Jul 8, 2010

For sale by agent

Today we hired a real estate agent to sell our house.

After deliberate and prayerful consideration, we know this is the right choice. We are at peace, even though our story does not yet have a happy ending.

It is very likely that by hiring an agent, we will lose every penny of equity we have in the house. It is very likely that we won't have enough money to move all of our belongings to Arizona and have enough left to put down on a new house. It is very likely that our family of six will move in with my parents until we can save enough for another down payment. It is very likely that the kids and I won't go back to Colorado, that the boys will attend school here in August, and that they will have to transfer schools when we eventually buy a house.

This isn't the way we thought things would happen. In fact, nearly everything has gone contrary to our plan. Making this move (or rather taking steps toward this move) has been a huge test of faith for us. On paper, none of this makes sense, and yet we are strengthened and comforted by the knowledge that we are doing what our Father in Heaven has asked of us. We don't understand why the way has been so hard, or why promised blessings have been delayed, but we know that in the end, things will work together for our good.

In January 1995, Dallin H. Oaks gave a BYU devotional address called "Adversity." Today I read the talk and highlighted several portions, including these phrases:

"The gift of moral agency empowers each of us to choose how we will act when we suffer adversity."

"Like the mortal life of which they are a part, adversities are temporary. What is permanent is what we become by the way we react to them."

"Our adversities can be the means of obtaining blessings unobtainable without them."

"I am sure that the skills and discipline and soul-power that result from overcoming the challenge of material shortages open the door for extraordinary blessings."

These statements give me courage when I am afraid of the unknown. They give me strength to face our financial challenges. They help me better understand how my current trials can be spiritually refining and lift me to a higher plane. These words help me see my struggles with new eyes and appreciate the blessings that are unfolding in spite of my unrealized expectations.

I think that one day I'll look back on this season of my life and marvel -- not only at the challenges, but at the growth and the blessings. Life is good.
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