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God Gets All the Glory

May 3, 2017

Come with me as we venture into the past. No, really, ‘cuz this all starts there.

Eleven years ago, I was 5 months pregnant with our oldest son, and we were looking at houses to buy. We wanted to be somewhere we could build equity instead of just paying someone else, and we also wanted stability. Someplace that was ours.

Problem.

We didn’t have a ton of money. Not much in fact. So, as we looked, many of the houses that we looked at were either in sketchy neighborhoods (not a good thing when you are expecting a child), were deteriorating and needed a lot of work, or were just too expensive. So, we broadened our search and found…a condo.

A lovely condo, on the second floor of the building, apartment style. Still not a huge amount of space, but it was ours. And it was safe. And we could build equity. But there was a lurking thought, even as we moved in, that said “This may be difficult to sell when we are ready…condos aren’t super popular…” Still, we put those thoughts aside, trusting that God would help  us deal with that when we needed to deal with that.

We bought the condo, welcomed our first child, then our second child…and 4 months after our second child was born, the “big one” hit. The flood of 2008 hit Cedar Rapids with a vengeance. At that point, we realized something. All the homes that we had looked at? Were destroyed by the flood. All of them. They were now either gone or had to be gutted to be livable again. And, if we had chosen not to buy the condo and to buy any of those other homes, we would have had two children under the age of two and been trying to figure out how to fix a ruined home. God had protected us from buying a home that might have seemed easier to re-sell, and provided a safe, dry place for us. We couldn’t have seen that flood coming; no one did. We couldn’t have predicted that those houses would all be impacted. Yet, here we were, sitting high and dry in our condo on the top of one of the biggest hills in town. Literally.

We have been so blessed living here. Having the pool here, having space for the boys outside to run and play, and, best of all, the amazing people who I’m delighted to call “Friends” as well as neighbors who have been with us watching our boys grow up. Truly, this has been far more than “the place we live”. This is home.

Well, last year, the condo started feeling small. With two growing boys and 948 square feet, that’s no wonder! So, we had been saving up to do some things to the condo. Paint the majority of the house. (Only the bedrooms are not painted as I write this.) Replace 3/4 of the carpet. Remodel the bathroom. New light fixtures and faucet. That kind of thing. We have budgeted carefully so that we could deal with all of this without killing ourselves or our budget. Starting in March, I’ve been packing up the house a piece at a time, and currently the garage is almost filled with boxes. Our goal: put the house on the market the first week in May. That’s this week. We had a goal, we were pacing ourselves, we were moving forward, stewarding what we had to be able to have an up to date, well cared for home for someone else, and so that we could look at a larger home.

But. God.

We have been anxious. The truth is, we know we have to sell before we could buy. We can’t have two mortgages; it simply won’t happen. So, we have been praying for a buyer to come, and, all along the way there have been moments to give us pause and moments to encourage us. One unit in our complex struggling for months to find a buyer…then another one sells in a week. A moment’s terror at finances as unexpected expenses loomed…and then God stepped in and provided, truly providentially, for those needs. Discouragement followed by random encouragement from strangers. All leading up to us listing our house.

But. God.

Ten days ago, while outside, one of our neighbors asked if we were still planning to sell. Husband said yes. The  neighbor had a friend who might be interested. Husband encouraged the neighbor to give the friend our information, with the warning that we weren’t quite ready to sell…we still needed to do the final bit on the kitchen. Monday of last week, I spent the day on the ladder in the kitchen, painting. Vaulted ceilings, again. Oy. I had to borrow an 8 ft ladder from our hero of every day life to finish the final corner of the kitchen. That evening, we got a phone call. From our neighbor’s friend. She wanted to know if she could see the condo. We agreed, with the understanding that we weren’t actually done getting it ready to sell. After all, I still had paint in my fingernails, and the faucet hadn’t been fixed! She wanted to come anyway, was very gracious understanding we do live here and have offspring, and came to view the condo. She loved it. She wanted to make an offer.

At this point, we hadn’t looked at houses for us yet. We had to sell first, and so, while we had browsed some online, things around here were going so quickly, we were really just getting a feel for what is out there right now. So, knowing that she wanted to make an offer, we decided to go to some open houses this past weekend. And we found two houses that were decidedly options…but one house just outshone the others. And it is also for sale by owner, so no realtor needed. We were amazed it was still on the market; but then, we weren’t amazed because, you see, we knew Who had orchestrated all of this. It wasn’t us. It was God.

Last night, the potential buyer for our condo came back through to check the place out again. This morning, we received her offer. Our condo is sold. Done. We never had to put it on the market. I, a homeschooling mom, didn’t have to keep making the children clean up so that we could show it. Done. And, our buyer can delay the closing if we need her to, because she had already arranged to live with a friend if she had to until she could find a place, so the timing is…perfect. Things I didn’t even think to worry about, and voila! God had already dealt with it.

Last night, we walked thru the house we want to buy. Today we are putting an offer on that house. If all goes well, we will be moving mid June to the house we want and our home? I never even had to list it! God is SO GOOD!

  

Friends, as you read this? Give all praise and glory to God. There is simply no way we can take credit for this. For any of it. God brought us to this home in the right time. His time. God protected us, at that point, from dangers and trials we didn’t even know were possible…but He did. God blessed us and helped us to thrive in this small space, being content and happy until the time was right for us to move forward. God helped us budget and use the best deals we could to do the work on our condo. Yes, we did obey what Scripture teaches in caring for what we have been given, stewarding the resources He has given us, and trusting in Him and His provision, being content…in all circumstances. (All 948 sq feet of them.) But, at the end of the day? We didn’t do this. We didn’t bring the buyer; God did. We didn’t put the house up for sale and keep it up there as long as it has been…God did. We didn’t struggle finding a buyer who could work with us on a closing date…God brought that. All in one person. No realty fees. On either side. We all benefit from this, and, truly, I’m not sure how much more perfectly it could have worked out! Moving now, in the late spring/summer? That means we are moved and done before school starts in the fall. We have all summer to unpack and get things put where we want them.

I’ve said this before, and I’m gonna say it again. God is in the details. He is. He knew all the things that had to happen for us to sell and then to buy. He brought it all together, in His perfect time. Because that is who He is. He is God. There is no other. And I’m still in shock over this whole process. I know how rare and unusual this is, and I’m so thankful. God is so good, my friends. Why would I try to do any of this on my own, when I can see His faithfulness in this?

But yanno what? As I’ve talked with some precious friends about this over the past 10 days, one thing has kept coming up…especially in those discouraging moments. For those who love God and are called according to His purpose? He is, truly, working everything for our best and for His glory. If that meant that we didn’t sell and stayed here another year? Then that would be God’s best for us. And, while we would be disappointed, and it might be hard at first, I will still praise God for His faithfulness and provision, even if selling a house is hard and wearying. Even still. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord. I mean that. Even as I’m rejoicing at the way God has orchestrated all of this, I know He is trustworthy even if it all fell apart today. For those who are truly His? Everything in our lives is for His glory and for our good. Even the hurtful stuff. There is no such thing as “meaningless suffering” for a true believer. All of it is for our sanctification and for His glory, and He alone is worthy of that glory. PRAISE GOD with me today, friends!!

What a mighty God we serve!!

SDG

Beth

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jess Willard Lankford
May. 5th, 2017 04:46 am (UTC)
Yes indeed praise the Lord.
Yes indeed praise the Lord. I think the Lord for you Beth and Jeremy. I think God that He gave you so much love for each other and wisdom, and for the love of your brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. <><
swimswithfrogs
May. 23rd, 2017 08:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Yes indeed praise the Lord.
AMEN!!! And thank you, Jess. You are SUCH an encouragement to us and we are so thankful to Him for YOU, brother!!!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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