(Day 3 of a three part series on Waiting)
This is a long time coming, but I’m hesitant as I type it. I choose to write it now mostly because I hope that it will help someone else to see God’s goodness in your waiting. I want you to be encouraged that God is with you and loves you and has purposes for what you’re going through and they are good purposes and not to harm you, but to give you a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
My husband of seventeen years called me into our bedroom in March of 2012 and said two words that pack a punch worse that a sumo wrestler, leaving you doubled over, heaving for breath. Those words, “I’m done.” That story is best left for another day. But, it is the bridge to the testimony I’m about to tell you.
Simply put, our house was in my husband’s name. I wanted the children and I to stay. At the time, I was a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. There was just no way, in human understanding for us to stay. So, I prayed. I walked circles around the house. Night after night. God gave me assurances and promises along the way that I held onto for dear life.
God stretched out the time we had in the home is Old Testament style, miraculous ways. One day, maybe I’ll share those with you, because they are amazing.
One quick story was when a friend came to us and asked if we wanted to rent a house they owned. We were still in “our” house at that time and after fasting and praying, God said, “No. Wait.” By God’s grace, I waited. Month after month went by. We were able to stay. I would pray from one milestone to the next. Lord, let us stay until my daughter’s birthday…and then until Christmas…and then my son’s birthday. God stretched our time out for over a year! This was a huge blessing because anyone who has seen a family go through divorce knows how hard it is on the kids especially, since their stability is so tied to the health of the family. God allowed us to stay and provided for our needs, each and every time. I have journals upon journals with examples of His provision.
The bank all along had said that I could not buy the house because I was the spouse of the person whose name was on the foreclosure (ex-spouse counted). They later changed their mind and said that if we moved, we could have a chance to buy it, just like anyone else would. So we moved, but not far.
In one of the miraculous ways God provided, He told our next-door neighbors to ask us to move into their home while we waited for ours’ to go on the market. We will forever be grateful for their self-less obedience in demonstrating for us the body of Christ at work. The things we gleaned from that time are far beyond words to express here.
When the house finally went on the market, the value was high. The bank had come in to make upgrades and the price they were asking was out of our reach. Just as this news was unfolding, a For Sale sign popped up on the land across the street.
I was able to take my savings and buy the land. A homeschooling friend’s father is a seasoned contractor in our town. We began the process of building a home. When the time came for us to pick a plan, we started looking online. I asked the kids to list the things they’d like in a house if they could have any feature they wanted. We listed things like a wrap around porch in front, a screened porch in back, a balcony, an extra room for crafts, etc. There is a square footage requirement for this neighborhood. Also, I needed the house to appraise for more than I would build it for because the bank would loan me 80% of the home’s value. So, with all this rolling around in my head one night, and a deadline to give our builder the plan, I prayed. And instantly, when I went online I found a house plan that had all of the little things we’d written! The square footage met the requirement. When the bank did their appraisal, it was just what we needed it to be, with $5000 to spare.
The payments for our new home are less than I would have paid had I rented. God gave us the desires of our heart. We were able to stay in the area we love. I can see the other side of the waiting now. And what I learned in the process is the best part of all. God taught me how to wait, be grateful, pray, hope, and allowed all of this so that I could feel His presence every day, every step. I knew He was holding my hand. He has become my very best friend.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
I understand what Paul was saying that we can be glad in the hard times, because His strength is made perfect and visible, to us and others, in our weakness.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Cor. 12:9.
For His glory,
If you missed Part 1 of the series on Waiting, you can click here.
If you missed Part 2, you can click here.