The decision had to be made this last trip back home, “sell or rent?” It had been almost eight years since we left our suburban home in the States. When the long-term renters moved out, something had to be done. Why was this decision so hard for us? I liked the house but I didn’t have a deep love for it. In fact, I didn’t even like the home in the beginning.
When my husband and I were engaged, thoughts of moving into “the bachelor pad” were a little underwhelming. Thankfully, a few months before our wedding, my husband gave all the renters (and moochers) the boot and we began to spruce it up. New carpets, tile, paint…it started to resemble an actual home and not a bachelor pad. It would do.
But then life. Christmases, babies, and our first marital spats. It was our first home together, so naturally we had a few emotional ties. But honestly, the past was all sappy and gooey and I, not being a very sentimental woman, wasn’t tied to the home because of the past. It was the future that gripped my thoughts. Deep down in the recesses of my heart I had doubts and fears. What if our expat life comes to an end sooner rather than later? Wouldn’t we need a home in a desirable suburban neighborhood? After all, we could pick up right where we left off. Right? People are gone for eight years and can pick up right where they left off. And what about retirement? Are we going to be able to put enough back to have a home? What about our Golden Years, for goodness sake!?!?!
Security. Simply put, this home offered me security.
This home offered me thoughts of a soccer mom suburban life. A Honda Odyssey full of kiddos zipping through smooth traffic and a Coach bag full of receipts from Trader Joes. Nice vacations to places like Disney World and South Carolina. The aroma of essential oils flickering through hallways of hardwood floors. If we sold now, the hopes of purchasing in that type of neighborhood again would be forever lost. These thoughts felt so familiar. I struggled through this exact thing before our original expat move.
Here we are (again) at a crossroad of decision: refinance, repair and rent or sell? We finally chose the latter. And sold it did…within hours. True story. Boom, just like that. An idolized life, that last final slice of American pie… snatched up with cash from a fast moving investment company.
I guess the Lord decided it was time to cut the cord.
Back up plans are overrated. When Sarah and Abraham were promised a kid, or more like billions of kids, God didn’t tell them to start filling out adoption paperwork just in case. But they decided to work their own back-up plan and we all know how that story ended: frustration, jealousy, infidelity, family turmoil, tears and more tears. Trusting the Father to work out all the details even in the unknown is a true act of faith. What happened to Abraham’s faith back before he got his fancy new name? “Abram believed the Lord, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6) Where was that faith I had when we sold our stuff and sailed away across the ocean?
I really never wanted that normal American dream, anyway. It took a house to remind me (yet again) that the call He has on my life is unique. I had left all the former things behind just to realize somewhere along the way, I picked it right back up. I really am very dull. Not the sharpest knife in the bunch.
There is something so freeing about being “all in.” Standing on the edge of something amazing, knowing, sink or swim, you’re about to get wet. As I’ve begun a new season overseas, I have that renewed type of anticipation. Now, back on the other side of the water, the headache of a rental home and the angst of decisions is just a part of our past. And get this, I’m not walking around feeling insecure. Actually, just the opposite, I feel good. Glad. Relieved. I’m married to this overseas life. And it isn’t just a one time decision that happens on some emotional high during some ceremony or conference. It is every single day. Every single decision. Every act of trust. Knowing that the best back-up plan is being fully sold out to the Father’s plan.
Is there a string that you need to cut? A decision that has be made that you have been putting off? Share your experiences with us!