Today we will head down to the Title Company and sign papers to sell our home by the river over to my sister. This home we moved into 3.5 years ago and worked so hard to make it our own… well Branden worked hard, I just gave him all my ideas to fulfill 😉 A lot of love was stored behind these walls… from the hearts of my 3 daughters to the walls and floors we physically redid.
What you may not know, is this story of how we sold our home in preparation to move to Florida is a KEY to how we knew we were to take steps ahead.
As I was sensing God was calling our family to move, Branden wasn’t quite sure about the whole thing. We had planned a last-minute trip to Florida in July, really for him to go back again and to take the girls on a little vacation. Shortly before we had planned the trip, one morning in prayer I sensed God saying, “Do it Backwards.” These 3 words continued to echo throughout my prayer time in the week. Daily I would ask, What am I doing backwards? God unpack this for me.
Around this time I was studying the book of John and wrote this story on it….
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. John 21:6-8 NIV
In John 21, the disciples weren’t having any luck catching fish… but Jesus stood on the shore and after a brief interaction tells them to throw their nets on the right side and they will find some.
They obeyed and because they trusted His voice, they were unable to haul the nets in because of the large amount of fish. When their nets were overflowing in an abundance of fish, THEN they knew it was the Lord!
It wasn’t about the “right side,” I don’t think… but it was about faith. A step of faith and then they recognized it was the Lord!
They obeyed, cast out the net, then they truly saw!
I think we wrestle many times with following through with acts of faith because we aren’t confident it’s true and we want 100% confirmation it’s God speaking… but what if it takes the small step of faith and obedience first, then we see the overflowing nets. We finally recognize it was truly HIM?!
Maybe we are asking for nets full of fish all backwards…maybe we trust it COULD be Jesus. We throw out the nets in surrender, releasing in faith our need for control…. then as we pull in abundant nets, Jesus smiles from shore and we truly SEE, it was Him all along.
I’m thinking taking tiny steps of faith, even if that faith is the size of a mustard seed, is what activates our ability to truly know it’s Jesus calling out to us in the boat and to follow his lead.
Jesus got the glory, it was his miracle, but the disciples in the boat got the JOY to haul the nets up because of their simple faith.
There’s a reward in store if we trust. It’s always Jesus’ miracle, His work… but He lets us be a part of his story if we are willing to let go, do what He says, and believe.
We, too, won’t be able to bring the nets in because they will be so full.
God was preparing my heart through his scripture to have the boldness to trust him by taking steps of faith to do it all backwards! As I continued to pray this is what I concluded God was asking me,
“THEN you will SEE me in this. THEN you will know I am in this.”
I really believed we were to obey and follow these steps– days I wrestled with feeling crazy, but time and time again God would reassure me, that by TAKING the STEPS of faith in the order he laid out before me would be how I would know without a doubt He was really calling us to move.
Shortly before we departed for our trip to Florida in July I contacted a real estate company by faith (another God-story I will share) to see if we could just “look” at homes. If I am being honest we had no intention of purchasing, but to take a step of faith in obedience and see how God would unfold this.
We spent 2 full days viewing many homes in different parts of town, but we never put in an offer on anything while we were there. After we returned home we continued to pray and ask God, are we supposed to really move this quickly? About 2 weeks after we returned back home to Spokane, Natalie, our realtor in the area did a virtual home tour on a house in a neighborhood we liked. It was a Sunday evening and I picked up my phone to call Natalie to let her know we wanted to put an offer on the home…. and truly this was sort of TEST before the Lord. We believed this was the home, but also a surrendering before God. We knew soooo many things had to happen for us to get this home!
Here is the crazy part– that weekend we hadn’t told any friends or family that we were putting an offer in on a home. On a Sunday evening, I sat outside talking the offer over with Natalie and confirming the details. A text message came through towards the end of my conversation with her. When I hung up it was a text from my sister,
BUT here is another CRAZY part! When I was praying over this call to Florida and seeking God, he kept telling me over and over, someone will approach YOU to buy your home. I would love to tell you I really trusted God in this, but I didn’t. There were times I contacted people asking if they would be interested in purchasing our home if we decided to sell…. or contemplated listing with an agent. I knew this was what God had told me would happen… but it was a little bit of wild word from God that I lacked faith at times that this would happen just as he told me it would.
When I got the text from my sister, I sat in SHOCK. I had no idea they wanted to buy another home or were interested…. they also had no clue we were getting ready to put an offer on a home in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida that weekend.
The timing… the way God told me how to do it… the way he said it would happen… IT WAS being fulfilled in seconds before my eyes.
Here is the funny part…. we had an accepted offer on a home a few days later… we sold our home in an instant… and we still didn’t even know if Branden could work remotely or would be allowed to move. If they said no, we would have to give up the house. During the first few weeks after we put the offer in, we would go to the lender and say, how much time do we have to get approval on this loan from the employer? I won’t add all the details of that part of the story…. but Branden’s employer allowed him to go remote. After we already had bought and sold a home.
We did it backwards in obedience and crazy faith, just as he asked … and we SAW God’s hand in it all.
It was scary, often felt like a freefall waiting for God to catch us. It happened SO FAST and not in any way I would have chosen to do it… BUT God writes the BEST STORIES when we give him our entire lives and we allow him to lead us.
As we go to sign papers today to sell our home by the river to my sister and brother-in-law… I am signing papers on a real-life miracle before my eyes… I have SEEN the Lord through this in ways I can’t even articulate.
I share this wild, crazy story to implore you– JUMP in FAITH to the Spirit of God’s whispers in this season! I really think it’s a season of great faith to do whatever he says!
I also share because this is a real-life miracle. I couldn’t make this up if I tried… this is God at work and I want to give him all the glory. He is moving, He is speaking, He does the IMPOSSIBLE!
I took these photos last weekend as we moved out… my favorite walks along the river were right here.