“No matter the deviation, all things come full circle. You begin and end your journey in the same place, but with a different set of eyes.” – Abram (Jennifer DeLucy, Seers of Light (Light, #1))
This time last year we were in the midst of a ferocious battle of closing what should have become our dream home.
We began to plan our dream wedding. Live the dream life. On the lake. With a picture perfect view.
Our plans all laid out. Exactly how WE wanted.
It was made known to us very quickly in 2014 that this was not the plan God had in store for us. No matter how hard we tried.
In February 2014 I feel fear, failure and intense anxiety as one of the last times I pull into the one kilometre lane that is to take us to our dream home. It is dusk. Darkness ensuing. It feels like our world is crumbling before us.
As I pull in the lane, I see in the distance my husband sitting in a Bobcat. Uncovered. Temperatures hovering in the -30C with windchill. The wind bites my cheeks. It sends a chill through me as I walk down the lane to summate if my husband will be able to have the snow filled, long lane cleared to the standards needed for the mortgage inspector the next day.
It doesn’t look good. It looks grim. I feel a wave of hopelessness.
I ask Steve into the car to warm up. He is covered in frost and snow.
I ask him. “How bad do you want this?”
He gives me a flicker of hope. He thinks he can have it done.
He wants this. So do I. We’ve come too far. We have entered into a committed agreement we will not fail at.
There are these beautiful pictures we have drawn in our minds and on paper over the past 3 months of how this will turn out. It has to be that way. No exception.
We kiss good bye. I ask him to keep me up to date. I drive home with the dogs in tow.
4:00 a.m. the next morning I wake with a jolt. I roll over. I reach for him. He is not there. Is he OKAY?? What has happened?
I text him. I call. We finally connect. The news is not good.
Throughout the night the snow continues to blow across the lane. With the darkness of the night it is hard for Steve to tell how far he has progressed.
As the sun breaks the horizon he is in shock. He is no where near completion. He calls on a dear friend for help. When all is said and done, the lane is cleared in time for the inspector.
Once again we believe the end is near. Our dream will finally come true.
Within a few weeks we will begin the renovations and transition to our dream home.
Fast forward to a few weeks later.
It is Thursday, March 6, 2014. I am at the Diabetes Education Centre until 9:00 pm where I work as a Registered Nurse.
The whole reason we found our dream home. The only reason why we plan on leaving our hometown.
In the past week a series of events (which I cannot share due to legal agreements) have occurred in which I’ve been waiting for a phone call telling me that despite a series of unfortunate circumstances beyond our control, we will finally close what will be the home of our dreams. Our resting place.
My cell phone rings. It is our Real Estate Agent. The tone of his voice does not give me hope that all is good. He apologizes. He is so sorry. He is informed that our dream home has been sold to someone else. The selling of our dream home is beyond our control and there is nothing we can do. We have a sense of the wrong doings of human beings that have caused this BUT there is nothing we can do to get our dream home back.
I sob uncontrollably. Our house is sold. Our dream home is gone. Our wedding plans no longer.
I am in shock.
But I’m not. There has been this whisper for sometime telling me this wasn’t going to end up the way we planned.
Going back to that cold, hopeless night at the lane something or more appropriately Someone was shaking His head. I could sense it.
I suspect He was saying to Himself:
“How many roadblocks do I have to put up before they realize this is not part of My plan for them?”
The next step was to call Steve. I have to tell him we lost ‘the Cottage’.
We need to find a home now. A home we didn’t think we would have to look or settle for.
We have three months to come up with an answer whether we purchase or rent. Our current home is piled high with boxes. It has been for two months. The thought of living out of boxes for three more months seems overwhelming and unbearable.
The next most important discussion we have after shifting gears is how committed are we to my career at the Diabetes Education Centre. It is becoming evident the two hour daily commute is taking a toll on my heath. The past year has been the most sick I have been in several years. The stress of the drive and long days does not pair well with my diabetes.
As equally important which marries with our career discussions is; what direction are we heading with Steve’s business “VERGEbuilders”. Steve’s business is growing fast on the commercial and residential side. As the year rolls on so does the work, resulting in hiring more employees. We did not anticipate the speed of growth. With that we have to decide where our residence best supports his business. We see this as critical.
At the end of a series of conversations we decide it is best to stay in our home town. We feel that is where we belong. It is hard for us to imagine moving out of the area we called home since our childhood. This is also where 2 of our 3 children live for the time being.
It isn’t a simple decision. But, at that point we know my career at the Diabetes Centre will not be long term. We don’t know what, when or how but we are hopeful another opportunity will eventually present itself. We create a long term deadline for my current career with a ‘plan’. In the meantime, I will continue to commute.
This is our plan.
Little did we know we don’t need to make any plans. It is already in the works.
We begin our search for a new home. Nothing clicks. We feel defeat & frustration. Fortunately, the purchasers of our current home agree to extend closing by two more months.
In the meantime we begin to discuss wedding options. The caterer and photographer are booked for our dream wedding in July at our dream home we no longer have. It is another dig at the wounds of losing our dream home as I cancel them.
When we originally discussed wedding plans, all I could envision is Steve and I on the beach together. I could picture the dress, the sandals, the peace, the simplicity of it all.
As time goes by, I ignore what I really want. I begin to sacrifice what I always imagine in order to accommodate to my thought of how happy others will be taking part in sharing our vows. My compromise is getting married on the lake at our dream home.
As we cross paths with our family and friends we hear comments…”Are you guys married yet?” “When are you guys getting married?”
We want to get married but not to ‘just get married’. We want it to be the right time at the right place. We also agree we won’t do it to please others. It has to be for us. Isn’t that why two people come together in matrimony?
As we search with painful disbelief for the perfect abode we discuss the options for the perfect time and place to legally become husband and wife.
It circles back to a beach far away. Just the two of us. Simple.
This decision seems the easiest to make among all the others before us. We decide to announce our intentions. Of course the ones we love give us their blessings and support.
April 2014…we spend the day with our Real Estate Agent again. We look at houses. Nothing feels right. It just doesn’t feel like home. I’m sure mostly because I’m bitter and still in disbelief.
The last house we look at is a newly built home in a subdivision development. Despite it being bright & open, the rooms are too small, the choice of decor is not what I would choose for our home. It triggers a curiosity within me that leads me to ask our Agent if we can view the model home to see what other options are available.
We arrive at the model home. We tour through it. I love it. I can picture us living in a home like this. It has big windows, an open concept and we can reconfigure it to accommodate to our needs. The only con is the 40 foot lot. With all the benefits it has and where it is located, the small lot in the city I can live with.
We talk with the Builder’s Sales Rep. There is only 1 lot left. There are others preparing to put a deposit down. We go home and grab the cheque book. The lot is ours. The Sales Rep is surprised at our timing. There were no other opportunities available for quite some time that suits our needs.
Both Steve and I have built before. I throughly enjoy the process. For Steve the process itself is a means to an end.
Knowing our current home and the closing of our new home will not coincide, I begin the search for a short term rental property that will accept our fur babies. It is no easy feat. No one wants short term tenants or fur babies.
In desperation I place an ad on Kijiji. I search on line every night. A few months go by. Then, one day I receive an email. It is a response to my search. We arrange to meet. As we finish introductions, the owner informs us we will probably not get the rental as he has people viewing the property who are interested in long term. We take a deep breathe, quickly look through the main floor of the tiny bungalow. If we can get it, it will work just fine. I am thankful the kitchen is huge compared to our current home. I have a tinge of excitement at this. We are told we will be notified either way in two days. Just the thought of being told we won’t get the rental seems to be too much right now.
Less than 12 hours later, my phone rings. It is the owner. The rental is ours! What a break!
In the meantime we decide to get married on a beach. Just the two of us. We begin to plan. It feels good to not have the burden of guest lists, decorations and agendas. We keep it simple by booking with an on line wedding agency. We decide to get married on Magen’s Bay Beach in St Thomas in May.
Despite all that happened in such a short period of time and the about face we have made with major life plans, we feel like everything is going to be ok. The day of our wedding is so perfect it seems nothing can take us down.
Throughout these changes and plans, we decide it best for me to start researching alternate career plans. With Steve’s business we decide it a consideration for me to look into a career in Real Estate. I have felt for some time I need to take a break from the world of diabetes (minus my own and my sons) and the daily two hour drive. This past winter road conditions were too much.
I consult with our Real Estate Agent to gain some insight as to whether this career choice will be a good fit. As I make my way home from work I discuss the pros and cons with him.
Then, another change in plans we are not part of.
I arrive home that same evening I am on the phone with our Real Estate Agent. I hear an email come in on my phone. I open it. It’s from an old colleague who is a Sales Rep for Bayer. We occasionally partnered when I worked for Medtronic as a Territory Manager. It has been about 1 1/2 years since we have been in contact. It was at that time I went through an interview process with Bayer. In the end, after four interviews it was between me and one other person. They chose to hire the other person.
In my Colleagues email she introduces the fact the person that was chosen over me that previously represented the territory which is small and close to home resigned. She asks if I’d be interested in applying for the position once again. It is Medical Sales in the Diabetes Division.
I give Steve a brief summary of the conversation I had earlier in the evening with our Real Estate Agent.
All of a sudden we have two career opportunities presented in one day that permit me to shorten my commute time and balance my personal and work life.
We decide that the pros of going back into Medical sales is way too good of an opportunity to pass up. I keep trying to escape from the professional world of diabetes but I see it is also not part of the plan for me. I apply and am subsequently offered the position. My role as an Diabetes Educator to Health Care Professionals seems to be a big part of the plan in my life.
In a matter of a few weeks in May, I am offered a new job, I resign from my position as a Diabetes Educator, we begin the process of building a home and we fly off to the Carribean to be married.
We return from our wedding/honeymoon starting my new job.
It all sounds like it’s coming full circle, doesn’t it?
In all of these plans that have came before us there comes another ‘glitch’.
With my new career comes a probation period. My probation will not end before we need to close the house. It will impact the type of mortgage and down payment required.
I stress over how to get around this. I approach the sales rep for the Builder. I ask if we can extend the closing. It has been extended three times already by the Builder. We are only one month difference between closing and my probation ending. No deal. The closing date will stay as is.
I throw my hands in the air. Once again I have no control. I have to pray and trust that what will be, will be. I put an alert out to our families. We need a lot of prayer that somehow the closing date will be extended.
Two weeks prior to the closing date a miracle happens. I can’t disclose the events which unfold due to a waiver I signed with the Builder. What I can say is despite the stress of what occurs next, which in the very moment of realization feels like another broken shoelace, comes the answer to our prayers. It takes a few months for me to understand this is in fact an answer to prayer. In the first 4-5 weeks it looks like our world has fallen apart again. So much so we begin to look at options of where to live.
As a result of these circumstances our closing date is extended two weeks past the end of my probation.
Amongst all of this we also experience a dramatic shift in two of our children’s lives. One moving to Edmonton, Alberta and one to Wellington, New Zealand.
So here it is, after all is said and done. In 2014 there are many major deviations in our plans. Most times we can’t make sense of why.
The stress, sadness and changes are unbearable at times.
Regardless of the changes of events from our original plans at the end of 2013 and into the beginning of 2014, the outcomes stay pretty much the same.
We are married. I began a new career, shortening my commute time. In a few days we will take possession of our beautiful home in our hometown. Steve’s business is flourishing.
Besides the plans, how did our view of these events occurring in 2014 change our point of view?
1. Our faith. God has the right plans for us.
2. Our acceptance that we do not have the control in our lives we think we do.
3. We don’t always have our own best interest at heart even though we may think we do.
4. Understanding. When a situation occurs, the outcome will be what is meant to be even if we don’t see it yet.
5. To see that in the end of every journey, every circumstance, big or small, there is a lesson that will help us see with a much needed different set of eyes.
To bid 2014 adieu, we stand in the Andes Mountains at an elevation of 15,100 feet.
I try to absorb the grandiosity of what my eyes see and the complexity of what happened in 2014. In these moments I try to realize that I will always have the ground under my feet, the sky above me, water abounding, food on my table, a roof over my head and people that love me.
Here’s to seeing 2015 with a new set of eyes and having the faith to allow the plans that are in the works for this year be according to His will, not mine.