My wife and I bought our first home in Sidney, Montana in April of 2014. Eight years later to the month, we have now sold our first home.
Six months of it being on the market followed two years of renting it out to others. Being out-of-state homeowners and landlords was a stretch and taxed our resources in both tangible and intangible ways. Only now as that circumstance comes to an end are we beginning to realize how much.
But come to think of it, we first began considering the sale of our first home (while at the same time feeling unable to do so) over five years ago.
Having bought the house on 5th Street SW in an inflated housing market, the Bakken oilfield boom was still in full swing then. The advice we got from realtors we asked over several years was again and again to wait on selling until prices recovered, or else settle for getting significantly less than we originally paid.
Also on further reflection, I remember now how when we moved to Greeley in September of 2019 we were still overseeing renovations on our Sidney house from two states away. The kitchen and both bathrooms got new flooring and fixtures, and we replaced a few other sundry items in preparation for first renting the house out, then eventually selling it.
The requisite reliance on others to take care and do a good job was difficult, and sometimes frankly disappointing; the whole business felt simultaneously both foolish and necessary – never a fun combination, much less over an extended period of time like two-and-a-half years.
Renting our current home sight unseen based on a recent listing I found on the internet, we moved from Montana, the state with the motto Oro y Plata – Spanish for “Gold and Silver” – to Colorado, the state with the motto Nil Sine Numine – Latin for “Nothing without Providence.”
That is to say, our family saw our current abode here in Greeley for the first time in-person the day we moved in; and I would liken that experience to some combination of the feeling a child gets opening a present on Christmas morning on the one hand, and being told by the Speaker of the House that Congress is passing a major piece of legislation to find out what’s in it on the other hand.
Nevertheless, we believe the whole business was cut to fit Colorado’s state motto, being really and truly Providential. The Lord led and guided this circumstance to fulfillment according to His wisdom, goodness, faithfulness, and lovingkindness.
This is not to say that the timing of all key points related to buying, renting, and selling our homes has always been met by us with the utmost enthusiasm or cheer – or even a sense of well-being, for that matter. Nevertheless, we have to give both credit and thanks to the Lord for our prayers He answered and all necessary provision having been faithfully supplied in His perfect timing. How could we have ever doubted that He would faithfully provide where we endeavored to follow His leading and direction?
Even now as we celebrate the bittersweet reality of selling our first home, we know our hopes and intentions to be more choosy this time around as we see the last chapter closing and a new one beginning.
Yet whatever comes to pass next, the wisest and safest course must always surely be some continuation of the theme of all our family life to-date, trusting that God’s timing and provision is all-sufficient and the only state of being which can expect blessing.
That is to say that we remain committed to saying “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” And we hope and pray that it is the Lord’s will that we buy our second home here in Colorado in the coming months – at a fair price, in a good location, and of an appropriate size and layout for our large and energetic family. Only once we do will I feel that we are really, truly, and fully here.
Yet even so and already now, with the sale of our home in Montana, I begin to feel it, in some sense for the first time most truly after two-and-a-half years of divided attention, that we have been in transition so long as we had to keep one eye and ear on Montana. Now we do not have to divide our attention anymore, and that is a mercy.
In any event, all such details considered and more besides, I conclude that it was good that the Lord brought us to Montana from Ohio in 2012, and from Montana to Colorado in 2019. Yet I say with the utmost enthusiasm that we are glad to finally feel as though the time has come for us to be here in Colorado for however long it pleases our Maker that we tarry here.
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