It started out as a joke. The night of our 25th anniversary, John and I had enjoyed a low-key, burger-joint dinner, then looked at a rental house afterwards. We both fell in love with it, and I teased, “Are you going to move us while I’m gone for the conference? You’ve done it before, and I’d trust you to do it again!”
I stopped laughing when my slow-moving, take-six-months-to-buy-another-Odyssey hubby straightened his backbone to declare, “Yup.” Okaaaay, guess I need to work on my punchline delivery…
Off I went to manage the conference, sharing with friends (who happen to be coworkers) how cute our new rental would be, how much closer to church, how better suited it was to our family, with two kids moving out.
Then, Thursday came. John called, slap-happy with exhaustion, and delivered the next chapter: he had moved us, but to a home I’d. Never. Seen. Then, too, he said it was a barn and farmhouse (I imagined a lifetime of nonstop sneezing, as my cat and hay and dust-allergies went full-throttle). Then my darling love (typically a master communicator) dropped the throwaway line, “Oh, and I’ve trashed half our stuff.”
Gulp. My coworker buddy walked in the room right after I’d ended my call with John, having squeaked out a “I-know-it’ll-all-work-out-and-I-love-you!”
Shell-shocked, I looked at Kellie. “Guess I need to go online to see pics of my home!”
I had determined to pause the “whaddya think” phone call to John until I could do so, calmly. So, Kellie and I flopped belly-first on the bed, paging through hilariously-distorted pics of the farmhouse, laughing “Oh, good–the barn is a separate building” and “Does the kitchen really have a fridge or even a place for one?” and “Wonder which half of our stuff got thrown out!”
After prayer and laughter, I called a nervous John, and he clarified: the barn was on property, not our new home; he’d trashed half of HIS stuff (the college detritus still hanging on, 29 years after graduation); the fridge was just around the corner from the kitchen; and oh, yeah–the deal had exploded on the house we’d seen and agreed on. Whew.
Relieved, yet more than a little uncertain, I later texted him, teasing, “So, what’s my address?” and I prayerfully drove home, truly not knowing what to expect.
Coming into the house was a shock, but the 1910-built farmhouse was utterly charming (plus, I could say, “Oh, yes, I live on Wintergreen Farm!”). In the restoration process, the owners had retained hardwood floors; painted the beadboard, shiplap, and barnwood gleaming white; and added a three-season porch sweetly smelling of fresh wood. With our modern furniture, I had a “Fixer Upper” reveal!
I was so glad I didn’t react emotionally (not that I always handle things as well, mind you!), especially when John told me the rest of the story. After loading a moving truck and heading for the first rental home, the agreement fell apart, so he fell on his face before God, praying for a home. God answered and led him to this house–Listed. Just. That. Morning.
Weeks later, God whispered, “You know, when I send crazy stuff, choose trust. Choose faith, so I can bless. My will is always best.”