“Oh, the riches of Your love have made me a wealthy, wealthy son.
Oh, the rivers that flow down have made me a strong and fruitful ground.”
From a worship song by Katie Koontz
After a very emotionally draining summer, things began to change for us. Two things contributed to this. First, we received an unexpected financial blessing from Jason’s dad that gave us room to negotiate both on the sale of our own house and the purchase of another. This would not change the fact that our dream home was still out of reach financially, but it did give us room to breathe. Second, at my grandmother’s funeral, I was reminded of her strong and abiding faith. My mom mentioned one of the ministers my Granny listened to, Charles Capps. He taught often about faith and the power of our words. I listened to one of his podcasts and mentioned it to Jason. At work one day, he put in his headphones and began to listen to these teachings on faith. He listened to them over and over again, soaking in the words. And Jason began to change. His prayers became stronger, his faith in the Lord more firm. I could see the difference inside him as he meditated on the Truth. As he said later, the teachings were not so different from what we have been learning for the last 15 years at our own church, but the repetition and speaking his faith out loud began to change things inside him.
Late in the year, we got a call from the man who had seen our house before. He had decided he was tired of waiting for his house to sell. He would rearrange his finances to allow the purchase of a second home. Suddenly, we were rolling. On December 7, seven years EXACTLY from the day we bought it, we sold our house in town.
The question then was — could we purchase the house we wanted? We spent several weeks talking with banks, with lawyers, with the owner. Many, many things had to come together to make it possible. I can’t even name all the miraculous things that happened to open the doors for this purchase. The owner agreed to sell us the house and six acres of the land — a treasure to us. We did have a few moments of doubt and panic. At the last minute, we wondered if we were doing the right thing and spent a miserable week looking at other options. In the end, we returned to our original plan. We had prayed over this house for over a year! No way did we want to waste those prayers on something more convenient or appealing. Our financing came through in the most surprising and beneficial ways, and we sailed through the process. Three days before Christmas, we moved into our new home on a rental agreement which would come to an end as soon as our loan closed in January. We spent the holidays in complete bliss, contentment, and exhaustion.
January came, and we began preparing for our closing date. I had written “Part 1” of this Faith Project series, but for some reason I was having a hard time continuing. I felt hesitant to finish the story somehow.
Four days before our tentative closing date, Jason called me into our office and shut the door. “I got a call from the mortgage company today,” he said quietly. “They said they will not give us a loan. At all.”
I stared at him, horrified. “What do you mean?” I asked. As it turned out, the mortage people didn’t like something on the appraisal for the new house. It had nothing to do with the actual property and everything to do with technicalities. I felt suddenly panicked. We already moved! We already sold our house! What on earth would we do? But before I could even voice these concerns, Jason stopped me. “We are not going to fear,” he said firmly. “The Lord gave us this house, and we know He did. It’s ours. We just have to find someone to give us a loan.”
And that’s exactly what he did. He got on the phone and spent the next two weeks talking to people in the financial world. None of them liked the number on the appraisal — all of them hesitated and said they didn’t think they could work with it either. But Jason did not get discouraged. He kept praying and believing for the Lord’s provision, and it came. One day a lady with a mortgage company looked at our situation and said, “No problem.” Two weeks later, we closed on our home.
I can’t describe how this experience has changed our way of thinking. It’s an Ebenezer for us, a place to firmly plant our faith and know that the Lord does indeed work on our behalf. Every day I wake up to the joy and beauty of this place, the peace that pervades it. And I know that the Lord gave it to us. Already it has been a place of hospitality and blessing to others as we have hosted family get-togethers, out-of-town guests, and a weekly Bible study attended by 30 people. We anticipate more.
My story here is not about the actual house, although I love it. It’s about the process, the way God works to change and strengthen us when we first listen for His direction and then move forward in full confidence that He will make it possible. In our own strength, we could never have achieved this, not if we tried a million different ways. We were in no position to sell or buy a house. In fact, our monthly income has not really changed over the last year. But our spiritual wealth has increased exponentially. This is what is valuable to me, and it is what I think about every day when I pull in the driveway that now belongs to me.