Warning: long post ahead. Why? It’s about what went down with our living arrangements during a 24 hour stretch last Thursday and Friday, and my ongoing experience of it. Not only do I want to write this, I feel compelled to do so. It’s my desire to “get it down on paper,” to remember, to learn the lesson.


Yesterday and today overflow with coincidence. Unbelievable coincidence.

The way things have gone down has been, well, unbelievable. I’m amazed. And right now, as opposed to the stress junkie I’ve been lately, I’m pretty chill.

So, why wasn’t I already, well, chill? That, in a moment.

Until these recent developments, regardless of how I’ve attempted to take this roller coaster ride calmly, at times the dipping free-falls have resulted in feelings of insecurity and anxiety. I tell myself to surrender the outcome, yet during these times I find myself gripping the handrails even more tightly.

The stress got to me the other night and I blew up. It’s a moment when your behavior immediately obligates you to make amends with your kids. Even more, you feel like an idiot for passing along those negative aspects of yourself that were modeled for you earlier in life.

“The sins of the fathers …” and all that.

So, needless to say, my reactions have been mixed. Hope. Doubt. Elation. Discouragement. Anger … er, I mean fear.

But change happens. That’s the constant. More will be revealed. It always is.

Here’s the backstory:

We’ve been in the process of selling our house for too long now; fallout from the change of our family structure (that’s some spin on a word that’s still difficult to say: divorce). Three contracts have fallen through the cracks. Yet this last one has stuck, at least that’s what a four-month short sale process has demonstrated.

There’s a scrutiny that accompanies this process, and last week two potential deal-breakers we’re uncovered: a hurdle that a less devoted buyer would’ve probably shied away from, and the other, an unscalable wall that was going to bury this deal for sure.

(I’m not sharing specifics as these issues involve both Bobbie, my ex-wife, and me.)

If that happened, neither our agent, who has been with us through this ongoing saga, nor the buyer’s agent would benefit. The buyers would lose out on the house they obviously desire (especially after experiencing more twists and turns than they signed up for). And Bobbie wouldn’t realize the debt that would be paid off as a result of this sale.

But …

If it fell through, I might receive some benefit. You see, the house was set to close on October 27th. Our apartment wasn’t going to be ready until November 7th. Two moves, and a stay with friends was in the plans.

And, even before it would fail I could actually grab control of this and call the whole thing off. I admit, the thought crossed my mind when my agent asked me if I wanted to do just that. But all the gain others would miss out on made that option feel way too selfish. And I’d made the decision to surrender the outcome, no matter what. In moments like this, and throughout this process, that was the challenge.

On the apartment side of things there was a complication that involved an investment/tax issue for which some paperwork needed to be submitted but was unable to be; another long story that was also totally out of my hands. It looked as though it might fall through and we wouldn’t be approved.

BTW, we’d applied for the only available ground-floor apartment, a two-bedroom. Chloe, my 8-year-old, would be in the living room. We were going to make it work. We had to.

We didn’t have a plan B.

This is the chain of events that took place over those 24 hours:

– I put this situation on our church’s prayer chain Thursday morning.
– I got a call from my agent that mid-morning saying that it looks like nothing can be done about the larger, deal-killing issue. Plan for foreclosure (okay, if that’s what must happen I guess our prayers about moving twice have been answered. Yay. Selfish? Yeah perhaps, but that’s what I thought). I shared this with the kids after school.
–  That afternoon, literally 5 minutes after I talked with the kids, my agent called back to let me know that the buyers had resolved the issue (let me add that this was the strangest issue that I or anyone else involved in this line of work had dealt with. And then it was resolved, just like that). I shared with the kids that we’re back to the double move, but look how others will benefit … trying to paint a positive picture, probably more for me than for them.
– Friday morning the buyer’s agent came over and said that they needed to repair the roof. The contractors showed up, and they did a 5 hour job in 2 hours, just like that. Also, he said that we could leave the huge trampoline frame. That’s sweet. I was wondering what I was going to do with it!
– Then, at about 10:00am, Mary from the apartment complex called. We can get around the paperwork issue there with one simple form; CPA signs it and problem solved. And then she added, “Oh, BTW, a ground-floor, three-bedroom just opened up this morning, and they’re out today. We’re going to do the carpeting on Monday and then you can start moving in. It’s only $25 more a month. And It’s yours if you say you want it.”

SERIOUSLY? (nanosecond passes)

“I want it!”

“Chloe, you have a room!!!”

No “in limbo” time issue. Three-bedroom. Awesome area. Kids stay in their schools. Minor details erased. Ample time to move … one time. No moving in with others. More than enough people to help.

And I had doubts. Pshaw.

Look, I realize that we could’ve dealt with the lesser appealing issues. We could’ve made the two-bedroom work. Thankfully, we weren’t going to be out on the street … I was pretty sure. I don’t want to imply that we wouldn’t have been thankful for that or whatever needed to happen.

It’s just really cool how this plain cake, this 11th hour move, ended up with icing piled all over it.

This is the message, from The Message, that still requires my focus:

“Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can’t even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?” Luke 12:25-28 (MSG)

Again: “… don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?”

And I just gotta add it: “Oh you of little faith?”

Update on Monday: Just before pushing the publish button on this over-sized journal entry, Mary called from the apartments to tell me to stop by later today to fill out paperwork and drop off the deposit. Then she adds another one of her now infamous, “Oh, BTW’s.” She says, “We’re giving you the rest of October and also November free.”

Huh? I almost asked, “Why?”

But why ask why? I hope I’m learning to ask that less. Okay, I think I’m getting it.

God is the One Who makes coincidence unbelievable.


These move-related posts seem to be adding up to an unintended series. So, here are the others:
1. Making An 11th Hour Move
2. How to Remedy a “C-minus” Day. Or, 6 Things I Forgot
3. Unbelievable Coincidence
4. Turn The Page