When God says no

A few months ago, one of the discussion questions that came up in our Bible study group was, "How do you react when God says no?"

I hate this question  I hate my answer to this question.  And I hate thinking about it, knowing that no amount of effort from me will change God's plan for me to MY plan for me.  I know I have written about this here before, and even though I knew then what my answer was, I have not changed my answer.  When God says no, I have a pity party, a temper tantrum, and then I turn inwards to myself and slam the door like a moody teenager.

For over five months, we had our condo on the market to sell.  We first listed it in January to try to "beat the rush" of houses being listed in the spring.  After two months of no action, our realtor advised us to take it off the market and relist a month later so that it wouldn't "grow stale" just sitting there.  We did as he advised and relisted in May when we found our dream house - the home we wanted to buy.  After two attempts to have the sellers accept our conditional offer, they accepted, and we had until the middle of July to sell our condo.  In June, they received another offer and our condition date moved up to June 24.  This past Friday we were unable to waive the condition and we lost the house (and wasted money on the inspection).

Trying to sell our condo has been a very very hard time for our family.  It has been heartbreaking for the adults and for the kids.  Cleaning and cleaning to have 'no show's for house viewings and open houses; dropping the list price more and more to get more views that never materialized; living with half of our stuff stored in a friend's garage in a different community...this is one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Unfortunately, I let myself get attached to the idea of life in our new house.  In my head, the kids were happily enjoying the privacy of their own rooms, and there was so much space for friends and family and entertaining.  We could have people over - without even planning it.  We could have a social life.  We could have a puppy and our cars could be sheltered in the warm garage after braving the elements 24/7 for years.  I couldn't wait to go tobagganing in the green space at the end of the block, and I was really looking forward to looking out toward the street and seeing the beautiful blossoming tree in our front yard.  I was pumped that my oldest would live within walking distance of his bestie.

I try not to do this - to let myself get attached like this.  But it happened, and as my friends across the country listed and sold their homes within a month, within a week, within a DAY, my heart broke into smaller and smaller pieces until I couldn't take anymore and I just had to let go.  Say I knew that no one would buy our condo.  Start contacting people to hire to do our renos.  Because having hope was killing me.

We did not get a single offer.

Not even a lowball.

Acquaintances say, "One bathroom?  Do places with one bathroom even still exist?"

Friends say, "Wow, how do you live in such a small house?  I could NEVER do that!"

When I wanted to just give up, family said, "You have to sell.  You guys really need more space."

None of my talented home renovator family/friends/acquaintances has asked us to hire them to make our condo saleable or liveable.

None of my real estate expert family/friends/acquaintances has offered advice or insight - even when flat out asked for it.

Trying to sell our condo has made us feel even more disconnected from family/friends/acquaintances/our community/our city than we already thought we were. Feeling like we belong nowhere and fit nowhere gets really depressing.

On Friday we told the realtor to take the listing down and that since we can't sell, we have to renovate and stay.  He argued that we would never get the money back that we put into the house in renovations, so it is a bad idea.  We told him that we are aware of that and renovations mean that we won't be moving, ever, so our contract with him is over.

He suggested relisting in the fall.

I think I'm not strong enough to go through this again.

I don't think that the reason this didn't work out is because of the economy or the real estate market or even our crappy do-nothing realtor.  I think God said no.  I think His message is that now is not the right time.  Our plan is not His plan.  He put his foot down hard...crushing my spirit in one swift motion.

And I don't want it to hurt, but it does.  Because my kids...they wanted this so bad.  My heart breaks all the time and I'm good at cementing it back together.  But they shouldn't have to feel this.

I went to two church services today and the main message of both came through loud and clear.  Trust Him.  Trust His plan.  Be faithful.  Pray.

But I just can't right now.  First I need to turn inward to myself.  Slam the door.  Blast the music for awhile.  And then hope that His plan will come through loud and clear when it needs to, and then unfold all on its own.  Because right now I am busy with my temper tantrum, and I don't know how long it will last.


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