Sunday, July 21, 2013

A peach tree, a preacher & an unexpected ending...

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog "Not the Answer I Wanted."

I was surprised at the feedback I received from it.

- some people drove to Due West looking for the house.
- some people told me they wished they could buy & give me the house.
- some people couldn't understand why I even wanted an old house.
- some people thought that God was telling them that He wanted me to have the house.


More than anything, I think people connected with not getting the answer I wanted.


Back to the story.

So, I had fallen in love with a hundred year old house in Due West.
That's not completely accurate.
I fell head over heels for a house in Due West.

Envisioned my family living there.
Envisioned a new beginning there.
Set up a stained glass studio there.
Had already served my Thanksgiving turkey there.
Placed my Christmas tree there.
In my heart.....
I was already living my life there.

But in praying for direction about moving forward.

The answer I consistently got in reading my Bible.

Nearly every time I picked it up, was the same.

Not now. I wrote in that blog.

I very reluctantly......gave it up.


I gave it up.

And some time went by.

What I failed to be completely forth coming about in my last blog.

Is that something else was going on in this story.

That while I looked to Jesus for an answer about the house.
I was also asking the same question of my husband.
My sweet husband.
And from the very beginning,
It's fair to say.
He wasn't the least bit interested or open to the idea of this house.

And for this man.
Not to be open to something so important to me.
Was a very unusual thing.

He was happy in our current house.
He really had no interest in moving.
He wasn't looking for a renovation project.
He especially wasn't in favor of a 20 minute move from Greenwood.
He pretty much......wasn't interested.

At all.


When you've got Jesus and your husband.
Saying the same thing.
That's a hard one to overcome.

Very reluctantly.
I accepted that I wasn't supposed to overcome it.

And some time went by.

And then.
Something changed.

Scott and I were driving through Due West.
Not far from this house.
And I asked.
Would you mind if I drove by?  One more time?

So.   We did.

And driving by, ended up with pulling over.
And pulling over, ended with getting out.
And getting out, ended in a walk around the property again.

I was pretty much saying my final goodbye.
It's done.    It was a nice dream, but clearly not meant to be.

And there it was.
Right beside the back door.

A peach tree.

Not too impressive as far as trees go.

Bent & crooked.

Clearly, pretty old.

But, it was a peach tree.

And it was full of peaches!

I could see his expression begin to change.

And the wheels begin to turn.

No one loves peaches like Scott Dublin.

No one.

He LOVES peaches!

We had both walked around that house a handful of times over the last month.

And never saw a peach on this tree.
But there they were.
Over a dozen.
Of full.
Mature peaches.

And just as unexpectedly.

These words came out of his mouth.

"Why don't we call the realtor and do a second walk through?"

"but, why would we do that?"  I asked.

"I don't know."
"Maybe I need to take one more look.

Maybe he felt a little guilty for my disappointment.
Maybe he thought he should be more open.
Maybe he just wanted to make me happy.
Heck. was just the peach tree!

Whatever the reason.

A few days later, we took a second walk through.

And He admitted he saw....promise.


Interestingly enough, before we left the house that night.
The realtor made an unexpected suggestion.

"I have a friend that lives around the corner.
The footprint of her house is very similar to this one.
I bet both houses were built by the same builder.
She's completely restored it.
Let's swing by and see if she'll let you take a look."

A chance for Scott to see what this house could look like!
We agreed.
After pulling in the drive,
the neighbor welcomed us inside.
To our surprise,
we knew this couple from NewSpring (our church)!

What about that!?

The woman had even traveled to Africa with NewSpring!
A kindred spirit for sure!
I had already envisioned the potential for renovation.
Scott admitted he couldn't "see" what was possible.
That obstacle seemed to be overcome.
By the realtor's suggestion.
And a neighbor's willingness to open up her home.


"Let's at least take the next step before a final decision is made." Scott said on the drive home.
"We'll have a home inspector look at the house and see what kind of shape
it's really in."

Secretly, I thought it was a bit of a cruel tease.
Not that Jesus works that way.
He doesn't.
I just didn't see the point..
Jesus was clear with me.
Not now.

But I also remembered something I had also read.
Give your plans to the Lord.
And give Him move.

So I did.

The morning of the inspection came.

And I prayed.

Please be clear with us today.
Be extremely clear.
Close the door if it needs to stay closed..
If it's not what you have planned.
Be clear to both of us.

Notebook in hand.
We followed the home inspector through the hundred year old house.
I jotted down nearly every word that came out of his mouth.

"incredible house"
"great location"
"the roof is relatively new."
"you don't see detail like this anymore."

"remarkably sturdy"

"this staircase is sound."
"great bones"
"the structure is sound."
"the crawlspace is dry."
"no sign of termites."

After a four hour inspection - an unbelievably good report.

I promise.
I wasn't even gloating.
Or giving Scott "I told you so" looks.
What was the point?
Jesus was clear with me.
So, what difference does a good report make?

Ultimately, it really made no difference.

After being inside the house for most of the morning.
We walked out the back door and into the yard.

That's when I noticed.
A truck had pulled over by Scott.
And the window rolled down.

And there he was.
Our former preacher and Scott's good friend.
If my husband counted on one hand the men he most respected.
This preacher is one of them.
We hadn't seen him in over 15 months.
15 months.

And that morning.
He was driving by this hundred year old house.
On this side street near Erskine.
At just the moment.
We had walked outside.
After exchanging hellos, he said.

"What in the world are you doing in Due West?"

"We're looking at this old house," Scott replied. "But I'm just not sure I want to live this far out."

And our former preacher and friend replied.

"Man.   I love Due West!
It's a great little town.
Quaint and quiet.
I'd move here in a heart beat.
You looking at this house?
That's great!
You'd love it here."

I have no idea how he ended up at that moment.
On this street.
Which is on the Erskine Campus, but off the beaten path.
Not even one of the main roads on campus.
Just in time to spot us in the backyard.

That is.

Unless God's timing brought him there.
That's what I believe.
That's what Scott & I believe.
We both needed and asked for some indication.
Some evidence.
Of God's direction in this decision.

And out of nowhere, appeared our former preacher.

And just as surely as He told me a few weeks back.
Not now.
I can only conclude that He may have needed more time.
To speak to Scott and line up our desires.
I don't know.   I may never know.

But, it is clear what unfolded.

A peach tree.
A preacher.
And an unexpected ending.

And that ending......will be continued.

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