I had looked at many houses; I had almost purchased two.  But sleeplessness is a good sign that something’s not quite right, a piece isn’t quite in place.

My physiology is very in tune with my decisions, and this is both a blessing and a curse.  I can feel – in the marrow of my bones – if the decision is right or wrong, if we are on the right path, if I’ve just said the wrong thing, if we need to flee immediately.

I just know that I know.  And with two houses, and I knew that I knew: the answer is no.

“Let’s look one more time.”

And, naturally, this is when I happened onto the new dwelling of my family and my heart.

“I’ll just give a quick call to the real estate broker,” my realtor told me.  “We’ll see if there’s any action on this house.”

It had been on the market for 48 hours, there were four offers on the home, and they would make a decision at noon.

It was 11:30.

“So, do you want to make an offer?”

He knows where we will go.  He knows when we will move.

“Yes.  Yes, I do.”

We drew up a verbal contract, a competitive offer that would make or break the sale.  Whitney slipped away to make some phone calls on my behalf, and I slipped upstairs to what I hoped would be my master bedroom.

I lay prostrate on the floor, my face to the carpet, and I prayed every prayer of surrender, every verse of submission that came to my mind.

If our God is for us, who could ever stop us?
Whom shall I fear?
He knows where we will go, he knows when we will move.
Not my will, but yours.
Not my home, but yours.

I lay on the floor until I knew it was time, until I knew my heart was fearless and secure in what I know to be true.

As I walked down the stairs, my mom said, “Hey, Trish, remember how it felt the day you bought your wedding dress?”

(And so let me tell you about the day I bought my wedding dress.  I went to a Make-a-Deal weekend at a bridal boutique in my home town; they were looking to clear out their inventory, so any bride could come and propose any reasonable offer for the dress she wanted.

I found the dress I wanted, but the price was far outside my range: $1,200.  Even now, that number rattles me.

I could affored $700.  So I made an offer.

They frowned.  They raised their eyebrows at one another.  They looked at the beadwork, the cathedral train, the price tag that so very much didn’t match the number I had given them.

“I’m not sure,” they said.
“We won’t make any profit on this dress.  What you are offering isn’t above the cost of the dress,” they said.

I stood on the fitting pedestal and looked into the mirrors surroundng me.  “Okay, well, while you’re deciding, I’m just going to keep it on.  Because if you have to say no and I have to give this back, I want to know I wore it as long as I possibly could.”

They met behind closed doors.  They came back to me and said, “We think you need to get married in this dress.  It’s yours.”

I cried.  At the risk of mascara on the unblemished gown, I cried.  But the beauty of it was this: the bridal consultants cried too.  The purchase was meant to be; the dress was mine.  And I never forgot that day.)

So when my mom asked if I remembered that day, if I remembered what it felt like, my mind did a quick game of connect-the-dots.

Offer. Deliberation. Approved.  Mine.

“Oh!  Oh!  Did I just buy a house?  Is that what just happened?  Is this mine?”

Whitney, my realtor who is brilliant and carries a heart of gold, said with a smile, “They took your offer.  They said your number will make the sale.”

I folded in half, nearly onto the floor.  And I cried.  At the risk of getting mascara on their unblemished furniture, I cried.  As reality settled into my hands, I cried more.  And more.  I spoke in unbroken, unfinished sentences.

“I get to…”
“I don’t have to….”
“I won’t have to…”
“I… I….”
“It’s going to…”

I get to start over.
I don’t have to sleep in the room where my life fell apart.
I won’t have to do this anymore.
I get to start over.
I get to change the course.
It’s going to change.

I didn’t realize how much oppression I had felt.

It’s more than a business transaction.  It’s more than a title and deed.  It’s a new chapter.  It is freedom.

It is life.  It is ours.

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