A big ‘Sold’ sign is adorning the front of our house! Yes, it has finally happened. The ‘For sale’ sign went up in January, and I naively imagined people would be flocking to buy our very desirable home. We would have to fight them off, and having made huge wads of money, could choose a new home in a leisurely fashion.  In fact we were already pretty sure which house it was going to be. It had been on the market since June of 2010, but as it was so suitable, God would keep it for us!

How wrong can you be? A few people trickled by to view our property, and then everything went deathly quiet for weeks. “Never mind,” said our agents, “The market always picks up at Easter!” Perhaps you remember Easter this year? In the UK, it turned out to be our summer. It was so hot that everyone was out having picnics, and sunbathing, and generally behaving as if it wasn’t Easter. They forgot about house hunting.

So we kept praying. “OK Lord, we understand that you want us to stay in Brighton for the last Together On A Mission conference. It really helps to be on the spot, not least because we have family coming and going; But when its over, please send someone to buy our house!”

The agents said, “No one buys in August. It’s the flattest month”.

To cut a long and boring story short, all of a sudden people were coming to view. We “sold” to one party from Dubai, but eventually that fell through and we now have buyers who have a family and live nearby, which is simpler.

The house we were so sure was the one God had for us was sold to someone else! No! Despair! “God must be testing our faith! We must pray them out. They haven’t got a mortgage, and we don’t need one, so we’ll pray they don’t get it”.  So we did, and they didn’t for ages; but eventually they did.

OK. We must look for another house. Sigh. More going and looking at properties that look wonderful in the photos online, but which turn out to be horrible in reality. So we had an exhausting, tedious day looking at useless houses. Terry and I never fight, but that day we nearly came to blows. At the end of the day the agent produced particulars of one more. It looked OK on paper, but then they always do.

Mustering our strength for one last assault we went…and saw… and loved it! Yes!

Surprise, surprise! It is much nicer than the one we thought we were going to get!

So we are buying it!

So now we are trawling through all our possessions, madly dumping loads of papers and books and old photos and ornaments; shedding beds and bedding, and generally trying to reduce the furniture of a six bedroomed house to the needs of a three  bedroomed.

As anyone knows who has been through this process, it is stressful and frustrating and really tests your faith. We thought our journey was unusually prolonged and difficult, until we heard other people’s stories and realised that actually it hasn’t been as bad as some. It has been both tedious and tense; exhausting and exasperating. We have prayed our way through it, believing that God has initiated this change in our lives. In the end, he is in control of all the details.

But the process of dismantling a home  is strange.  Going through dawers of old photos, finding beautiful letters from old friends, rediscovering memories long forgotten: these evoke emotions of  wistful sadness and joy at the same time.

Yesterday I found a bundle of mother’s day cards from all my children. As I read again the loving words each had written year after year, a surge of thankfulness engulfed me. I also found photos and letters from my own parents. I realised afresh that we are links in a chain. God invented homes and families. When we seek to build them his way they bring stability  and continuity into our lives as well as great joy.

God gave us a beautiful house in which to raise our family and in which to pray, eat, laugh and cry, with countless people who have passed through. If these walls could talk! In the eternal scheme of things it is only bricks and mortar, non-permanent. But it has been the context for conversations, events and decisions which, amazingly, will continue to affect lives, stretching into eternity.

Yes, I will leave with some sadness; but the overriding emotion is thankfulness to God for such a rich thirty years in it, and  the excitement at having the privilege to  do it again, differently, in another house.


Filed under Family, Reflections

8 responses to “Sold!

  1. Bonnie Lyne

    Terry & Wendy may you be richly blessed as you enter into the new season God is taking you into. Like our own seasons each one has its own beauty albeit they are very different. The wonderful fact is that as presence carriers you are going to change the atmosphere in your new area, little do they know at the moment!
    Bless you both
    Bonnie Lyne ( was Nevitt)

  2. Bryan McGill

    Hi Wendy, Bryan McGill here. I love reading your articles, they are great. Having moved a few times my advice on the downsizing side is keep the photos, letters, cards, etc and concentrate on getting rid of the big stuff. I disposed of photos and notes which I now regret doing. The parents and kids stuff can always be filed in a plastic airtight box in the loft. Do hope the move goes really well and great to see how God works on our behalf. Love to you and Terry. Bryan.

  3. I’m so encouraged that even Virgos are tested when following God to new pastures! We’re just about to exchange on a project house which will take at least a year to do the basics on, and this 2 years after God called us to Oasis, Thame… And this 2 years after he told us we were going to be moving somewhere. Thankfully we won’t have to downsize any more, but technology is your friend – get those photos digitised (there are services out there) and they take up no room and are far more easily accessed for a bit of nostalgia-time. I’ll continue to pray for you.

  4. We are so thrilled that everything has come together for you. Will continue to pray for a smooth move and an exciting start to your next adventures. See you next in Kingston!! Love Daryl and Anita xx

  5. Thanks for your blogs, Wendy. Hope you are as happy in your new house as we are in ours. We found the actual leaving hard but once we were in it felt home. I still have stuff to sort out. Rosie (Fellingham)

  6. Malcolm & Melanie Hurter

    Hi Wendy,
    Just read your above article. Malcolm and I have recently been through the same process. It took us 9 months to sell our home and this was only achieved by Malcolm going to work part-time for an Estate Agency. He actually sold our home in Durban within 2 weeks of starting with the agency. We packed up all our worldly goods 2 months ago and put them into storage. We also went through the family albums, birthday, sympathy, mother’s day, father’s day cards etc………… At the current moment we are in the USA and will be here till the 20 Feb 2012. We are not sure where God needs us to be, but know we are ready and willing to start a whole bunch of new memories in whichever place He would lead us to.

  7. Jean Woodward

    Hi Wendy. So pleased to hear that you have at last sold the house. Reading your blog took us back 18 months to our own move – what a mixture of emotions! Praying that everything goes smoothly from now on. Love Paul and Jean Woodward. x

  8. Wendy I don’t know if you even get time to read the comments but Robin showed me this one this morning. We’ve been waiting to sell our house since the beginning of June. I just wanted to thank you for making me laugh and cry all in one blog. I absolutely love your honesty – that could have been our blog exactly. This has been such an encouragement to me. We hope the move goes well – we will definitely be thinking of you. Rachel and Robin Ireland xxx

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