If you’ve already read my previous post, you know how much I’m enjoying my new house and town near the beach. It’s been an incredibly positive, life-changing move, for which I’m immensely grateful.
What I didn’t mention in that post, however, was how this dream-come-true move was almost a nightmare — and how avoiding it strengthened my faith and taught me a lesson I’ll never forget.
The dodging of the proverbial bullet came exactly one year before we actually moved: December 23, 2014. After months of fruitlessly searching for our dream house on the Oregon coast, my wife and I found one that looked perfect — a well-kept house mere blocks from the beach in a nice town (or so we thought, based on the pictures and descriptions). It seemed so appealing that we were willing to put down a deposit, sight-unseen. After all, visiting would require a multi-day trip; and the housing market was so competitive that if we didn’t act right away, someone else might snatch it away from us.
So we filled out the forms and were just about to sign off on the place, when we thought of one final question: Would they hold the house for us for just a few days? After all, the next day was Christmas Eve, and we didn’t want to be buried in moving paperwork over the holidays.
But the realtor wouldn’t budge. They told us that, of course, we had the option of waiting until after the holidays; but by then someone else might swoop in and take the house. That’s what we decided to do, and that’s exactly what happened.
At first, I was crestfallen. After a few more months of renewed fruitless searching, I felt devastated. A few months later, when a major building project turned our backyard into a construction site, I began to doubt myself, my judgment, and the universe. (Yes, I can be a bit melodramatic; but being awakened at the crack of dawn by bulldozers 20 feet from my bedroom window wasn’t exactly helping the situation.)
Anyway, with some encouragement from my wife and the Abraham-Hicks teachings, I eventually mustered up enough hopefulness to make an early Christmas wish: I wanted to spend Christmas on the beach, minutes from our beautiful, new house (wherever that might be). Again, if you’ve read my previous post (or even this post’s first-paragraph spoiler), you’ll know that my wish came true.
But that’s just half of the magic.
The other half came after we’d been living in this new house for a month — when we decided to take a day trip to the nearby town where we almost moved to and check out the house that was almost ours.
Although I’ve never tried internet dating, I’ve heard horror stories about people using decades’-old pictures in their profiles, misrepresenting themselves, or just flat-out lying to make themselves seem more attractive. Well, this house (and neighborhood and town) was the real-estate equivalent.
The house itself was an absolute dump. The paint was chipping; the lawn was covered with scraggly, overgrown weeds; and it had absolutely no privacy — being situated just a few feet from every house it bordered (a detail that was not apparent from the conveniently angled online photos.) Overall, it looked like it had been in foreclosure for years, as did most of the houses in the sketchy-looking neighborhood.
The town itself was even worse. (The Subway sandwich shop was literally the highlight.) The energy of the whole area felt so bad — so not us — that we cut short what was going to be an all-day excursion and high-tailed it out of there as fast as we could turn the car around…giving thanks all the while for having dodged this bullet of a would-be move.
It was amazing to think that we were a signature away from being stuck with this place. It was also amazing to think that the house we’d ended up in — exactly what we’d wished for in every respect (the house, the neighborhood, and the town) — cost the exact same amount!
In addition to my gratitude for a crisis (or at least a serious bummer) avoided, I also received a life-changing lesson, one which I’ll never forget. As I looked at the lemon of a house that was almost mine (no disrespect to lemons), I heard a voice from within me say four words:
I’ve got your back.
I reflected on those words and on how the universe had conspired to steer me away from this not-right-for-me situation. I thought about all the times in the past year when I’d second-guessed myself, when I’d lost faith. I thought about how the year-long delay had been such a tremendous blessing. (In retrospect, there was no WAY we could have comfortably moved earlier: my wife was hit by a severe case of adrenal fatigue, we were launching our first collaborative book, and we simply weren’t ready.) And I thought about what an absolutely ideal situation we’d ended up in…especially compared to what could have been…and almost was! And I knew I would never doubt it again: the universe really did — and does — have my back.
And it always will.