It was no secret that I had no desire to indulge Bill and free him of his commuting woes. It took me a while to realize that yes; driving 4 hours both ways in an unreliable, twelve year old vehicle, then boarding an aircraft to hopefully get to his base airport on time to make his actual work flight might be a little taxing. But, this guy of mine; he’s a patient one. Sure, he dropped a hint every once in a while, but he never pushed. He also never complained.
He understood how much I loved my job and how happy the kids were at our church and their school. We were settled, and we had a support system of friends in place that helped keep me afloat while he traveled.
It’s ever fascinating how God can grab a hold of you and basically shake your shoulders to get your attention when you just don’t want to listen. I firmly believe that God’s timing is always perfect, and I’m beginning to think that He gives us a window of time to dive in when He’s already equipped us and basically mapped out our path. I can look back and remember the precise moment that He cracked the window, but I had no intention of even catching a whiff of that fresh air. And did I ever pay for it…
So here’s how this all went down. God made it very clear to me in January of 2017 (if I’m being honest, He spoke to me loudly the November before) that I was to move on from my job. This was the most grueling, painful, stressful, depressing and confusing time of my life. It left both Bill and I in a rather difficult place considering I worked at our church that we loved and had all sacrificed for over the past two years. Given the circumstances, it was hard for me to be there. It was also hard to NOT be there because everyone I loved and adored was there, and our children had no idea of the pain I was experiencing from resigning.
My life had completely changed in a matter of minutes and I was lost and broken. I had managed to avoid thinking about the possibility of leaving my job (and essentially my church home) for almost three months and now I was completely emotionally unprepared. That’s how I paid for it.
For approximately the next five months, I was aimless. Completely adrift in this set-up that I had so firmly tried to keep. Still no desire to move, and yet no desire to stay. Evidently Bill was God’s willing and most strategic vessel because would you believe he never once pushed? He may have thrown a house or two for sale my way, but never do I recall feeling pressured or pushed. He was unusually in tune with how to best handle my time of grief. He was exceptionally patient.
June rolls around which is serendipitously right about when I am usually at my wits end with Bill’s travel and work schedule and the inability to produce any sense of routine within the household. It’s also when his family vacations at a beach where, quite frankly, I’m just not a big fan. We’ve come to realize that given the timing of it all, it’s a good opportunity for mama to recharge. So the plan, at first, was for me to meet a friend in Atlanta for a few days to just hang out, shop, spa, eat… girl things. Then he kinda threw in there; “Hey, you guys should just go check out some areas on the south side of Atlanta while you’re there.”
At this point, I was so numb to anything and everything that no, that was not something I really cared to do, but I’m all just, “Ok. Whatever.” My friend had talked about going to look at houses just for fun and I would have totally humored her in that, but I had no intentions of talking with a realtor, or looking at potential living situations for the Fox family. At all.
As it turned out, my friend couldn’t come. So I headed to Atlanta on my own ready to soak up some nice and well needed “me” time. Bill asked me very nicely and patiently to just hang out in “these three areas of town.” He asked that I just hang out, go to the Target, get a coffee at the Starbucks in each area and drive around a little. Simply get a feel for these areas. Well, I can do Target and Starbucks. Right?
I spent the first two days marking two of the areas off my list. It was raining, and I was not feeling either place or enjoying this process at all. I knew instantly they weren’t where we were to plant ourselves. I checked out the highest ranking schools in the area and drove by those, then drove around in neighborhoods near those schools. Check and check. Done and done. No and nope nope nope.
The next to last day, I headed to Fayetteville. I looked up the schools and figured out about where I needed to be then looked on Zillow and the listing for this little farmhouse popped up. I nearly died. I immediately texted Bill the listing and he responded with, “You’re kidding right? I showed you that listing a LONG time ago!” Well, guess what… I didn’t look. I had zero interest at that point and had no recollection. So basically I disregarded his response and said, “So this is the house. I’m gonna go check out the school situations but I’m pretty sure this is it.” I’m sure you can picture what his response was in all of the gifs that we all know and love. But again, God had a hold of Bill at this point and I’m not even sure he knew it. He knew exactly how to handle me. I was ready to go call the realtor on the sign and make an offer. His response; “Amy, go drive by the house (nope, I hadn’t at this point) and we’ll go from there.”
So I drove by. Then I drove less than a mile down the road to find the most attractive elementary school and high school right beside it. Then that gps turned me around the other direction to find a great looking middle school less than a half a mile from there. I was done. And I told Bill. I honestly think I texted him and said, “I’m home. Let’s do this. Make an offer.”
Now, remember at this point I had said that I didn’t want to deal with realtors. And would you believe that Bill remembered that!?! He said, “Do you want me to call the realtor that my friend recommended and see if she can show it to you?” Um yes. Yes I do. She called within an hour and she was AMAZING. I instantly felt completely comfortable and like she was the perfect fit. We set up an appointment to see the house the next morning. And basically folks… that’s all she wrote. I didn’t need to see anymore. She brought other listings to check out and she eliminated most all of them right away. She knew that it was pointless… I’d found my house. I’d found my home. I’d found myself again. Thinking about how I felt mentally and physically in that moment brings tears to my eyes. I had been wandering emotionally and mentally for so long and it was all over in a matter of 15 minutes or less. Because God. God finally took me by the shoulders and made me listen. He was done fighting with me. He was no longer willing to watch me linger. He had plans for me; for us all. And it was time to get to work.
Take a look at this Fallow Farmhouse on the day I chose it.