It's official. We are in our new digs at 106 Jefferson Avenue.
Whew - eeee! This move may have taken some years off my life. The relief of the closing hit me the second we placed our pens on the lawyer's table after the final signature. My body went into immediate jelly mode -- without even asking for permission. My limbs hung heavy and my insides were kind of mushing around out of place. Unfortunately -- or fortunately, depending on how you look at it -- I didn't have time to concede to the demands, "Let's curl up on the floor here and sleep for 48 hours!" "Let's go behind that tree over there and throw up!" "Let's take this money and fly to St. Bart's and never come back!"
No, sadly I could do none of those things. Instead, Brian and I drove straight to the bank and deposited the proceeds of the sale. We walked into the bank and yelled across the lobby to the two tellers (looking quite anxious to get on with their holiday weekend), "Can you help us with this?!? We've got a big lump of money and we need help!" (to all my Financial Peace friends out there -- our debt snowball is barrelling down the hill now...yay, God!) Then we drove the very short drive(!) to our new house. We pulled in the narrow cement drive -- past two of our moving heroes waiting for us on the front steps -- and another wave of relief just about drowned me. "It's ours. It's done. Good Lord, we've got sooo much work to do!"
Barely out of the car, another hero walked up the driveway toward us (this one was of the 6'8" variety wearing a black t-shirt with white lettering, "Yes...I AM tall.") And one by one (and sometimes two by two) more heroes and heroines arrived. Later, in bed trying to unwind from the day, Brian couldn't avoid animal metaphors when describing these people. As in - "That guy is a horse!" and "Every room I walked into looked like a bee hive...people buzzing around moving and unpacking boxes and setting up beds and..." [fun trivia: at one time 13 people stood in our master bedroom putting the bedframe together and deciding how to place the furniture!]
If I used a metaphor it would be angels. The warring kind. For I knew from the two men sitting on our front steps when we arrived to the last weary guy leaving, tool box in hand, these people were working, praising and praying. Sometimes out loud, sometimes in a passing comment to another person and, I suspect, sometimes in silent whispers. Through an ironic series of events, we know some of this house's history and it is a sad one. We also know that other believers tried to buy it a few years back and were thwarted. We know that we had to literally pray against the gates of hell to get into this house (for example, my friend Coleen who drove here after church a couple of Sundays ago and stood, praying, in front of the vacant house).
When we stopped working to eat dinner (another gift from these horse-bee-angel-people), the 25ish people stood in a large circle around the dining room (yes, it's a huge room) and prayed. The from-the-toes-we-belong-to-Jesus-and-we're-taking authority kind of prayers. Brian remembers exact phrases; I was too overwhelmed by the Spirit to remember exact words (plus I was frantically trying to capture the images on my puny cell phone camera). I do remember my friend Neil's (of the 6'8" variety) prayer, "God, thank you. This is what the church should be and this is what the Church is."
Amen. Laying all metaphors aside, I am forever grateful for my brothers and sisters. The ones who got on their hands and knees cleaning out our last house. The ones who risked physical injury moving annoying pieces of furniture like pianos and king sized mattresses and my underwear drawers. The ones who took our family in for lovely, relaxing, yummy dinners. The ones who treated our circumstances as prayer priorities. The ones who believed for us when we just were too tired to think about it anymore. The ones who boldly declared that our move to this neighborhood was about bringing light to darkness when I was too afraid to admit it. The family that let us live with them for 48 hours and not only that, but lived true to their Italian heritage and fed us night and day with amazing foods and fancies. The ones who pitched in on a surprise houswarming gift -- Brian's dream grill. And all the horse-bee-angel people of Friday night.
May God never allow us to take for granted our "moving to Endicott" story. May He grace and quicken us to live out His purposes here.
With the Story in mind, I know that the events of last night are not a coincidence. I will have to tell it in another post. For now, know that it involves our rascally Jack Russell, sobbing children and the Endicott police station.
the crew who showed up Sunday afternoon to break in the new grill