For a couple of years, John and I drove by a house and said, “if that house ever goes up for sale we should look at it.” In the summer of 2006, we saw the for sale sign the day it went in the ground! I called John and we went. It was closer to my parent’s home, had more room, and backed up to trees and a walking trail. On the trail going into the park on what would be our new fence, hung a wooden sign that said for everyone to see….it said “peace”! We felt that peace, and knew the house wouldn’t last on the market so we bought it. The problem is that our current home was not on the market. My parents had always sold homes on their own within a couple of weeks so we weren’t worried. We bought the home and promptly left town on a mission trip knowing we’d get our house ready to sell when we returned.
While driving to our mission trip destination we kept asking ourselves – what did we just do? Our excitement overshadowed our fear but we knew the Lord would provide. The Lord did provide, just not the way we had planned. We came back from the mission trip and it was revealed almost overnight (it seemed) that the housing market had fallen apart and homes were not selling. Ouch. We swiftly prepared our home to sell but it sat for nine months…….nine months of two house payments. We had already moved into our new home so it was a time of stress, growth, trust and frustration.
When the previous owners left the home they took the wooden sign that said “peace” with them. Which was fitting because our peace went away with “two home ownership”. Whenever I was in a home décor store I would look for a sign that was metal or wood that said “peace” to hang on the fence, for all park visitors, but especially me. One day as I drove my squeaky cart frantically up and down the aisle of Hobby Lobby saying, “they have to have a sign that says peace”. I stopped and started to giggle – I was searching for peace – literally and figuratively. Peace did not come soon or easily in this situation but when we finally let go, prayed and turned our trust fully to God things got better. We relied on one of my favorite scriptures.
Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
I had to remember frequently what God said in Philippians – don’t worry! It is against our human nature not to worry and I often had a mental wrestling match before I could give my fear over to Him. The day our first home sold it was a day of Joy. Yes we took a loss and incurred some debt, but it was over. When we’d drive by our old home, my husband said to our daughter who was five at the time, “sweetie – there’s our old house!” Our daughter said “no daddy, that’s our SOLD house!” We enrolled in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, budgeted, and came out better financially than when we started the whole home buying/selling process. As for a sign for the fence, I still haven’t found one. However, when I start searching for peace in any situation, I know where to find it.