “We should definitely put an offer in,” I just agreed. Sight unseen.
Isn’t that how all of this is going, really?
We offered full asking price. The seller accepted on May 12th, and we close on — haha surprise, surprise — June 10th. Hurdle four well underway, rounding the final turn and into the straightaway. As my mom says, now it is just speedbumps. And as we already know in better ways than before, God is a Way-Maker, Miracle-Worker, and Mover-of-Mountains.