June 22, 2011

Wait Gain

It's a funny thing...timing.

Sixteen months ago we put our house on the market in anticipation of our move in June. In our minds, it was perfect timing. We would sell our house to a perfect family, sail through inspections, close on the house without a glitch, deposit a nice check with profits from our house, and move out just in time to hop on a plane to Singapore without a care in the world.


Instead we learned a huge lesson in timing.

It all started with Buyers #1. They bought our house within the first two weeks it was listed....they wanted it for full price and without inspections (a small red flag...but I like red so we went with it). They were pre-approved....and had a Rottweiler...but they were pre-approved! I made reservations at a local hotel for the month we would be homeless before moving and had all our utilities disconnected the week we were supposed to close. I was amazed at the perfect timing of it all.

And then it all fell apart.

We were frustrated but I took what seemed to be bad timing and figured we were meant to stay in the house until we left Texas and the next buyers would be our perfect buyers.

Buyers #2. We got the offer about a month before we left. I don't even remember the selling price we negotiated, but it was easily $10,000-$15,000 less than asking price. We would still be making a little money on the house and they seemed to be solid buyers. I was at the house when they came to do the inspection so I got to meet them and liked them instantly. I tearfully told them that I felt like they were the perfect family for our home.....we had a sweet moment together.

The day of the inspection I was wearing a t-shirt from a church in Florida that said No Perfect People Allowed. The inspector asked me about it and I happily engaged in a conversation which ended with him telling me that he was a miraculous healer AND had a DVD to prove it. In fact he had a copy in his back pocket and gave it to me as sort of an inspector going away present. I flippantly asked him if that meant he healed any issues he found in our house and he didn't think that was funny.

As he was leaving he asked if I had any prayer requests for him and instead of telling him "no" and letting him drive away in his Hummer, I told him any prayers for protection in our upcoming journey were always welcome. He came back into the house, shut the door behind him, laid his hands on me and started rocking me back and forth while he prayed something that I didn't hear because I was a tad bit freaked out at that point.

Let me just say that I absolutely do believe God heals. I also love when people are willing to approach God on behalf of someone else. I just get a little suspicious when you try to give me a DVD of yourself and then put your hands all over me when you've just been hired to check my roof.

It was strange but I considered it an interesting part of our house selling story and didn't let it discourage me about our wonderful Buyers #2.

The week of closing we were in our hotel in Singapore waiting for our stuff to arrive so we could move into our apartment when we got the call that once again, the closing had fallen through.

I'm pretty sure I stayed in bed the whole next day and had an enormous pity party for myself. I was mad and disappointed and frustrated to the point that I wanted to throw something....and I'm not the throwing type.

I eventually got to the point where I was willing to admit that Buyers #2 must not be who God had in mind for our house because I happen to believe that God is much, much bigger than title companies and loan officers and if He wanted them in the house, they would have been in the house.

I pondered the purpose of God's timing and what that meant for us. The lessons we were supposed to be learning. Patience? Contentment? Self-control?

I may or may not have asked Scot to work on all of those so I could tell God that we had learned our lessons and were now ready for the house to sell so we could move on.

About a month after falling through for the 2nd time, Buyer #3 came along. He low balled us big time, but was willing to pay cash. That meant a quick close and he would buy it "as is" so we settled on a price almost $35,000 less than our original asking price and $5,000 less than what we paid for it.


So maybe the lesson in the timing was to not hold on too tightly to worldly possessions.

Got it.

Closing date was 4 weeks out. 4 weeks came and went and apparently the guy had all his money in Africa and it was being mailed to the states $1 at a time. 8 weeks came and went. 12 weeks came and went and I have now nicknamed this guy "Out of Africa". He lived in London, had his money in Africa and ended up being about $12,000 short which his business partner was going to lend him but then he didn't and then his mom got sick so he couldn't fly to Texas. And then we got tired of his story and put the house BACK on the market.

I am beyond discouraged and at a loss for words when asked about the ordeal. What were we missing? A situation totally out of our control and it all came down to timing. Summer loomed before us and we could take it off the market, rent some furniture and live in it again except I really didn't want to do that.

Maybe God wanted us to keep the house and THAT explained the timing.

Maybe we were serving as a warning to others in some way. Beware of cash buyers with money in Africa and London and stingy business partners.

I honestly had no idea what the issue was.

Now it's May and I'm on the phone with a dear friend who sold her house in a week. I had my big girl panties on that day so I was genuinely happy for her and basking in the notoriety our drama afforded me. She expressed how surprised she was our house hadn't sold and happened to mention that she knew a family that wanted a bigger house and told me she'd pass on the info about our home.

Fast forward 48 hours and that sweet family put an offer in on our home. I liked every single thing I heard about them.....but was understandably cautious that it would happen.

Then I started hearing that still, small voice. The one that won't shout above all the other drama going on in my head.

My timing doesn't always revolve around you.
My timing may have very little to do with you and what you have to gain or learn.
My timing may have a whole lot to do with others in your life.
My timing is always perfect.

A friend of mine told me about her own drama and without pause said "we pulled a Jenkins" in reference to having their first deal fall through. Do I laugh about the fact that our house selling drama has become a new noun? I do...a lot.

Do I get a kick out of the look on people's faces when I tell them we went through 3 buyers before the perfect ones came around? Sure I do.....I get a little enjoyment in the shock value of what we've been through.

Will my realtor and I be bonded for life? Absolutely. She's been an absolute blessing through all of this.

More than that I learned a very important lesson.

It's not always about me.

God's will. God's timing. God's purpose.

It's just not always about me but if I make it about me, I will totally miss all the amazing things He's doing in the lives of those around me.

There's a very good chance I am going to meet the woman who will be making her own memories in a house that held a lot of love for 6 years. I can't wait to give her a big hug...and I'm sure through tears...I hope to tell her that it was worth my wait for her to receive her blessing.

My wait is her gain.

If only that was the only weight gain situation I was dealing with this summer......darn Mexican food!!


  1. You are amazing and brilliant, and I'm so thankful for the things God teaches me through you.

    p.s. LOVE that you asked Scot to work on all that stuff!!

  2. Found your blog through Marla. We have had our house on the market off and on for a year and a half. We haven't had ANY offers!!!! But, perhaps I should see that as a blessing compared to you having to go through 3 different instances of thinking your house would sell. We are about to rent our house out for the second time. Being landlords is not our #1 choice, and there have been some bumps along the way, but perhaps God has something to teach us through it all.

  3. Wonderfully written and applicable in so many areas:) Pray you are having a wonderful time!

  4. I guess if everything was smooth and easy there are lots of lessons we would never learn. Like to just take our hands off and TRUST. I struggle with that! I just LOVE reading everything you write, Keri -- just amazing.


  5. "Purify our hearts" and "send the fire" sound so pretty as we clap and sing. But we forget God is listening to us. Living through the answers to those song-prayers is not always easy. I think I am learning that I rarely grow during the easy and smooth seasons of life. You have a grasp on God's simple truth: "It is not about me." He must have that recorded, as He has to tell me so often! I say, with fear and trepidation that I think I am about to catch on. Thank you for always sharing with transparency and honestly that probes the heart and is so applicable to our everyday lives. Like Jesus, what you have to say is practical and right where we live. Glad you are enjoying the creamy jalapeno, etc...at least while you can. Was good to get to see you, even for a short time. Love you and glad Scot is enjoying a little vacation too.



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