How to Know When It's Time to Move

“Should I love it?” I asked my realtor during one of the many conversations we had while driving around looking for our new home. 

“Well . . . there is no perfect house,” she said, trying to manage my expectations. Thirty walk-throughs later, I agreed. Not only was there no perfect house, there were also dozens of IMperfect houses. 

One had chartreuse bathroom tile. 
Another had pet pee pads strategically placed in all the rooms. 
Yet another had wall sconces and a chandelier in the master bedroom. 
Several had water damage from the 1,000-year flood that devastated our area six months ago. 
Many had drafty windows, old kitchens, and boxy rooms. 

I began to grow discouraged. And weary. 

Our old home
 For 29 years, my husband and I lived at 1806 Edgemore Road. We loved our little house—the home where we raised two children, two dogs, and a lovebird. We loved our location (close to David’s aging mother), our neighbors (fellow homeschoolers and walking buddies), and our house payment (low enough to pay off before the girls went to college). 

Little by little we made improvements. We installed replacement windows, an updated kitchen, and a new HVAC unit. We redid the bathrooms, stripped old wallpaper from the hallway, and painted the walls the color of a soft grey kitten. 

Then David’s mom passed away. Some of our closest neighbors did too. Their homes became rental houses with loud and difficult tenants. A family two blocks away returned home to interrupt a robbery. Gang members shot through the front window four houses down. 

We knew it was time to move, but we hated to leave our home. 

Sharpie marker lines in the laundry room doorway recorded our daughters’ growth spurts. Yellow lantana grew atop our first-born dog’s backyard grave. My father’s carpentry enhanced our den, kitchen, and backyard shed. My grandmother’s peony plant sprouted annually in the front flowerbed. 

The walls stood as silent witnesses to birthday parties, Bible studies, and backyard barbecues. They held memories of profound sadness and exuberant joy. They filtered decades of prayers for safety, provision, and protection, and stood as silent sentinels guarding our little family for almost three decades. 

But, like God uprooted Abraham, the Lord also told us to go. "Leave your county, your neighbors, and your father's carpentry, and go to the land I will show you” (Lori Hatcher version of Genesis 12:1). 

This is the conversation I had with the Lord one morning: 

Good morning, Lord, Thank you for providing for me and my family. You are wise, and good, and generous. Because you’ve led us to move, I believe you’ll also lead us to the home you want us to have. I trust you. 

But I also know that you tell us in James 4:3, “You don’t have because you don’t ask. So I’d like to share a few features I’d really like our home to have. 

Here goes: 

1. A neighborhood where I can walk safely 
2. . . . close to our daughter, son-in-law, and grandbabies 
3. A pretty kitchen (I spend a lot of time there.) 
4. Lots of windows (Remember, I’m solar powered.) 
5. Enough space to extend hospitality 

And Lord, my husband doesn’t ask for much, but he’d really like a smaller yard to mow. 

Our new home
I wish I could share all the details of how God answered my prayer. Suffice it to say that God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us . . .” (Eph. 3:20). 

He led us to a sweet little house in a safe neighborhood only 12 minutes away from the grandbabies. The kitchen is lovely, there are so many windows I’m having trouble placing furniture, and the floor plan is perfect for inviting people in. And the yard is half the size of our old one (That’s for you, hubby.). 

This experience has taught me seven principles for navigating change: 

1. Don’t be afraid. 
2. Trust God to lead, guide, and provide for every step he leads you to take. 
3. Share your hopes and dreams with him. 
 4. Ask humbly. 
5. Be prepared to accept yes, no, or have you considered this
6. Seek first the kingdom of God 
7. Trust that everything else will fall into place (Mat. 6:33). 

 What about you? Do you sense God may be calling you to somewhere different? Remember that God’s call to Go takes many forms. He might want you to move to the next town, like we did, or maybe he wants you to change jobs. Or minister outside your comfort zone. Or take the first step toward repairing a broken relationship. Or go beyond your “only what we can afford” approach to financial giving. Don't be afraid to say yes when God says, "Go."

One final observation—we discovered that our real estate agent was right—there are no perfect houses. There are, however, plenty of “good and perfect gifts” from the Lord to bring us joy.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this lovely post!

    1. My pleasure :) thanks for stopping by!

  2. Lori, Moving has to be a challenge--finding the right place, not to mention all the sorting and decision making. Congratulations on your new home!



    1. Yup, it's been challenging but also very freeing. How often do you get to make a brand new start? After 29 years of living in our old home, we had accumulated some possessions we just don't need any more. It was really fun to give them away to people who needed them. Kinda like Christmas in March :)

  3. Lori, I can so relate. We are in the process of preparing our hundred year-old home for the market. We sense God is moving us 45 minutes - 1 hour away from everyone and everything we know...except for our son/daughter-in-law/two grandchildren who will be only minutes away. :) We always wanted to retire near the mountains but because my hubster still has several years before retirement we agreed to move to the SC foothills, where we can at least see them and have a sense of living close by. To stay in our comfort zone at this point almost feels like it would be disobedient. We look forward to seeing how God opens and closes the doors in the coming months! Thanks for sharing your journey.

    1. Oh Cathy,
      I'm so excited for you! There's a lot of work ahead of you, but the joy of following the Lord's leading will be worth it all. We know now that God ordained the circumstances of our move to bless us in ways we never imagined. I can't wait to hear the next chapter of your story. Keep me posted!