Our family was living happily in Texas with no plans to move, when my husband and I both started feeling that we were supposed to move to Albuquerque, NM. We didn’t understand, but we started making preparations because we both felt strongly that our time in Texas was up, and our time in Albuquerque was supposed to begin. Everything fell into place very quickly. Dave had multiple job offers almost immediately. We got our house ready to sell. Our children, initially unsettled, were able to pray and feel their own peace. Everything was working out perfectly.
We went on a house hunting trip with high hopes. We had looked at dozens of houses online and had chosen the mountains east of Albuquerque as our new area. We didn’t realize how hard it would be to find a house, and because Dave had gotten a job so fast, we were already running out of time. A realtor showed us every possible house. Each house had problems. We needed a big family house, but all of the big houses we found were designed for a small family to live in luxury, not for a big family to live practically. One of the most frequent obstacles was that almost every house had a dining area too small for our family’s table. Even the biggest houses we saw did not have enough room for our family of nine to sit down and eat together.
The problems went on: we saw houses that needed a lot of work, houses that had extras we didn’t want (indoor hot tub anyone?), a house without an adequate water supply, a house on property so steep there was no usable land, some houses with huge HOA fees and strict rules, some houses that were too far from the church, some houses that were on unbelievably rough roads. By the end of the day, we had given up our ideals and were looking at anything and everything, getting desperate. We had planned to spend the evening at our church’s temple, but the housing search stretched on unsuccessfully until late at night.
Back at our hotel, we were feeling crushed. What happened to our streak of everything working out perfectly for our move? We looked through all the paperwork of the houses we had seen. Neither of us had a favorite. Each seemed more wrong than the last. We talked about trying to rent and wait for a suitable house to come on the market, or rent and build a house. We felt very negative about those ideas. We needed to go back to Texas in the morning, with a decision made, yet we felt like we didn’t have a single realistic option. We decided to go to the temple early before departing. We would think matters over in the temple and then pick the “least bad” option. We hoped that by the time we stepped out of the temple we would know what to do.
When we stepped out of the temple, I still didn’t know what to do, but I could see a complete change in Dave. He was very intent. I asked him how he was feeling about the houses, and he said, “I can’t think about the houses. The only thing I can think is that we need to call the bishop (the minister for our church) in that area.” I wondered if a bishop could help us more than multiple realtors, but whatever.
From the parking lot of the temple, my husband looked up the bishop’s info and called. In a humble way, he explained our situation: “We are moving to the area, we have a job, but no house, and no time. We can’t find a house for our big family, and I felt we should call you. Do you know of anything?’ I couldn’t hear what the bishop was saying to Dave, but it sounded like he was making an appointment to see a house! It turned out that the bishop had recently decided to sell his own house, but had not yet listed it with a realtor. Another lead! Could this be the one? Well, we would gladly look at anything.
We soon found ourselves pulling up to a stucco house with a red metal roof. I’d always wanted a metal roof! The lot was two acres, and full of beautiful trees. I love trees! There was a welcoming front porch, and a cute little boy was outside biking on paved sidewalks. I pictured our kids happily doing the same.
We met Bishop Pearce and his wife Amber. They seemed so nice. They started showing us their house. We loved it! They had designed the house themselves, with the needs of a big family in mind. It was beautiful and practical. At last, a house with enough room for our table! Not only that, but it had a huge playroom, a beautiful backyard, two double garages, my kind of laundry room, big closets, plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms, –basically every thing we could ever want. I loved the kitchen and the spacious, open rooms with high ceilings. There was even a bedroom decorated with the theme our favorite college BYU! The master bedroom was painted in my favorite color. I loved the fenced land, and I asked to walk the perimeter. As I walked by myself, I had the sweetest feeling, but I felt it was too good to be true. Things don’t really work out like this, do they?
Meanwhile, my husband, who is a man of action, was working things out with Bishop Pearce. When I saw them talking, there seemed to be such a good spirit between them, a spirit of trust, cooperation and honesty. They seemed as if they were both trying to do what was right, neither one trying to get an advantage. Purity, sincerity, unselfishness, –not words you normally think of with real estate negotiations, but that is what I noticed between them. Neither one wanted anything but what would be right for both.
We left without making any actual decision. As we drove towards Texas, I asked Dave, “What just happened? Did we really just go to the temple, pray, and find our perfect house, when it seemed like all was lost?” Dave had only one question for me: “Do you like that house?” He wanted to make sure I really liked it, and was not just being polite to the Pearces. I said, “I love it so much. I would be so happy if we could live there. But please, let’s calm down and think about it for the weekend.” I was so overwhelmed, I went to sleep and slept the rest of the drive. When I brought up the subject later that night, I discovered that without any further discussion, Dave had already offered to buy the house, and the offer was accepted. It was a miracle to me.
Now we have lived here for 2 1/2 years, and I still love everything about this house. I especially love knowing that we are exactly where we are supposed to be. I am grateful for how it all came about… for the miracle it was to both our families.
By Lorraine Windsor