Last week, I fulfilled the dreamed of a lifetime: I bought my mom a house…yup.. a house. Almost 2700 square feet of 100 year old wood and windows. It’s still surreal to me that what started out as a whim in December is a reality in April. I mean, I’ve had dreams realized before but for me, this one is different. To start, the project just so happen to unfold while I was reading the book The Alchemist ( If you haven’t read the Alchemist, YOU SHOULD, and if you have, you already know what I’m talking about.. hopefully). One of the main premises of the book is the idea that ; “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Frrom the beginning it seemed as if God was conspiring to make the whole thing happen.
A few things help me to know this:
– About 10 years ago I guess, when the previous owners acquired the house, I’m told that my mom was the first person to stop by and visit. As the story goes, she walked in talking about how much she had admired the house for years. It was lovely visit I’m told/
-Years following that my younger sister Azalia, visited the house and inquired about the purchase and felt the price was too high… so much for that..
-In December 2014, during a Christmas visit to Natchez, I saw the house adverstised in one of those random real estate picture book insert things they put into local papers. I called the number 4 or 5 different times and no one ever called me back. After I returned to DC , I called the real estate company directly; they told me that the house was no longer part of it’s listing.. (why the heck did ya’ll print it in the dog on paper like 2 weeks ago then…ugh) lol
– On January 9, 2015, I attended the New Year’s Revival at Jericho City of Praise. Bishop T. D. Jakes was preaching and the reserved seat I thought I had commandeered was …gone… I was annoyed because I had to sit wayy in the back- preacher ego (pray for me)… I was sitting in the service in a room with 10,000 people filling like I was on an Island … (sidebar: It was also the night that Anthony Brown and Group Therapy introduced us to a song with these amazing word: You thought I was worth saving, so you came and change my life, you thought I was worth keeping so you cleaned me up inside. You thought I was die for so sacrificed your life so I could be free, so I could be whole and so I could tell everyone I know. Awesome song. Listen here: http://www.shazam.com/track/249142474/worth-full-versionI was still in a slump). Bishop Jakes preached about something and before he was done I was walking to my car which is highly unlike me… but sometime between the time I was walked to my car and the time I pulled up at the Checkers to get some of those awesome Cajun fries (My comfort food of choice)- God began to impress on my heart in the most unrelenting way to find out about the house- to ask- to inquire- to do some digging.
I knew that the house was in some way affiliated with the Grinnell family, so that same nightI texted Darryl – the second eldest brother of the Grinnell clan- and mentioned to him that I was interested in the house and life got better by the minute. Darryl indicated that it was his sister house… but that he was handling the sale. Really God? He then mentioned that he could probably get me a sweet deal on the house to which I replied: yeah right…
By Saturday morning he had confirmed that the unrealistic price that he’d mentioned to me the night before was actually the amount that his sister and brother-law- ( Lluana and Dante Wier) were happy with and that if I wanted it, the house it was mine…
By Saturday afternoon, I’d spoken with my dear friend and colleague, Lisa-Bailey Harper – the Realtor in Your Backyard- who informed me that there was a special HUD program that loaned money to folks to purchase and renovate homes. By Sunday, she’d identified an awesome realtor in Natchez- Dianne Brown- who she thought would be able to help. I called Dianne Sunday afternoon and it was clear that she was an angel sent by God . I explained to her that I had never bought home before that I wanted to do this for mom but that I would need alot of hand holding. She was up for the challenge and what a challenge it was.
For next several weeks, as I vetted every possible option for purchasing the home from HUD programs, to traditional bank financing, to cash sale, she answered every question I had ( I had alot of questions.) and advised me every step of the way. She was literally.. a God-send. Dante- the homeowner- obliged every single request I had to have contractors and inspectors and my sister and my mom and my dad and anybody I could think of- to visit the house and vet it for me. Once I think he traveled from out of town to bring my mom the door key.- BTW- my actually saw the house several times before the big surprise. She thought that she was visiting the house to assist a member of my church -Andrell-who was planning to move to Natchez and looking for a house for his family. It just so happened that in early January, Andrell had stopped by my office in DC and indicated that he was moving to Natchez to open several Papa John’s Pizza franchise…I conveniently recruited Andrell to serve as my cover up for the big surprise … which really was another God thing because what are the chances that anyone in DC is moving back to Natchez to do anything? And how likely is it that they would attend my church and randomly drop by the church office to say so..
Here’s my point in sharing all of this: The house was a God thing… orchestrated by God, ordained by God, sent by God… but had I not been willing to move when God said move AND go when God said go AND had I ignored all the ways that God was conspiring to make my dream come true … my awesome, well intentioned dream would still only just be a dream.. The moral of this loonnng story is that when God greenlights your dream, take your foot off the brakes and GO!