When we first got married, we lived in the finished basement of some family friends. It was like an apartment – 2 bed, 1 bath, big kitchen – it was great and an amazing place to move into as newlyweds. 6 months into our marriage, we put a “move to Alabama” date on the calendar. In attempts to save a few extra dollars (moving trucks and diesel gas for 3,000 miles costs a lot!) we moved in with my parents. When June came, we loaded up the bedroom we had been living in for 5 months and our little storage unit and moved to Alabama. When people asked where we’d live once we got there, we’d tell them we’d stay with Aaron’s parents for a couple months and then move into a place. But a few weeks after we arrived, we realized that jobs and finances were not lining up so we made the decision to stay with his parents and save money to purchase a home.
When we moved into the house that accommodated all 5 of us, I never thought we’d live there for 2 ½ years. I won’t lie to you and say it was easy, because pretty much everyone in that house would tell you it wasn’t. There were rough days, and a lot of grace was given to everyone. Don’t get me wrong, we had a lot of good moments too, and it was definitely a blessing to each of us and God taught everyone a lot during that time, but being married for 3 ½ years and 3 of those years living with parents, we were ready to have our own home. Over the summer, Aaron started looking on Zillow for houses. Although nothing really screamed “this is the one!” we did tell Rick and Michelle that we were starting to look. When we found out we were pregnant with Emmaline at the end of July, our search amplified. We could’ve made another baby fit into the 3 bedroom house we had all squeezed into, but it wasn’t our preference.
I got my job in August, and a couple weeks later, Aaron found a house that we went to look at. In the moment, we thought it was a great find – it fit into our budget and fit our vision – but it was tiny (we’d be downsizing. I’m talking “tiny house big living” kind of downsizing.) and my commute would be even longer than the hour it already was. But we thought this house was “the one,” so we met with our realtor and put in an offer. But a couple days later, God firmly closed the door. At the time, we were frustrated. It seemed like a great place for us, so we weren’t sure what the problem was. I’ll be honest – I was upset at God. I was ready to have our own place, and I thought I had done my time of living with parents. What was the deal!? Disheartened, I asked Aaron not to look for houses for a while. I told God that I would quit asking for a home, and for the next few weeks, the topic never came up.
Songs of God’s faithfulness kept being played in church, and I finally came to the realization that God closed the door because that wasn’t the right house for us (although I was ambitious to make it cozy, it was way too small and far for commuting), I decided that instead of being annoyed and confused, that I would rest knowing that he is a faithful God and that he would give us the perfect home in his perfect timing.
Well, God (like he does) was working behind the scenes, and Aaron didn’t listen to a word I said and kept looking for houses. Now I joke with him that I’m really glad he didn’t listen to me – but this isn’t to become a common practice! 😝
In October, he sent me a link to a house he had found. The pictures were enticing, so I replied, “I want to look at it.” We contacted our realtor and saw it in person shortly after. We walked through it, Aaron in constant dialog with our realtor while I quietly carried Rylie and looked around. When we drove away, Aaron said, “You’ve been really quiet. What do you think of the house? Do you like it?” “I love it!” his eyes widened with surprise. “Really!?” “Yeah! I really do. I think it’s a great mix of what we both want.” We talked about it a little more and agreed we’d both take a couple days and pray about it. To save myself the heartbreak of having another door slammed in my face, I told God that I was going to 100% give this to him and, if this was the right house for us, he would have to make a way where there was no way.
It wasn’t long before God started showing up. For starters, he opened a stone cold, no one but him could open it, door that allowed us to put an offer in on the home. Utterly shocked, we signed the papers to put in our offer.
Everyday throughout this whole process, my prayer was the same – “if this is the house you have for us, please open the doors. But if it’s not, please shut them quickly!” But door after door kept opening until all of a sudden we were at the closing meeting and signing what felt like hundreds of papers. By 12pm on Friday, December 15th, we were homeowners. HOMEOWNERS!
If you looked at mine and Aaron’s text string the morning of closing, you’d laugh at us. We were sending GIFs to each other about how excited we were and when we met outside the building before going up to meet with everyone, I held up my hand and said, “okay, here’s the deal – we’re going to act very calm, collected and professional in front of everyone. And when we’re done and we’ve come back to our cars and we’re alone, THEN we can freak out. Deal?” Sure enough, when we got to the car with the closing paperwork in our hands, we both did a mini happy dance. I drove back to work and just started laughing. I just kept repeating to myself, “We are homeowners. We are homeowners. We are homeowners.” What a long, exhausting, emotional journey it had been to get to that moment. All I could think of was how faithful God was through it all and how gracious he was to me during the hard days. And now, I can glorify his name through this experience and shout how faithful he is.
“Thank you! Everything in me says “thank you.” Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness.”