Do you ever ask God for something, knowing that He will provide but hesitant as to what all the details and specifics will look like? J and I had been asking God for a house...I take that back, we asked Him for a home. A house is where we have lived for the past four years - an apartment that provides shelter, running water, and safety (much more than most of the world). However, over the past four years, we've had crazy neighbors, and I'm not exaggerating - the smokers, the screaming baby, the couple who fought all the time, the dog that never stopped barking, and the man who smoked pot while carrying on a conversation with J...just to name a few. It's no lie that ministry is hard and in part, we wanted a home where we could extend our ministry apart from the church building and in turn find an oasis to call our very own.
Our past is filled with some details that we'd rather not relive. We've spent the past six years paying off debt and staying very, very close to our budget. We looked at houses back in the summer. I thought I had found the perfect house - not excessive, great neighborhood, etc. We went and looked at it and then headed to the bank. After many weeks of them prodding every detail of our lives, they essentially said "Thanks, but no thanks!".
In my selfish, sinful nature, I thought I would never get that house out of my mind and perhaps the Lord had made a mistake (wink, wink!...you've never thought that before, right?). J and I had decided to stop looking and try again in January/February. We would peruse the Internet looking but never being serious because we were waiting until the new year.
Ministry in December was VERY overwhelming - we had something on the schedule almost EVERY day/night. In the midst of everything, J saw this house on a website and it had an accompanying video (see the end of this post). He prayed about it and approached me with it. My first thought - no way, it's December we don't have time to buy a house. My second thought - this house is SO much more than I could ask for or imagine and is much lower than our top price point. My third thought - Jesus, is Your timing going to every match mine? :)
So in the midst of the busiest week of December, J and I went and looked at the house. Then in the midst of the busiest week of December, we met with a bank (a different bank than we met with in the summer). Again, they prodded every detail of our lives and over many weeks, they said "Yes!". We offered the buyer a price, they counter-offered, we counter-offered back, and then they said "Yes!".
As I look back on this journey, I don't want to forget how the Lord has provided so much more than we could ever imagine:
- While I thought His timing might be off, we were so busy in December, I didn't have time to stress or worry. We would sign some papers and then back to ministry. We would stop several days later, provide more paperwork and then back to ministry. The Lord's timing was impeccable!
- The price of the house is so much lower than we thought we would ever pay and so much more than we thought we would get for the house itself.
- The extras of the house are again so much more than we thought we would ever have in a house and more than we dreamed of having - a remodeled kitchen, 7 fruit trees, a herb garden, a jetted tub, a rain shower, hardwood floors, a designer craft room, 4 bedrooms, and I could go on!
We are grateful that the Lord has answered our prayers!
May we be the best stewards we can possible be of all the He has given us.