Today is the day I’ve been anticipating for the past eight months, the day we move into our new home in Michigan. It’s the end of a journey but also the beginning of a new one.
My husband Ken and I started planning his retirement last fall as we vacationed in Michigan where he grew up—and where we met and fell in love. As we cycled along one of our favorite bicycle trails near the lakeshore, we saw a “For Sale by Owner” sign in front of a beautiful little house that I’d long admired. The owners were having an open house that day, so we tromped inside in our cycling clothes. As soon as I saw the custom-built library shelves in the great room, complete with a rolling library ladder, I fell in love. The house had everything we needed, including a gorgeous new office for me, and a sandy beach on Lake Michigan where we could watch the sunset every evening.
But it was only October of 2013. Ken wasn’t retiring until May, 2014. We returned home, looked over our finances, prayed long and hard, and decided that we just couldn’t afford to own two houses. Renting and/or commuting for the next eight months were also out of the question. With heavy hearts, we told the wonderful Christian couple who were selling the home that we simply couldn’t buy it right now.
As it turned out, the owners had been praying as well. In a moment I will never forget, they called to tell us, “We believe God wants you to have our home. We’re willing to take it off the market and live here until you sell your house next spring.” It seemed like a miracle.
All winter, I sorted through twenty-two years’ worth of stuff we’ve accumulated since buying this house. As spring arrived, I began to worry about how this would all work out. Would our house sell quickly and for a good price? What if it didn’t sell at all after the sellers in Michigan had waited so patiently? We prayed and listed it for sale on a Friday morning, and after a weekend of non-stop showings, we had five offers by Monday morning. We accepted an offer for our full asking price. The beautiful young family who bought it is as excited about their new home as we are about ours.
Now the months of packing and waiting are over. As you read this post, I will be unpacking boxes, setting up my computer, and putting books on my library shelves. From start to finish, Ken and I have seen God at work in this move, dispelling all doubts about our decision to retire in Michigan. And maybe that’s why everything happened the way it did. With a move of this magnitude involving so many changes in our life, God must have known I would have questioned and doubted and second-guessed our decision if things hadn’t gone so smoothly.
We’ve arrived at a new beginning, praising God for His goodness. I wonder if Abraham and Sarah felt this much joy and anticipation when they packed up their household to follow God?