Monday, October 29, 2012

home: lost and restored

This last April we bought a house. We didn't move and the transaction passed by quietly with a holy reverence. It's not often that you get a new house and don't have to pack a single box. But, it was astounding how we got to that conference room at First American Title, stacks of documents laid out in front of us.

Our story began five years ago when we purchased a modest home. New to the area we searched for months until we crossed paths with perfection. It had never been lived in, was on a quiet street and the neighborhood was packed with children. We bought the house and moved and life began a new sort of normal in a new place.

Just nine months after signing papers and getting keys my husband lost his job. The finicky economy
had finally caught up with our over built area and massive job losses began to take place. Of course
with massive job losses you often have massive home losses. We could see it coming from miles away. It was 2008 and we began praying like we never had before. And God provided. We started a business and despite the depressed economy, the business grew. It was slow, but it grew. God used it to provide. But even as he did, the neighborhood we loved began to change. We weren't the only ones affected by job loss on our street, and at one time almost every single house on the block was empty save for ours and two others. And a loss in home value goes hand in hand with neighborhood foreclosures, so of course the value of our home plummeted. We quickly became discouraged, but we also remembered that God had placed us where he wanted and he was still provided encough income to pay our bloated mortgage. Still we prayed, all the while wondering why we were still putting money in the failing investment that was our home. But as long as God provided the income we knew we needed to honor our agreement to pay. So we did.

And then one day that changed. The savings that was already stetched thin became too meager. This happened right when the busy season ended for our business and we knew that we were very close to becoming a statistic, evidence of an economy that crashed. We did the only thing we knew to do, pray. And pursue a mortgage modification. In God's economy prayer always works, in the world's economy mortgage modifications rarely work.

One year later it became very clear that the modification would not happen. And we knew that there was nothing else we could do. Not too long after that we were served with documents from the mortgage company, suing us for our missed payments. Foreclosure was inevitable. So we prayed more.

At this point I should mention that when this whole process began I started to pray the impossible: if it's your will God, let us stay here in this house we love, with our payments cut in half, the outstanding in debt forgiven, and the home value adjusted to current market value. It was a big order, but we serve an even bigger God.

We began to walk that tricky tightrope of foreclosure. We met with a realtor, who sent us to a lawyer who happened to mention a new program that might help. It was a vague statement made in passing. Several months went by and we got a phone call. Well, not just a phone call, the phone call. It was our lifeline, our answer to prayer. We not only qualified for this rare, new program but had been accepted. Our agreement to the process halted the foreclosure proceedings. Did I mention we were just so close to this? I was mentally packed and driving by rental homes in our town. And desperately praying all the while.

And that's what brought us to that title company in April. After many months, and lots of back and forth God graciously answered our prayer. Debt forgiven. Payments reduced. Home price set to current market value. And, house saved. It felt downright Biblical, to have our debt canceled and our home saved. And it seemed to me to be the perfect picture of grace. God forgives the most enormous debt and grants us freedom, this is not just about our house, but a picture of a life redeemed by Christ alone.

When I prayed the impossible over our situation I knew God could do it, but I felt like the man who pleaded with Jesus: I do believe, but help me with my unbelief! I wanted faith for the impossible. He met us. And he reminded us that he is in control over all things, and he loves to do what seems impossible for man. I love what Jesus says to the woman at the well, "if you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." Basically what Jesus is saying is that if we know God and what he is capable of, asking the impossible is a no brainer. Why wouldn't we? But so often we don't. Maybe we are afraid of what the answer will be, or afraid to be disappointed. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that God truly is capable of doing what seems downright ridiculous. And he loves to amaze his kids.

So now we are home, and more settled than ever.


  1. this is beautiful and inspiring to me today. thank you. i've needed a push to bigger faith, and i am often praying the "help me in my disbelief" prayer too. your specific, bold prayers are such an encouragement too. our home has been a source of discouragement to me for a long while. i am still praying God will redeem our past poor choices and open a new door, literally...sooner rather than later. {please!}

    1. I'll join you in praying for redemption, and it doesn't matter if its poor choices or a just plain old back luck, God can meet us despite our choices. Just look at the time when Jesus met the Samaritan woman, he stepped in and saved her because he loved her and she recognized him for who he was.

      Paying that God meets you here! And quickly.

  2. this was such an inspired message that i needed to hear... though it is not a mortgage payment that is weighing on me, but my college loan payments. i need a job or a miracle... or a miraculous job ;). and i guess i've just been afraid to ask God bc i got myself into the loan mess and all that goes with it... (my father has cosigned the loans... so we pretty much have no relationship right now... at least not a good one.)

    1. God can give you a miraculous job, he can do it! Praying for provision and that your relationship will be restored. He is able to do it!

  3. Your story is miraculous. Thank you for writing about it. And it REALLY encourages me to pray with more expectancy and boldness even in the midst of my fears and reservations. We've got some big need too.

    1. I can't tell you that our season was easy, it was incredibly difficult. But, but, God is so faithful and and I'm so grateful for a season of need because it allowed me to see how powerful God is.

      Praying that God will meet you in your need!

  4. Giving Glory to Whom Glory is due! Thank you!

    Love you!

  5. SEE! SEE! We CAN ask Him for ANYTHING, and HE CAN DO IT if it's His will for us!!

    This is a great story. So so glad He moved in this way for your family, and "made his face shine upon" you in that IT WAS ALL HIM!

  6. Wow! I am so encouraged by your story. I, too, am praying a big prayer. It seems so impossible but I have a quiet confidence that God WILL provide. I can't wait to see how. Thanks for brightening my day.


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