We wanted ‘dream house’; God had other plans
Shawn Hendricks, BR managing editor
November 04, 2011

We wanted ‘dream house’; God had other plans

We wanted ‘dream house’; God had other plans
Shawn Hendricks, BR managing editor
November 04, 2011
It wasn’t supposed to be a move that swept us away from our friends and comfortable life in Virginia.

In February, my wife and I put the first house we’d ever owned on the market. We had lived in the house for about six years, and we were looking forward to selling it. We wanted to take advantage of low interest rates, and ultimately, settle into our “dream house” along the outskirts of Richmond.

We already had the house picked out. It was located in a great school district and came complete with a garage, picket fence in the back yard and a “man cave” office tucked perfectly behind a door in the master bedroom closet.
At the time, I worked in the International Mission Board’s (IMB) media department. My wife, Stephanie, had a part-time job as a lab tech at a local university. Our 3-year-old daughter, Laura, had friends, a good preschool she attended three days a week, and our family was part of an exciting new church plant. We were comfortable – and we had a plan.
God, however, seemed to have other ideas.
After putting a “For Sale” sign in our front yard, weeks and then months passed by without a single offer on the house.
We couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t selling. We had cleared out all of the clutter, hauled extra furniture into storage, updated the bathrooms, the kitchen and put a new floor on the back deck.
After a couple months with no offers, we dropped the price. Months continued to pass by with no offers. Our initial surprise turned into discouragement and frustration.
Why wouldn’t God want us to sell our house?
Around that time some friends told me they had given my name to Allan Blume, the new editor of Biblical Recorder.
He was asking for suggestions on possibly filling a vacant managing editor position.
When asked if I was interested in a change, my first response was “No, not really.”
I was a senior writer at IMB, and I had been there for nearly a decade. I enjoyed occasional overseas travel, working with a great staff and reporting on God’s work among the nations.
Still, I decided to remain open to the opportunity.
After all, our house hadn’t sold, and we weren’t locked in on a new mortgage. If we had, I would have dismissed the job opening as bad timing. Two weeks later I was on the phone with Blume.
In the days to follow, my initial apprehension turned to peace as we spoke by phone, Skype and eventually face to face. As I learned more about the Recorder, Blume and his vision for North Carolina’s Baptist news journal and its message, it became clear my family would be moving south.
A few weeks before accepting the position we received an offer on our house.
All of the paperwork finalized the day we moved to North Carolina. We couldn’t have timed how it all unfolded better.
I’m truly excited to be in this great state and on the Recorder’s team.
You could say I’m definitely “all in” with the direction North Carolina Baptists are heading in their desire to reach their state, nation and the globe for Christ.
What an exciting opportunity to share this story!
For now my family and I are settling into a comfortable two-bedroom apartment near Raleigh. We believe it’s right where God wants us to be living – even if our “dream house” has to wait a little longer.
For those who would like to keep up with my journey in North Carolina, follow me on Twitter @shwnh01. Or, email me at [email protected].