I feel as if I've been sitting on this information forever, as our story starts here, on our trip to The Voice of the Martyrs in Bartlesville, OK last May. VOM was kind enough to lend us passes to Woolaroc, which is an animal sanctuary and museum, but we had no way to get them back, as VOM would be closed for the weekend. A man whose family had been volunteering at VOM for 6 months was having a barbeque to say good-bye to everyone there, as they were leaving the next week to go home. He was kind enough to invite us to his barbeque and offer to return the Woolaroc passes for us.
That barbeque wound up changing the course of our lives.
Steven was chatting with an IT guy at VOM, who told him he should consider working there. Then, the guy flipping burgers, another VOM worker, asked Steven what he does for a living. Steven said he's a .Net developer. The burger flipper (I think his name was Thomas) said, "Mike just told us 3 weeks ago to start praying for a .Net developer!" Apparently, VOM doesn't advertise their jobs; they pray for the right people to come along.
Mike wasn't at the barbeque, so Thomas invited us to church with him the next morning so that we could meet him. Steven and Mike exchanged contact info, then we left to drive home.
Many months later... VOM's board approved the developer position, Steven was contacted, interviewed, and hired! You'd think that would be the end of the story right there, but it's really just starting, as we had some very specific prayer needs along the way, and so far, every single one has been answered.
I had certain things in mind that Bartlesville has to have for us to live there. Mostly specialists for our various medical needs, and they're all there. I want to do Classical Conversations for schooling with Alex. A church we visited a few weeks ago there is where it's held, and the CC director was pointed out to me.
We needed our house to sell. Our nightmare house. The one with a bajillion cracks everywhere because the danged foundation has never been totally stabilized. We told God that if he wants us in Bartlesville, he's going to have to work a miracle.
We wound up having to do something called an "Investor Special." In other words, an investor buys the house with cash, as-is. It's priced below market, then he comes in, fixes it up, and typically either flips it or rents it out. Our house was on the market less than 2 days when we had an offer. The guy wanted it so much that he didn't even work it into the contract that he has a certain number of days to back out. Zero. And get this: He's a foundation guy. He wasn't fazed by our nightmare house! We close on our house April 8th. And yes, we're walking away with money because even though we're selling low, we've lived here long enough to have plenty of equity.
We had to make an emergency trip to Bartlesville to house hunt, as we weren't expecting to sell the house so quickly. We had one day to find a house. Again, we prayed that God would work a miracle and we would find a house we like and that fits our needs in that one day. He answered. We wound up making an offer on the first house we looked at. (We looked at several others, but kept coming back to that one.) We're currently in negotiations with the owner, but we're the only offer he has, so I'm hopeful.
Last problem was our cats. This had me awake at night with knots of worry in my stomach. We're being offered VOM housing until we can get into our permanent residence. The apartments there are great, so no worries. Except... they don't allow pets. We offered to pay for professional carpet cleaning and replacement of anything they think the cats messed up, but no, we're not allowed to have them live with us. I won't lie; I was freaking out. I couldn't bear the thought of long-term boarding. We've had Doogie almost 13 years, and he's been boarded exactly 2 times, and each was only for the day. Never overnight, and never long-term. My heart was breaking over the idea of sticking my babies in a kennel. We prayed. Our friends prayed. And Steven's new boss contacted him and offered to keep our cats. He has no pets and 3 animal-loving daughters. Our babies will be loved and cared for, and we can visit. God is good!
So, there is absolutely no doubt in our minds that God is orchestrating this entire move. He wants us in Bartlesville, so we're going. Yes, I'm distressed to leave behind our beloved Texas full of family and friends, our amazing vet, our church family, and frankly, everything else. But we're more excited to see what the Lord has waiting for us in Oklahoma because we know it's going to be good!