Sometimes I visualize God smiling down on us as He seemlessly moves His children into each other’s paths. “Oh, you need that? I have another child that can help you out.” As he lovingly moves the puzzle piece into place. We need to be willing to listen and to act because most often God performs His miracles though others. In my next two posts…
I want to share with you two stories
from two different families
that had two different needs
that were met by each other.
All because of our loving Heavenly Father.
“You know, if you plan to take care of your parents as they get older we need to start thinking about building a different house.” This one sentence was it. The push the sent me tumbling into sleepless nights, anxiety attacks, stomach aches and tears. No, my parents aren’t THAT bad. It was actually my dream to have them live with me but there were no homes in our area to buy that would fit our needs. SO, if building a house was essential to taking care of my parents, forget it. I had built a house before and to quote a journal entry that is smeared with tears… “I would rather go through puberty again than EVER build a house again.” Yeah, it was bad.
When we built our first home we had three kids under the age of four and I was pregnant with our 4th child. It was a complete custom home in a rural area. We chose the cheapest builder because we had a limited budget. Need I say more? I could write 100 posts on all the things we did wrong and everything that went wrong. It was an 18 month nightmare. My husband travelled all the time and our contractor was not doing his job so my sick pregnant self with 3 kids in tow had to completely take over the building of our home… with no contracting knowledge. Hence the anxiety attacks.
After a few months of tears my husband looked at me with compassion and said, “This anxiety isn’t worth it. Building a house is off the table. We aren’t doing it. We’ll have to figure something else out.” With that I was lifted back on my feet and my anxiety attacks immediately stopped.
About 4 months later I was driving down the road with my mom and sister. We were chatting about our favorite movies. Without warning the words gently came into my mind, “Its ok, you can start thinking about building a house again.” My sister and mom continued talking and I’m glad they didn’t notice the look of alarm on my face. “Where in the heck did that come from?”, was all I could think. Along with those words came a rush of peace and confidence I had never experienced when thinking about building a home. I almost felt like someone had their arm around me, patting me on the shoulder and telling me it was going to be ok.
I was so thrown by that experience that I didn’t dare tell anyone, especially not my husband! If he had any hint that I would consider building a house again he would be full steam ahead. For the next two weeks I let the words settle into my mind. I started making a list of the things that we would need to do to get our house ready to sell. I cautiously started learning about realtors and builders in the area. I drove around to look at land. I had to test the waters and see if my peace would remain intact if I slowly moved forward. I passed a piece of land a few times that I thought was almost perfect. On a particularly stressful day I decided to go visit that land and actually get out of my car this time. I didn’t realize how beautiful the piece of land was before. I sat on an tree stump and soaked in my surroundings. This is where we were supposed to be. I almost felt like God was saying, “Here you go, I created this little piece of land just for you.” Is that silly?
I was ready to tell my husband. He was just as shocked as I was when I first heard those words come into my mind. He was even more shocked that I already knew where we were supposed to build our house. I still asked him if we could please take things slow. I was trying to be courageous but I had to constantly fight off the doubt that kept creeping into my mind. I lost heart when I confided in a friend that I had a prompting to build a house and their response was laughter. Was I crazy? Would the Lord prompt someone to build a house when the house they were living in was perfectly fine? Then the reality of how stressful it was to sell a house set in. We met with a realtor just to get an idea of what was ahead for us. She told us the housing market was no good. Houses in our price range were taking a year or more to sell. All I heard was, “You have to keep your house clean everyday for an entire year with your 5 children who make messes for a hobby.” Great! I went to the scriptures often for comfort. I read stories of women who were asked to do hard things and how the Lord strengthened them. It gave me courage that I could do this with a lot of prayer and the Lord’s help.
We decided we would not risk building a house before our own home sold. We were in no rush so we slowly started doing little things here and there to fix up the house. If we felt up to it we would put the house on the market in a couple months since it would likely take a long time to sell. We woke up one Saturday morning ready to do a project I was dreading. The realtor told us we had to move some food rotation shelves out of my dining room.
They were for my business and I thought they weren’t so bad, but mostly I didn’t want to move over 1000 cans of food more than once! I was groaning about the project when my husband’s cell phone rang. I stopped when I heard him speak the words, “Well, our house isn’t on the market yet but we are working on it.” I stared at him and tried to translate his end of the conversation. When he got off the phone he announced, “A family is coming to look at our house in 30 minutes.”
What in the world? We scrambled to clean up but I didn’t have hope that anything would come of it. My husband is the bishop (minister) at our church and often gets calls from members of our church letting him know they are moving in. Granted this phone call was a little different. We met with the Windsors and I immediately liked Lorraine. She gushed about how beautiful our home was but mentioned that it was most likely out of their price range. It was still an exciting morning and it was hopeful to have someone like our home so much. We ended up not having time to do our big project that day so we put it off yet again. That night we went out to dinner with our good friends and told them what had happened that morning. We laughed and joked about how it wasn’t likely, “but wouldn’t it be crazy if we actually got an offer on our house without ever having to put it on the market?” As we spoke those words my husband’s cell phone rang. “It’s the Windsors!” We all sat in silence as we listened to Hubby speak. “Ok, yes, that would work, sure, great.” My husband put the phone down in disbelief. “We just sold our house!” The rest of the night I couldn’t form any coherent thoughts past, “Oh my gosh, we are moving.”
Within 4 weeks we packed up, miraculously found a rental nearby big enough for our family, moved out and handed our keys over to the Windsors. Because we had not signed a contract with a realtor we were able to take what we would have had to pay in realtor fees and drop the price of our home to exactly the Windsor’s budget. When Lorraine eventually told me her side of the story and what led her husband to call us about a house, I absolutely knew the Lord had orchestrated this miracle. It was no coincidence. Lorraine has also shared her side of the story on left with a smile. You will be amazed how beautifully this all came together.
If you are wondering. Yes, we built our house and yes, I survived! We interviewed about 15 builders. Almost all of them said we should find a different piece of land because they weren’t confident in building a walk out basement. I was confused because of the experience I had when I found that land. We almost moved on but interviewed one last builder who had an impeccable reputation and had built several basements (very uncommon where we live). We hired him and had a near perfect experience.
We’ve lived in our house for a little over a year and my parents are living with us. Lorraine and I joke that the real reason Heavenly Father made this all happen was for my parents. They’ve lived incredibly selfless lives and God wanted it to be their turn for a little care. But thats another story for another post.
Sometimes our Heavenly Father shows His love by putting His children in each other’s paths. The Lord didn’t have to extend His mercy towards me. I still would have survived the experience if my house took a year to sell. I’ve certainly had experiences where things didn’t turn out that perfect. The best way I know how to show my gratitude is to tell this story and share my conviction that I know our Savior loves us. He wants to bless us whether though trial or triumph. Our God is a God of miracles and we will see them in every moment if we choose to look.
Read the other side to this miracle here.