Growing up, buying a house always seemed like the most “adult” thing that someone could do. Probably because it cost more money than I could wrap my head around (most toys are only $20) and because there were so many words involved that I couldn’t even begin to define (“escrow” didn’t even sound like english). Now here I am: a home owner.
It didn’t feel as hard as I thought it would be. That may have had something to do with my mom being our realtor. (Shameless Plug: Sheri Lopez is DA BEST realtor out there! Not only does she walk you through the buying/selling process step-by-step, but she knows all the best tips/tricks to sell your house at the highest price. Dawn Buxton and Craig Gallegos are the powerhouse team my mom works with to get all your loan needs met. You can’t go wrong with these guys! https://www.facebook.com/sherilopezrealtor/)
As Brandon and I were preparing to start looking, I tried to figure out the things that mattered to me the most in a house. We ended up looking at a TON of houses and the one thing I could not get away from was this need for an open concept floor plan. I kept daydreaming about our future home being the “hang out house”. Having get-togethers, throwing parties, hosting bible studies and holidays. Creating a comfortable and inviting space for friends and family to feel loved and connected. A space that provided opportunity for small intimate conversation that could also hold 30+ people mingling and playing games.
Then this house popped up.
From the first pictures I knew: this was it!
Open concept, split floor plan, landscaped yard, washer/dryer inside. The only thing it was missing was two sinks in the master bath; but that was ok, I could just kick Brandon out and make him use the other bathroom 😉
My hang up? The location.
The house is literally across the street from my graduating high school. In an area everyone considers “really nice“. When I graduated I never intended to come back to the “Happy Valley bubble”. There is a stigma of wealth surrounding this area. Being a missionary, someone literally being paid from the generosity of friends and family, I did not want to be judged.
There is also a different mindset/culture in North Phx than there is in the area we were moving from. Our apartment was not even a mile south of a popular prostitution track and two miles from the main heroine drop off in the city. I was wrestling with: “how do I justify living in an area with little to no obviously and tangle need when I have always advocated for getting up close and personal with that kind of need?”
But through prayer and submission, Brandon and I felt that this was our home.
Being here only month, God has quickly shown us the spiritual poverty in our area and been faithful to open doors for Red Light Rebellion. Our neighbor right next to us? A jr high teacher who wants to bring us in to present to his students. The student population? High risk youth already encountering gangs and exploitation. The neighbor a couple houses down? He has already voiced feeling like something is missing in his life, that there is deeper meaning he hasn’t found yet.
God placed a vision in my heart for ministry to happen inside my home and brought me to a place where there is huge opportunity for ministry with the spiritual poverty my neighbors are experiencing. How good God is!
We are nowhere near settled in and are putting a lot of decorating on hold in pursuit of other financial goals (so it’ll probably look not settled in for a while still) but this space has felt like home to me since moving in. I am so ready and excited to see how God leads us and am giddy to share it all with you!