Monday, August 16, 2010

The Lord Builds the House

Yesterday afternoon there was a knock at the door. Tony answered it, and a man we don't know said he had some papers for us. We were being served the foreclosure papers on our house. We knew this was coming, but it was still unexpected in that moment.

A bunch of legal jargon that basically says we have to either pay the entire remaining debt of $60,000+ or get out so they can sell the house. While I have made my peace already (having known this was coming) with leaving this house, the problem we face now is where to go when we leave. Because we have not been able to keep up the payments on this house (which have raised $155 since we first bought it 2 years ago -- from $555 a month to $710 a month, which we just can't afford), our credit is now bad again and it's not like we can get a loan to buy a smaller home and move anywhere else. Even the thought of renting or getting an apartment is shadowed by the knowledge that in order to do that, we would have to have a security deposit, usually anywhere from $400-$800, which of course we can't come up with while still paying bills and buying food here.

With all that said, I am concerned but really not anxious. I have been praying earnestly, every day, usually many times each day, about this situation for a month now and I believe that God will provide a home of some kind for us and lead us to it. I have to laugh at myself sometimes because I keep coming back before God with this same request, please provide a home, whether it be that we keep this one or get another one, just please provide a way somehow, and lead us to it. And I laugh, and that story in Luke 11:5-13 just keeps coming back to me:

Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'

"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

I'm just going to keep on knocking!

Last night Tony and I were laying in bed together and I suggested we do a Bible study. I had already been feeling pulled toward our Bible Study book throughout the evening. Usually we go through it in order, but last night I said, "Let's just open it up to one and read." Really, I had been having a page number go through my head for hours and so I suggested we open to that page: 146.

Well, page 146 was the last page of one study, so we started reading the one that started on the next page. (And in fact, as I sit here typing this, I opened up the Bible study book to tell you what it says, and opened right to that same page!) The study we read was called "Today is Special." Key verses:

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. ~Psalm 89:15

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." ~Psalm 118:24

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." ~James 1:17

The last line written in that Bible study was: "So step out in faith and give Jesus all your cares!"

OK, so that one was good, but wait...

While Tony was reading what that Bible study said, my eyes kept wandering to page 146 - the one before it. Words like "home" and "house" kept jumping out at me. I said, "Let's read them both."

So we did.

Tony told me the Scripture Reading so I could look it up and read it, and I looked it up and just started laughing. I couldn't stop! Finally I began to read:

Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.

In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.

Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

~Psalm 127:1-5

Uh-huh, now you're all smiling with me, right? And as if that wasn't enough, the next Scripture for us to read was this:

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."
~Proverbs 24:3-4

Now, these are two of my absolute favorite verses in the Bible, in fact they are our "school verses."

One of the last things the Bible study says is, "If you yield to Him daily your home can be more than just a 'place'; it can be a true family -- living, growing, and learning together with God."

Your home is more than just a "place." Though this house may be gone, our home remains as it ever has. Wherever we are, we are together and God is with us. He will lead us to where he wants us to be, and all of this is happening for a reason which we cannot yet see. Honestly, I'm kind of excited when I think about it! What does God have in store for us? I can't wait to find out!

On another note (but still the same page, LOL), one of the additional Scriptures to look up on that Bible study was Ephesians 5:15-6:4. Now, I already knew what those verses said, but they came with a special significance, having just read my facebook friend Carol's blog here (you can read the whole of her story if you start here).

I have a tendency to try to be in control. It's just my personality. It has always been a struggle for me to be submissive. Tony has such a laid back, quiet personality that sometimes it really bugs me because I want to get moving and take action and he doesn't seem to be doing anything! But...OK, God, I hear you. Your still small voice is whispering, "Shut up, you idiot, and give him a chance to lead. Now would be the opportune time." (Or something like that.)

So I'm not going to push him or pressure him or bother him, I'm not going to suggest ideas, I'm just going to pray, let God lead Tony, and let Tony lead me.

Who knows where we'll be living a month, or three months, or a year from now? Wherever it is, God will provide!

I am going to make a point to pray about this issue every day at 4 pm, Central time. Who will join me? You can never have too much prayer!


  1. Wow! I am so excited, yes excited with how God is working in your life. And I am thrilled to know that he has allowed me to play a tiny part in your adventure with Him.

    Don't let the seemingly hopeless situations get you down. Those are the times when the Lord can really prove himself to you and your family.

    May God richly bless you,
    Carol Flett

  2. I've marked the time down and will be in prayer for you and your family!

  3. I will be praying for you too..I will pray at 5PM Eastern time so we will both be praying at the same time...

  4. How did your payments go up like that? Variable rate mortgage or something?

    Mrs. MOTW and I are no strangers to financial issues. Things have gotten a little better in the last year or so, and if we both stay employed (she's a part-timer), the worst of it will be over in about a year, but we know how frustrating it can be to deal with these issues.

    More and more, this sort of thing is on my mind and you can count on some of my thoughts making it into the blogosphere. Perhaps some will help, perhaps not.

    In the meantime, let me offer some perspective: you are young. Your bad credit will not last forever. You will have chances to buy other homes. You have plenty of time to position and improve yourselves for greater earning power.

    Prayer is a wonderful thing. If I may offer one suggestion, hopefully without sounding pompous, it is to be diligent about putting yourself in a position to receive blessing.

    Just my two cents. I will make sure that we pray for you in Sunday School class.

  5. Dear Heather.

    Yes I know this is stressful. But I love your attitude in this. You are so right. It doesn't matter if you are in a 1 room shanty or a 55 room mansion. It's not really a home, unless you let God use you to beautify it and fill it with love.




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