"The family is withdrawing their offer," she said.
What? That can't be!
We proceeded to talk. My mind was racing as the facts came forth about the appraisal and the VA loan and a structural engineer. I assured her that we were willing to work with them no matter what. She told me she would talk to them right away and assure them that we still wanted to work with them even if it involved some repairs.
We were leaving for Arkansas the next morning to with business partners, theater owners, rental home owners. . .this could not happen, not now. We went to bed, woke up the next morning and proceeded on as we had planned. Mimi and Pappy came to get the kids and Michael and I left for Arkansas.
We were halfway there when the realtor called and said, "They are withdrawing their offer and making an offer on another house."
My heart stopped.
No way is this happening. We are only 3 hours away from signing leases, agreements, contracts. No way is this happening. We are supposed to be closing on my birthday, one week from today.
To say I was stunned would be an understatement.
After Michael hung up with the realtor, we just sat there, not having a clue as to what to say or to do. I literally felt the fringe on my feet as the rug was pulled our from under us.
Oh, God. What are we supposed to do? Oh, God, help us. What are You doing to us? What exactly is it that are You doing to us?
We continued on as planned to Arkansas. I mean, we were halfway there, everyone was expecting us. The kids were at Mimi's. We had already reserved a room in Mountain View. We had appointents lined up for 2 days, there was no turning back now. We were committed to at least meeting with everyone just as we had said. We sat in the parking lot waiting for the future theater owners (Dane and Heather) to arrive. I asked Michael to pray as we sat in silence, and he did. We met with Dane and Heather. They were wonderful hosts as they showed us around the town, the gorgeous White River, the town square complete with live music (and a close-by fudge shop), parks, restaurants, and more. We went along for the ride not having a clue as to what we were going to do. After dinner we went to our room and just sat in awe of the entire situation. We were devastated. We were really close to the town square, so we decided to go for a walk. As we turned down Main street, we were walking past a clothes store.
"Look, babe," Michael said.
I turned, and there in the window was a shirt that looked as it it were hung up specifically for Michael and me.
"Rachel, I was praying for you and your family today in church, and the Lord gave me an image of an anchor. Rachel, God is not going to leave you flailing around at the sea. He is your anchor."
The Bible verse on the t-shirt is from Hebrews. It said:
"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil. . ." Hebrews 6:19
That night, we talked about what we would say to everyone in the morning. We had not yet said anything about the house falling through. Michael said we would talk to them in the morning about it. We were going to sign contracts, but now we needed to pray and wait and see what God wanted us to do. I woke up at 1:39 a.m. with knots in my stomach. I turned the corner to go into the living area where Michael already was. He was praying. I sat down on the other chair, picked up my Bible and numbly read whatever I could find. Nothing was sinking in. I might as well been reading a Southern Living magazine. I could not process any verses or their truths. We sat there and talked, prayed and cried until 4:00 a.m.
The next morning, we walked to the square and were the first people at the coffee shop. The barista was putting his apron on. We sat down, ordered coffee, and told him our entire story. He was a Christian and encouraged us with his own life story and how God had worked with Him in broken circumstances. We continued on from there and met with the former entertainer from the theater. She was precious and was really hopeful that we would come and entertain in the beloved Mountain View theater. Then it was time to look at the beautiful rental home (which had a great view), then on to lunch with Dane and Heather where we would have to tell them that we were not sure anymore.
With tears streaming down my face, Michael told them that up until the day before, we were all in. He told them our house had not sold, and that we were not certain of anything with any of this. . .anymore. The tears continued to fall, down my face and onto my salad plate. Then, I just put my head down on the table.
When I brought it back up I said, "I'm just broken. That is all I can say. Broken."
All was quiet.
"You guys take a week, think it over, pray about it. We are not going anywhere. Let's just see what the Lord wants us to do," they told us. And with that, Heather reached into her purse and handed me a gift.
I am going to get to that part of my story. And it will amaze you all what the Lord showed me that day, and how He sent me a raft 16 months later. And here He was again, reassuring me that in spite of the waves that seemed to overtake me, He is sending the Raft. No doubt about it.
This is my story. . .