We invite friends near and far to join us in special prayer over the next week, asking God to lead us to a house in Atlanta. Our hunt for a house to buy is taking longer than we had hoped. The wait will soon become more expensive, unless we can move into a house before April (more below).
Unless the Lord provides the house, they labor in vain that look for one! We know that we can’t force God’s hand (and we don’t want to). But we also know that our Father invites us to “pester” him boldly with our needs (Luke 18:1-8), confident in his wisdom and goodness. We invite you to help us do this.
What has been happening with our house hunt? The winter months have been really faith-stretching. We missed our first-choice house in the late fall, partly because we didn’t find funding in time. Few new houses came on the market in December. Steve and Christy Smucker (our future teammates) discovered they had a bad mold problem in their house, so we thought they might also need a new house. In addition, I had some really unnerving health problems that led to a colonoscopy early this month. (I sincerely thank God that my health has been returning!)
So we did little house hunting for a month or two.
I did, however, make a solo trip to Atlanta in late January. I met our new realtor for the first time, and he seems to be a good fit. We toured several houses and drove by more. One house was really nice, but a bit pricey for its location. Another (a fixer-upper) was in a superb location—but we discovered it about 5 days too late. My emotions took a roller-coaster ride. But I got a better sense of neighborhoods and streets. I met with Choice Books managers and confirmed that I have a part-time job offer. And Steve and Christy Smucker seem to be conquering the mold problem in their house, so we have some clarity again that our preference is to find a house in their neighborhood.
If we were just looking for a place for our family to live, we could probably settle for one of the houses currently on the market. But we are looking for a place where I can also teach piano (not-too-scary neighborhood, a suitable room, enough parking so neighbors aren’t disturbed), since we expect that to be an important source of our income. And we’d also like enough space to effectively host small church gatherings.
Not many new houses have come on the market since my last Atlanta visit, and it seems to be a seller’s market right now. So, we are torn between waiting for something more ideal or significantly adapting our expectations and simply buying something that will get us to Atlanta. Zonya and I are ready to move, and Steve and Christy are ready for us to come!
Waiting is disorienting. We still feel a peace about moving to Atlanta, but things haven’t been falling into place. Why not? God knows. (Strange thoughts come to mind, like: “God sees we aren’t that preoccupied with specific ideas for serving him in Atlanta, so he’s not feeling urgent about getting us there, but Satan sees our presence in Atlanta would encourage Steves, so he’s hindering our move; thus we are doubly doomed.”) Last night at Bible study we were reminded to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). What does this look like in our situation? (What does it look like while many are homeless this very moment?) I’m not fully sure.
Another factor that increases our sense of urgency is our promise to our lenders that we will begin monthly repayments in April, house or no house. This is only fair, and we do not expect this commitment will bring us any immediate financial difficulty. But it does mean that, unless we are in a new house by April, we will be making $500 loan repayments on top of $450 Iowa rent payments each month. I keep telling God that it would be wise financial stewardship for him to provide a house before then!
In summary, I have started asking God to please lead us to a house before the end of this month. I don’t know much about prayer, and I realize God’s plans for our family might be very different from my hopes and expectations. But I continue to ask, and we invite you to do the same.
So as you remember us over this next week, I invite your prayers.
Please share this post with anyone else who may want to pray.
And thank you! The support of God’s people has greatly encouraged us many times in this house-hunt saga! If you have any counsel, prophetic word, or other encouragement, please comment below.
For Christ and his Church,
Dwight and Zonya and the three little ladies