From the second I walked through the door of our home with Jackson for the first time in the back of my head I was already begging to go back to Houston. Living three and half hours away from our doctors was one of my greatest stresses. After all, they weren’t just doctors to us. They had become an extended family. A family that understood our son’s condition, had seen us in our most desperate times, and were continually working on wrapping their heads around Jackson’s very rare and special heart.
1) Phase 1: Fix the house to sell it. After all, we had bought it as a foreclosure only 3 months before I had temporarily moved to Houston to wait for Jackson to come. There was work to be done, but we were determined. We figured even if the plan came to a stop at this first step, the only thing actually done was getting our house in shape…. Not too shabby. So for months, we put our extra money into the house. We painted cabinets, fixed lighting, did yard work, fixed dry rot, etc. We budgeted and planned to do a few projects a month to have it ready to sell by spring. As spring approached we were almost done and sure enough, the desire to move was that much stronger. So, we moved to Phase 2.
2) Phase 2: Sell the house. We listed our house with the same agent that sold it to us. We love Pat and are so thrilled to have added her to part of our extended family. Pictures were taken, the sign went up, and March 22nd we made it officially for sale. Our very first showing on that Thursday was nerve wrecking. After it was done, I sat in the kitchen and said, “Lord if this is your plan, just take the house.” We just needed to know that we were doing the right thing. As much as we wanted to move, this step was one of the biggest struggles for us. After all, it wasn’t just selling the house; it was selling our first time home buyer advantage, giving up our stability, and entering us into the unknown. Well, after only 2 showings and 36 hours on the market, we got a phone call. A full price offer! In just 11 months we managed to buy one of the cheapest houses in our neighborhood as a foreclosure, do all the work (but the carpet) ourselves and sell it less than a year later as the most expensive house to sell in the subdivision as of this year. An amazing $35,000 more than what we bought it for! Hands down, completely the Lord on that one!
3) Phase 3: I’ll be honest that we had our doubts that we would make it to Phase 3. This is where we knew we had to decide where to move next. Chris had been off and on been asking to work remotely with his job since we had been going back and forth to Houston so much over the last several months. Every time the answer was, “no.” Now that the house was sold, we had about 30 days to figure out where we were moving. We made the very difficult decision to follow the Lord’s prompting and move to Houston regardless of what Chris was able to do with his job. I would be with the kids in Houston for the weekdays and then Chris would commute down to see us for the weekends. It was far from ideal, but we just knew that God would sustain us through this season of our lives. So, on June 10th, 2012 we made the move to our temporary spot in Houston to figure out what needed to happen next. It was so difficult leaving. I was moving with two kids to a new area, without having my husband to help during the week, away from family and church family. I knew it had to be done. Phase 4 begins and the floods of blessings begin.
4) Phase 4- God knocks our sock off. No matter where you are in life and what you are in the middle of there is always blessing in obedience. About 2 weeks after we moved, Chris made one last ditch effort to ask for remote work and on Tuesday June 26th, 2012 it came back with the first resounding yes. Not only yes, but a full time yes. After months of trying desperately trying to make it work, God took care of it completely. He moved up here with us the next day and has been with us since. How do you thank a manager enough for that one?? So here we are in Houston together as a family and waiting. Lord, what next? Where to? It’s full of unknowns, stress, and yet so full of promise.