A Story of Refinement…
September 30, 2017 By: Cassie
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:1 6-7
Have you ever been through The Refiners Fire?
You know what I mean right? When you are put through a trial that you really don’t like, in order for it to reveal the ugly impurities that you didn’t even know you had, so that they can be burnt up (usually a fairly painful process in itself), and you can come out the other side cleaner and purer than when you started.
Well, let me tell you, I recently went through a year-long “purification” process that resulted in a baby, a new home, and a new career path. Talk about new life coming from the ashes! While all of the new beginnings are fun and exciting now, it was quite painful to let the old be burnt away as I had to let go of a beloved home decor business, my sweet little home that I had brought all 3 boys home to, and my desire to be in control of my life, that I already had all planned out of course! Keep reading for the story on how one surprise changed our lives forever…
And it begins…
September 2016, one year ago, I had life all planned out. I had a charming little home that we had lived in for 10 years. After several projects and renovations, I had finally gotten it decorated and styled the way I liked. We had 2 adorable boys 4 years apart that enabled me to have a helping set of hands in the older and a sweet cuddly toddler in the little one. I was an owner in my dream home decor/interior design business housed in a historic homestead and life was good. Little did I know that within one years time I would have sold my home, had another baby, and closed my business.
It all started with a big surprise. “Honey, I think I might be pregnant…” Three positive tests later confirmed my suspicions and the refiners fire began to burn. After struggling with Second Time Infertility, (new post later on this) we were fairly nonchalant with the decision on whether or not to have a third child. I always wanted 3, my sweet hubby was happy with 1, so 2 seemed like the perfect compromise. Imagine our surprise when after trying for 4 years to get pregnant with our 2nd born, wild child, we were suddenly and unexpectedly pregnant again!
Time to Move On:
When the initial surprise wore off we were left with the decision we had been tossing back and forth for a while. Our charming little house was just that, little. It was do-able with 2 kiddos, but 3 would really be pushing it to its limit. It was time to move on. We decided to enjoy the holidays, then deep clean and de-clutter in January and put the house on the market in late winter so it would be sold and we would settled in our new dream home well in time to prepare the nursery for the new addition. Except that’s not what happened.
What actually happened was this: I worked myself into exhaustion on Christmas consults all through the holidays during my first trimester, then we started deep cleaning and hauling box after box to storage all January, the house hit the market in all of it’s adorable glory (or so I think) in late January, and we get a showing immediately. This was going to be easier than I thought. The house is going to sell in the first week for more than listing, I’m sure of it! They love it! Except the layout isn’t right for them. Ok, that’s fine, we have 2 more showing requests immediately, so I’m sure it’s going to sell fast.
It’s Getting HOT in Here
Well, fast forward 5 months, over 55 showings, one baby later, and our home still hasn’t sold. Everyone loves it, but the quirks that I found charming are apparently not so charming to the rest of the world. During this same time period, the owner of the historic home that houses our home decor business decides that she needs to sell and we don’t feel comfortable taking on that large of a loan on the business, so we make the hard decision to close the doors on our 10 year old business. Can you feel that fire heating up yet?
It is now nearing the end of July, the baby is already here, the business is closed, and the house is due to come off the market in 3 days. Sweet hubby and I are sure that at this point we are meant to just stay in our current home and make it work, which we decide we’re ok with. Cue one more showing request. I’m going to be honest here, I was not thinking nice things at this point. Have you ever tried to get a house ready to show for the 50th something time with two very active boys and a 3 week old baby? Well, let’s just say it is NOT one of my favorite things to do!
The 56th Times the Charm
So, I stage the house one more time, grumbling all the while, and prepare to call the agent to tell her to take the house off the market as we’ve decided to stay. Except this time the guy loves it, I mean really loves it! His realtor tells me he doesn’t want to see anymore houses and he’s walking out the door on the phone with his lender to see if he can get approved for a little more as it’s at the top of his budget. 3 days y’all, 3 days from our house coming off the market we finally get an offer, albeit a lower offer, but still an offer!
At this point we go into major house hunting mode as we had stopped looking a month earlier since everything we had liked had already sold (did I tell you it was a hot sellers market and we still couldn’t get an offer?!) In a future post I’ll share the story of finding our new home, (Read it Here) but let me end with this: when we started this process, I just knew the house would sell because I had put so much work into it, I had staged it so well, I do this for a living and of course I can do it for myself. See the problem? I, I, I, I. If the house had sold early, I would have taken the credit, I would have patted myself on the back for a job well done and moved on. God would have been robbed of his glory. Through this year long process of selling our home and closing our business I learned that I had some real issues with letting God truly be in control. I wanted things done on my time line, my way, so I could move on with my perfect plans. My lack of trust, was made plainly clear to me during this ordeal and the Faithful Refiner was good enough to burn through my layers of self-worth to make me much more dependent on him.
As I sit and type this in our new home, I can look back and see how perfect His plan is. How everything worked out at exactly the day and hour it needed to in order to get us into our new home. So, if you are currently going through the refiners fire, take heart dear one. The refining process is painful at times, no one likes to see the ugly parts of themselves that needs to be burnt off, but you can trust the refiner and his perfect plan.
~Please feel free to share your ventures through the refiners fire below!~