So, yesterday, we closed on our house [insert excited squeal here]!
For those who missed the previous episode and are interested, you can catch up on part 1 and part 2.
I was a bundle of nervous energy all day, but I not only worked one of my jobs, but both. Everyone asked me 'How can you even work today???' It definitely helped me to stay productive
Everything went without a hitch. The lawyers were great, the owners were amazing (one of the nicest couples I have ever met...an older couple around 65-70 years old)...and there in the lawyer's office surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, James and I signed our life away for the next 30 years.
We went out for dinner to celebrate (yes, we still actually had a little something in our checking account) and then headed over to our house.
It was surreal as we pulled in, and I said to James, "Hon, this is our driveway... to our house..."
We went into the house, and inside the fridge was a bottle of wine from the owners. There really wasn't anything we could do just yet, but we just wanted to be there. (Well, we had our first hug in our new house :) . So we just parked ourselves on the living room floor and were just quiet for a while.
So many changes, all happening so fast. I am so thankful they are good changes, but changes none the less. I guess that is what I feel most unprepared for: this roller coaster of emotions. I just sort of thought I would float on puffy clouds through this whole wedding-marriage-home-buying process.
As I mentioned in my previous post, there is a bit of a back-story as to why it was so huge for us to get this house:
[I never want to share too much of James' business, so I will do my best to convey the story while respecting the fact that he is not blogging his life on the internet...]
James had something of a 'colorful' childhood as far as where he lived, home life, etc. He has lived in lots of different places, with different people, over the course of his childhood. And as you might guess, that's not really the most advantageous environment for a kid to grow up in. So, 'home' never really had the greatest connotations, if the concept even existed in his mind at all.
Our God is so redemptive and in spite of all the disadvantages he faced, he (with God's help) has made his life something to be proud of. I certainly am, and I know God is, too.
Ok, back to the house...well, the apartment James has lived in for the past 8 years is the longest he has ever lived in one place. And he LOVES the area he rents in (which happens to be a bit pricey). And as one might conjecture, that has become 'home' for him. The idea of leaving a place that a person has grown so attached to is hard, even if it is a good change. So, when we were discussing where we would live, you can imagine some of the inner conflict.
Now when the possibility presented itself to us to buy a house, I so wanted this for James. I wanted us to have a chance to not only have a place where we could settle and not have to move in a year, but one that would be his own home. To me, it just seemed so right and redemptive that, at the start of our marriage, he would be able to begin his new life with something he never had before - something so integral to it.
So, when we found this house, I wanted this so badly for him. It's small and modest (we're OK with that) but most importantly, it would be ours. Not only did it seem like something we would really be happy with, but it was only 2 miles from where he lives now. And liked I mentioned, he loves this area. That is when I really started getting fearful that this wouldn't work out. I would have been more disappointed for him than for me.
In being an honest storyteller, I have to say that James never mentioned that this carried the same importance to him. It might just be my female conjecture, but I'm guessing some similar thoughts may have run through his mind too. But I know that I just wanted him to have the feeling of joy and safety and sanctuary that having a home that is your own to come back to each day brings.
I know, every couple would like to have a home at the start of their marriage. I agree. But for us, I just felt like there was a lot more riding on it; it was a lot more significant. But that's just me.
So when we signed those papers and drove into the driveway of our home, I was in awe of this new reality God had created for us. It all just seemed so providential. And - we found out that for a reasonable yearly fee, we actually have private beach rights to four different beaches! (I tell here how James feels about the beach and what it means to him. And actually, now that I think about it, it is so cool that God is giving us a new beach - and not just Cedar Beach - to be our beach.)
Last night before we left, we prayed together on our living room floor in our empty house and asked God to bless it and make it a home for us- with love and peace, that we would be a light to our neighbors, that this gift from Him to us would be consecrated to Him and used for His purposes.
So, the morning after, we are (still) smiling at His faithfulness.