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Ramen Noodles Aren't So Bad: III

After our travels and the holidays, we made a huge decision without telling anyone; to put our house on the market! We were driving back to KC from our hometown of Jefferson City, MO and I'll never forget our conversation. Within that 2 and a half hour drive, we accelerated our debt freedom plan by a few years. We decided it was time for us to take a leap of faith and sell our home to pursue a long-time dream of living in the city. A few months earlier we had jumped all in on planting Vive Culture KC on the plaza in Kansas City where we both already worked. Our hearts were being prepared for this move long before we could connect the dots. We knew we'd always loved the area but never thought we'd live there. It’s the place we like to get away to, the place where we work, the place where Cory asked me to marry him; the Plaza has always had a small piece of our hearts, so it only made sense that we live where we love. We now had an opportunity to bring hope and light to an area that is so naive to how desperate it is.

New Years Eve weekend 2017 we looked at 2 apartment communities and fell head over heels for the charm and history of West Hill. We spent that night with our new church plant community and we all prayed for the future. Our futures as families, individuals, and as a church moving forward. This wasn't the typical New Years for us. Years past were filled with partying and late nights but I think we were very intentional about starting 2018 right knowing we had big plans ahead. The first week of January, Cory called up our beloved realtor and it was off to the races. We had lunch and discussed listing and what it would take. This was our first home purchase back in 2015 so it was also our first home sale aka we were noobs! Mickey, our realtor set us up for success and with lofty expectations. We started to purge half of our possesions so we could downsize from our 2 bedroom home to the new 1 bedroom apartment. Learning to live with less is a blog I could write all in itself. But I apprehensively embraced the minimalist lifestyle with only a few tearful breakdowns. All in all, let me just say selling a home is way harder than I had ever anticipated and it put more strain on our relationship than anything else we'd gone through.

Once our home hit the market we thought it would be sold that weekend; unfortunately, that was not how it happened. We endured a few weeks of what felt like constant home showings. Shout out to my husband here because he was a rock star. His job allowed for him to drive 30 min from work to the house so he could grab the dogs and be unseen during every showing. He also did an outstanding job at keeping the place "show ready" for those few weeks. I did my fair share but I admittedly lack attention to detail. I love living in a sort of “controlled chaos” and that does not sell a house. All of this caused a lot of tension between us and forced us to talk through all of it. We wear our stress very differently. I'm an internalizer and Cory is an over-analyzer. He has to look at things from every possible perspective and while most of the time I can appreciate this, he was wearing me out. In the same breath, I wasn't helping his anxiety by holding in my frustrations. We finally asked if we could do an open house in the efforts of speeding the process along. We were 15-20 showings deep at this point and didn't know how much more we could take. The day of the open house was a LONG one. But it worked. We had 4 offers by the end of the day. And let me tell you how God showed up, the offer we ended up taking was over asking price. Not only over asking price but to the amount that we had already decided we would give Vive. HOW. CRAZY. IS. THAT. Friends, I cried that night. In bed realizing what all just happened, our dream was coming true, the stress was coming to an end, and He was incredibly faithful again. The words of the elevation worship song are so true in our story, "You've Never Failed Me Yet". ​

So, we sold our house. Really, with minimal hiccups in the process of inspection and appraisal. We moved into our new apartment March 3rd and closed on our house on March 5th. A couple weeks later we paid off our FINAL debt, my student loans. We wanted to wait for the profit from the sale to officially go through until we pulled that trigger. I sat on the couch, computer in my lap, FedLoan website on my browser, Cory cooking dinner. I waited so long and starred so hard at my screen. Everything was coming to an end. Everything we had strived toward, fought for, learned about. It was all finally here at this moment. THIS WAS THE FINISH LINE. Cory came and sat next to me for a ceremonial click and we did it together. We pushed the mouse and the screen read, "Paid Off". We did it. We had crossed the finish line. Tears immediately came streaming down my face and Cory laughed. He hugged me and asked why I was crying, and I could barely articulate all my feelings. Happiness, gratitude, empowerment, accomplishment, love, and grace. I was full of so much at that moment all I could do is cry and hold onto him and wipe my nose (it always runs when I cry, ugh). We celebrated by doing what we had been doing for the past year plus…stayed in and ate some Aldi meal and I probably had chocolate milk to drink. None of the details are crystal clear to me because I was so focused on what we had just completed. I had entered a whole new world. One I had never experienced in 26 years of living. One free of worry, free of shame, one full of pride and discipline. This was a new life I had stepped into and man, did it feel good. ​

Your efforts and hard work are SO WORTH IT friends.

Stay Hopeful,

Jill Caren

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