Movement {How We Got Here, Part Five}

On Friday we signed a lease for a new place to live. We’ll be moving soon, a process that has been a long and winding road. Here’s the story of how it happened. Read Part One here , Part Two here, Part Three here and Part Four here.

A friend who had been keeping her eyes open for properties directed me to one in an area of the city that seemed perfect.

Besides that, it was the first floor of a farmhouse with a big porch. The rent was in our range and included some utilities. The school district was good. It was close to Phil’s work and the church we planned to attend.

We didn’t meet the income guidelines but I was honest about that up front and hoped they’d have mercy when they saw our good credit and rental history.

Phil picked up the keys on a Friday after work and checked the place out. He took measurements and mental notes. It wasn’t perfect, but it was as close to perfect as we’d come so far.

He brought home an application, which we turned in the following Wednesday. It was now the end of May, and I was starting to freak out. What if we didn’t move this summer? Did I want to pull our daughter out of school mid-year to move?

After we turned in the application, we looked at another house to rent. It was nice. But the location wasn’t great, and the city was starting a massive yearlong construction project in the area. Truthfully, my hopes were pinned on the farmhouse I’d only seen in pictures. In my mind, nothing else compared.

My husband left for a few days for a denominational conference. While he was gone, I researched the utilities on the other house and tried to figure out the impact this construction project would have on the property.

On Friday afternoon, before Phil got home, I got the call from the agency managing the farmhouse property. They’d considered four applications, including ours, and chose someone else. But they would keep our application on file.

I was crushed.

That weekend, Phil and I also decided that the other house we looked at just wouldn’t be a good fit for our family. It felt like we were tossing aside something “okay” or “good enough” while we waited for the best. We were a little scared that we were making the wrong decision and that we were passing up our last chance to move.

Stock Exchange

Stock Exchange

We chose to trust.

Phil went back to work the next week, now the first week of June, and I went back to searching for places to live. Phil was offered another promotion–one we didn’t expect and certainly not so soon. With it came a significant pay increase, which I hoped would literally open doors in our housing search.

He doesn't have to wear a bow tie; he chooses to. And I think he wears it well.

He doesn’t have to wear a bow tie; he chooses to. And I think he wears it well.

By the first Friday in June, I still wasn’t excited about any of the places I’d found online. I went back to the site where the farmhouse was listed, since we already had an application in with them, and found the farmhouse still among the listings.

I took a chance and e-mailed the company, asking if it was still available. I told them about my husband’s raise and wondered if we could still be considered for it, if it was on the market. It was, indeed, still on the market, and we could look at it again, if we wanted, and they would update our application if I could prove my husband’s pay increase.

I set up an appointment for Monday, Phil’s day off, so we could all go see it. We were heading that way to see another apartment that day as well, but everything else faded in my mind. The farmhouse was still available! And Phil had gotten a raise!

In the meantime, I contacted Phil’s boss for a letter verifying his increase, since his paystubs wouldn’t show it yet. She worked with me to have something in hand by the end of the day.

Hope was rising.

Could this be it? The break we’d been waiting for?

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