No, it’s not the world’s longest escrow. But it’s a story about God’s faithfulness to give us the desire of our hearts in ways we coudn’t have imagined.
After we sold our home in Happy Valley three + years ago, we decided we wanted to buy a house with separate living quarters. We looked at duplexes, mother-in-law units, loft apartments–but nothing suited us. But then a good friend told us of a mutual acquaintance who had decided to sell her place–which had a separate living area (complete with a renter–also a friend) in the daylight basement.
We made arrangements to see the house. And fell in love . . .
So we made an offer. But several weeks and a flurry of inspections later, we realized the house would need a lot more work than we or the seller could afford at that point. Extremely disappointed, we walked away, wondering why something that had seemed like such a “God thing” had not panned out.
But then our beloved agent took us to see the little house on the acre in Damascus. Even though we knew it would be a ton of work, cost lots of $$ to get the property in shape–and was nothing like we’d been looking for–both Greg and I felt inexplicable joy every time we set foot on the property. Our offer was accepted and we moved into a beautifully remodeled 1,100 sq. ft. House on an acre of fruit trees.
I’m certain some friends and family thought we were nuts at first (hadn’t we moved because we wanted to down-size? Wasn’t I still recovering from back surgery?), but we just threw ourselves gleefully into whipping the land into shape. I took classes on how to prune/spray/fertilize fruit trees. Greg waged an never ending war with moles and pine needles. I became the queen of the burn pile and we turned that place into grandbaby heaven. It was a labor of love and I felt like we’d carved out our own piece of paradise on those warm evenings as we sat in the glider and watched the reddening sun disappear behind the plum trees.
I may have loved that place more than any other home we owned. But Greg and I both noticed something strange. Whenever we drove through the part of town (Gresham) where the house we tried to buy was, we both felt a pang of loss. Sometimes we’d talk about buying a place just like that when we were too feeble to care for the Damascus property.
Which happened way more quickly than we’d anticipated.
After a lovely trip to Maui in Septermber, we came back to a cold snap. My back rebelled and no matter how strong the call of the burn pile, I couldn’t rake or do much of anything in the yard for more than a few minutes without experiencing severe pain. I couldn’t keep up and we both wondered if it was time to find a place with less upkeep. We told our beloved agent to keep her eye out for something “just like the place in Gresham.”
This is the part of the story where things get crazy fast . . .
Just days after we began discussing the possibility of moving, I had lunch with a friend. D mentioned that they were getting ready to put their house on the market and look for a smaller place.
“What exactly are you looking for?” I asked. “And where do you want to live?”
“We’d actually love something just like your property,” she answered quickly. “A small house with an acre in Damascus would be perfect!”
The very next day, D and her family came over and checked out our place. She called that night to say they were working on an offer . . . So with no agents or staging or fixing or showing, we sold our house!
Later that week, my friend who rented the basement apartment of the house we loved in Gresham posted on FB. She said her landlord has decided to sell her house, so she was looking for another place to live! Our beloved agent quickly contacted the owner and we were back in contract again–nearly three years later!
The fact that this process started in October and just came to a close mid-March testifies to the fact that God-things aren’t always easy things–usually the opposite in our case. But our friends moved into the Damascus house a few weeks ago and we are settling into the Gresham house–with its issues mostly resolved. God’s fingerprints are all over this story–and I’ve prayed that everyone involved in this process felt God’s hand upon them in some way.
I am looking forward to seeing what stories unfold as we use this property to serve the kingdom.
(And if you need an incredible realtor, here’s the link to ours: http://kriscochran.com/)