Moving and Mourning

12th st exterior

I had a really hard time with the decision to sell our house. Like most major decisions, I dug my heels in and wondered why the heck my husband wanted to move things along so quickly. And then I made a list. The usual pro/con list, but also a list of all my fears. It didn’t necessarily make them go away, but having them on paper allowed me to pray through them, process through them, and accept that they were there. They were real, and that was ok. That gave me enough peace to trust my husband (who is really knowledgable about things like this) and move ahead in the process.

When it came to actually accepting an offer, I felt a bit nauseous…We were ACTUALLY selling our first house. The house that I LOVE. And we had no idea where we were going. At some point in the process of reviewing offers, my husband told the realtor that we felt it was our responsibility to our neighborhood to pick a good buyer, someone who would fit in well and be a good neighbor. As soon as he said that, it was like something clicked and I realized I was ready to sell. Much like when I left my job, it felt like God was calling me into a new season—and He would call someone else to step into my place. I had really struggled with leaving the neighborhood, since I felt God placing a call on my heart over the past year to see my neighborhood as a ministry opportunity. Moving didn’t seem to fit in with that calling. But all of a sudden it was clear—I had done my part, and now it was someone else’s turn. So we picked a wonderful family who we think will really fit in well with the neighbors. Peace.

That was over two months ago, and now moving week is finally here. You would have no idea if you came over to our house (well, other than the piles of empty boxes that are beginning to accumulate). I know I should be packing, but I also know that I need time to grieve.

I am not a person who enjoys change. It doesn’t help that I get attached to things very quickly. It’s why I can’t read fiction and why I dread the end of TV series. It’s also why I almost cried when our friends sold their house last year (because “that was the kitchen where I first met Laszlo!!”). When we first bought this house, we waited until the night before it closed to pack up our apartment because we were so nervous that something would fall through. Since we were only about half packed when the movers showed up (aka my husband and in-laws), I figured I would run a quick errand and then come back and slowly box up the rest of our things. I severely underestimated their efficiency, and when I returned the place was empty. It was like ripping off a band-aid and I hated it. It was our home one minute, and then a few hours later nothing was left.

We, of course, quickly came to love our new house, and once the boxes were unpacked I forgot all about the apartment (until the plumbing problems started, when we quickly asked ourselves why we ever moved and expressed our love and devotion for our apartment complex’s maintenance men). I know that same thing will happen with this move. But I’m not there yet.

I’m still sitting in the house I love, questioning our decision (luckily for my husband it is too late for me to change my mind, as both house sales have already closed). Because I love our neighborhood. I love being able to pop by my friend’s house when I need to borrow something or just get out of the house. I love being able to walk to the post office, the library, the coffee shop—and the beach! This is the only house my son has ever known—it’s where we brought him home when he was only 8 hours old. I will miss the downtown concerts, the tire swing, the camaraderie with the neighbors and like-minded downtowners. But everyone tells me I will love my new neighborhood too—the retirees, the sidewalks, the parks, the bigger house, the mountain in our backyard. It’s the first house that my son will remember, and he will have so much fun playing in the giant backyard, hiking the nearby trails, and riding his bike to the park. I am sure they are right. And hey, if they’re not, we’re only a few miles up the street!

I haven’t started packing because I know that as soon as I do, things will never go back to how they were. Our house will no longer feel like our home once the pictures are off the walls, the cabinets are emptied, and the closets bare. But at this point it’s no longer feeling like our house with the mountain of boxes looming over my shoulder…so I guess I should just start packing!


Don’t let this post fool you— I am actually VERY excited about our new house. I just wish I could have it all! I don’t regret our decision, and I am still very thankful for my husband who has the foresight to think about (and gently encourage me to do) these things. I can’t wait to tell you all about our new house and how much I am loving it once we move in. But for now, just like when we first decided to sell, I needed to sit down and write about these fears and feelings. Because for some reason having them on paper makes them less scary and pushes me to move forward.

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