Well, a bit of news from us: we're moving in three days.
Yeah, bit of a shock for us too. We haven't got any choice. Landlord phoned the woman at work who deals with rentals etc and told her that he was planning to demolish the building. Can't argue with that really can you? We're at the end of our tenancy agreement anyway but three weeks' notice isn't really the ideal amount.
So, that was a week last Friday. We immediately set about praying first of all. Nothing happens that God does not allow. We knew that this was "meant to be." Couldn't do anything until Monday but we hit the estate agents big time then. Saw a ton of places on Monday some we liked a bit and many that we wouldn't house a dog in. Seemed prices had risen since we'd last had to look. We upped our budget.
Tuesday we were out to see an agent that work had set up for us. Their office was locked. A nearby agent turned out to be full of promises which she couldn't fulfil culminating in showing us something that looked like it was in North Korea, not the South. And then it started to rain on us. The next agent kept us waiting while he finished his game of "go" on his pc. Then all six properties he had in his database drew blanks as they'd all gone already. The final agent took us up the road to a moldy hovel he swore went for what I get paid every month. Not likely mate. And we stumbled home through the drizzle, disheartened, discouraged and devoid of hope.
Thursday was our next opportunity and early in the day we saw a great place. We looked at a couple more (including one agent who showed us the nice place again) before contacting the first agent and asking him to get the ball rolling on the one we'd liked. He was having trouble contacting the landlord, he said, and he'd email us in the evening. We went home confident we'd found what we wanted.
The email we eventually received though was disappointing. Apparently, the house had been signed to someone else just as we'd been trying to call the landlord and that was why we hadn't been able to get hold of him. When the email came in, I was disappointed naturally but I knew that God had good reason for letting this happen. I had no idea what it was but I trusted Him. I actually prayed that God would bless whoever moved in. Sheena took it slightly harder. Very frustrated with herself for prevaricating and not making a decision while we'd viewed it, she was hard to console. If the property had meant too much to us, it was a good thing that He had taken it away. I assured her that God knew what he was doing.
And boy did he...
Friday and we hit the streets with renewed hope. Surely we'd find something to replace our loss. The first three agents couldn't show us anything that suited us. There was at least one major thing wrong with everything we saw. Finally, on emerging from a particularly unenthusiastic agent, we met a woman in the street. She explained that she worked for an agency we'd tried the door of. She apologised that it had been locked and led us inside. Twenty minutes later, we were on our way to view a property.
This one was in the same area as the one we'd really liked. In fact, it turned out to be on the very same street. Finally, it turned out to be the very same flat. We looked puzzled and questioned whether it was still available. Of course, we were told, the landlord just told her to show us it. Beside ourselves, we told her we'd take it and we headed back to the office. On the way, we tried to contain our delight at finding it still available. We tried to prepare ourselves for disappointment again.
Having called the landlord and got him on his way to the office, we were told some less than pleasing news. They were asking 20% more than we'd been told it was going for. Convinced this was a typical trick, we wanted to leave the negotiating to the agent. The landlord came and brought his wife. It was her who insisted on the extra money. He was ambivalent. We held our ground simply and humbling insisting that we could not afford the extra. As it was we were almost at double our current rent with this new property.
The discussion went back and forth for nearly 30 mins. Suddenly, with no indication, the landlady suddenly capitulated and agreed on the original price. We were overjoyed although we tried to keep our poker faces. It turned out that the landlady had initially been skeptical of our characters but, during the discussion, she said, she'd discovered that we were "warm-hearted."
It took about half an hour more to do all the paperwork. Within a minute of signing everything over, she got a phone call. It was another agent asking whether the property was available. The prospective tenant was willing to offer her more money. Should have seen her face! But I think, in the end, she was happy. We were beside ourselves.
I guess the moral of this tale is that God does know exactly what you want but that His timing and plan is perfect, no matter what we might think. We went through the difficult process of giving that property up on Thursday night. 24 hours later, He gave it right back to us and I'm sure it was because He saw that we were willing to let it go and settle for something else. I wonder what he has in store for us over the next year in living there.