When Elijah and I listed our condo for sale on March 13, I put 100% of my faith not in God, but in the Irvine real estate market. I confidently expected we would receive an offer within days of when we activated the listing. “The condo will sell like that,” I said arrogantly, snapping my fingers. “We’re in Irvine, the safest city in America. Families move here from everywhere to get into this school district. This condo won’t last long on the market.”
When no offers came that first weekend, I was truly stunned. More days passed, and we received no offers. What we did receive were canceled showing.. or worse, no-shows. We spent time each morning preparing for potential showings: Making the bed, folding the towels, storing toiletry items, placing the coffee maker into the cupboard, tucking our laptop behind the end table. As I stashed the extension cord in the bottom draw for what seems like the 100th time, I asked, God, is this really how you want us to be spending our time?
Leaning on my own understanding
As weeks rolled by, I realized that had misplaced my trust in the volatile real estate market. I had been so assured that the condo would sell quickly, but this assurance had nothing to do with any direction or word from God. I had fathomed it in my own head. I had made a huge mistake in boasting to everyone that our condo would sell quickly. That boast was not based on my faith on God or on His promises. It was based on real estate trends and what other people had told me about the market. I had made my own timetable based on the world’s timetable, not God’s. Proverbs 3:5 tells us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” But I had done exactly the opposite.
I confessed my arrogance to God. I should have submitted the whole timetable to God from the beginning. I acknowledged that I had learned my lesson. Next time, I promised, I will not expect anything to happen on a timeline of my own creation.
That confession was behind me, but I still had another reality to face. My last day as an administrative assistant at Capital Group is set for June 14, at which point we’re still obligated to pay our monthly mortgage. Had I been a fool to leave the security of my administrative assistant job to pursue my dream of becoming a full-time writer? I was fearful about having to pay a monthly mortgage payment on just Elijah’s salary, draining our savings. Last Saturday, May 18, all the uncertainty of the last few months became overwhelming. Though I had always consciously defeated despair before, this time, I let helplessness flood over me.
I went upstairs into our guest bedroom and closed the door. In tears, I pleaded with God. Sell the house. Sell the house. Sell the house. In my mind, my entire future, and that of our adopted children, depended on this.
“This is the verse you need”
I know God doesn’t want me to live in fear and be captive to irrational thoughts. The Bible promises abundant life to those who believe in God. By stressing about the sale of the condo, I was showing that I didn’t trust God. I needed an attitude adjustment, and fast. I sought out my steadfast prayer partner who also happens to be the love of my life.
“I’m so afraid about the condo,” I told Elijah. “What if we can’t sell it? How will we pay the mortgage since I quit my job?”
“It will all work out,” he assured me. “You have to trust God.”
“I’m trying to trust,” I returned, “I want to trust. I need a verse to change my attitude.”
“I have a verse for you,” he replied. “John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
“I’ve heard that verse a million times,” I protested. That doesn’t apply to selling the condo. That is the most generic verse you could have given me. I need you to give me another verse.”
“That is the verse you need,” he replied confidently.
So I returned to my prayer room and re-read the verse… again, meditating and praying. I asked myself if I was truly living as if I believed that God loved me. I asked myself if I was truly living as if I believed that I will be with my God forever, in this life and the next.
Trust me, God told me. Trust your husband. I made a decision right then to put my faith in my Father who loves me with such an encompassing love that He sacrificed His son to give me everlasting life. When I have such a God as that, placing faith in anything else, including the real estate market, is futile. In that moment, God filled my heart with a beautiful peace. For the first time in this whole process I fully and completely yielded the sale of the condo to God. That evening, after kissing my husband goodnight, I slept securely in the knowledge of our Father’s love for us.
The next morning, I was applying for a position as a ghostwriter with Forbes Advantage, the division of Forbes that publishes books for entrepreneurs and CEOs. Wrapped up in my writing, I was focused solely on the application when my phone lit up with a message from our real estate Redfin agent, Min. “Congratulations!” she wrote. “You received an offer for the full asking price!”
I sank down on the coach. Thank you, Lord. The months of worry melted away. I felt free. Free from having to pay a mortgage. Free to head out on our adventure of finding a new town. Free to devote my energy to writing full-time. To gain this freedom, all I had to do was to trust God with my whole heart. Though I hadn’t trusted Him at first, He taught me to trust Him in the waiting period. Thank you Lord, I prayed. Thank you for making me wait. I learned how to trust You. The waiting drew me to Your arms. I love you.
God rewarded my trust. He proved to me that when I yield my plans to His will, and stop designing my own schemes and worries, He takes care of all my needs as His beloved child.
Now that we have sold our condo, I remember those who have encouraged us from the beginning. Min, our Redfin agent, has been our supporter the whole time. “You have helped me stay diligent in my quiet time and prayers,” she told us.
“Your condo will sell when time is right,” my friend and Bible study partner Madison told me consistently. “Stay hopeful.” The members of my Bible study and church family are also celebrating in our successful sale!
Elijah and I are scheduled to move out June 19. We plan to buy a used RV and then head across America on our journey to find a new home for our future adopted foster children. I plan to write from the road and earn paid freelance writing assignments, if God allows me to support our family by writing.
As Elijah and I celebrated, fresh doubts about the sale began to creep unbidden into my mind. What if we fail the home inspection? What if the bank delays the loans for the buyers? Or what if the buyers change their mind? What if the roof caves in? What if, what if, what if? This lasted about one minute before I said enough. I squashed the doubts with the true Words that bring life and hope: John 3:16.