I made an unplanned trip to Nashville last week. I decided on Saturday afternoon, left Sunday morning, and got back Thursday evening. I went because someone was interested in renting my house and said that the sooner I found a place to live, the sooner he would take over! His plan was to pay my mortgage payment each month while renting my house out to someone else for more money than he paid me, and he would keep the excess as payment for managing things. Eventually - with no set time frame for this - he might even buy the house from me.
Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn't it? But I was referred to him by someone I knew and trusted, someone who grew up with this guy and vouched for him. I was sure God brought us together because this was the answer to my prayer and my way to get to Nashville sooner rather than later. I was so excited, and so grateful, that I didn't think to ask a lot of the questions I probably should have asked.
When I got to Nashville, my son started asking me questions that I didn't have answers for, like: what happens if he doesn't pay the rent; what happens if he rents it to someone who doesn't pay the rent and then trashes the place; what happens if he dies? The more we discussed it, the more my soaring spirits fell.
I went to bed that night, but didn't get much sleep. The next morning, as I was heading out to look at apartments, I decided to stop and see the realtor that I had used before. He voiced the same concerns that my son had, and told me it was a risky proposition, because the bottom line was that I was liable if things went south because I am the owner of the house. He suggested I get a real estate attorney to look over any rental contract, and also encouraged me to get answers to my questions.
I didn't rent an apartment in Nashville. I did look at a couple just to see what was available, since it's been thirty years since I rented an apartment, and didn't really know what was out there. I found out that rentals are in short supply in Nashville right now and rents are more than I imagined they would be, at least in any of the places I'd consider living. I also looked at some condos, just to compare the two. I was checking out my options.
I came back to Pittsburgh with a lot of questions and a much more realistic outlook. I've talked to the rental guy, and some of my fears have been diminished. I'm still feeling like this might be a good thing. But this is a big step, and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. I'm still thinking about it. It is, however, another option, a tool that is available if I choose to use it.
Several weeks ago I taught a Reiki master class, and during the attunements, there was a very long message from God that came through. Part of the message was about God giving us tools to use to help us on our journeys. He said, "...remember that just because you have a tool available doesn't mean it's time to use that tool. You need to develop discernment." That's what I'll be doing over these next few weeks, working to discern whether this is a tool that I'm supposed to use to get me to Nashville, or whether it came into my life for another reason. I'll let you know what I decide.