The story that you are about to read is an amazing thing that God has done in our family’s life. We have been blown away. God is working in the details. Here is the story, which is jam packed full of all the insignificant details that God weaved together to write this amazing story.
We have known for around a year that we would have to move out of our house somewhere between February 15th and March 15th. Ryan is working full time and so we decided that I would look for places and we would then visit them together. I have been anxious about this for about a year. We work in ministry so we can’t afford much rent and we have been getting a sweet deal since we have been married in an amazing house. We knew that we would be downsizing and that we would be paying more in rent to live, no matter where we moved, so it has been stressful thinking about it all.
Over the years since we have married, I have realized that owning a house is not something that we would ever be able to do, we just don’t make enough money to be able to save for a down payment. With the move coming, we thought about buying, but it was unrealistic.
God was also working on my heart. In December, He was whispering to me to view this change as a good thing, that He was making all things new and I needed to be positive about the upcoming change.
I wanted to expand my search for housing and posted online in January that we were looking for a place, hoping to broaden my search and hoping a friend would know of something. I got a couple of good leads, but then it quieted down. A couple of days later I received an email from a professor at Eternity. He and his family were moving to South Africa as missionaries and they were wondering if we would be interested in renting their house. It fit our budget and our perimeters, so we scheduled a meeting with them a few days later on a Sunday.
On the way to the meeting, Ryan mentioned that he needed to take this house tour seriously. We got there and found a cute little three bedroom, one bath house. We toured the house not sure if it would be a fit for us. At the end of the meeting we all sat down on the couch and talked. As we were talking, they mentioned that they would be willing to sell the house. Then they threw out a couple of numbers for what they would want for the house, they didn’t want to make a profit, but wanted to get out of the house what they owned on it. Both numbers felt within reach, but Ryan was on the other side of the couch and we were just listening. They then shared that they were not quite funded to move to South Africa. We left their house and got in the car. My mind was racing thinking that we could buy the house. I don’t know if Ryan or I said it first, but we were both thinking it. We didn’t know if it would be a good fit for a rental, but we would love to buy it.
Ryan sent an email that night asking what they would want to sell the house for. They emailed us back with a number that was mentioned the night before. The number was much below market value for the house. Ryan wrote him back and said that he would be better getting a realtor and selling it because it was worth more, and asked what they would need to sell the house for them to be fully funded. They wrote us back, upping the original price to a price which was still within reach for our budget and below market value for the house.
Ryan told him that we would like to buy the house if we could get the loan to buy the house. On Monday and Tuesday, we met and talked with the people in our life that help us make decisions, our parents, the men that the Lord has placed over us at church and a dear friend who knows the area and pros and cons of houses here. Resoundingly, we heard yes. You should do this. They counseled us that if we could get a loan to get it for the entire amount we need to give them the full amount they were asking for. This is what Christians should do, help each other out. They are helping us by selling us a house for below market value and we are helping them by giving them the amount that they need to get out on the mission field.
We still weren’t sure about the loan, but we were given the name of a man who has helped some of the Eternity staff buy houses. He helps out Christians because he is a Christian and wants to be a blessing. Ryan worked hard to get together all the needed paperwork on Wednesday. He asked us to meet on Thursday morning at 6:30am. He encouraged us so much and helped us understand the process. He said that a loan was doable and that he would start processing the paperwork but that we needed a contract with them saying that we were buying the house. We got home and emailed the homeowner, letting him know that we were funded and going to buy the house. He emailed us back with a big, “Praise God!”
On that Thursday morning, I was struck by all that God has done in four days. I sat and cried in my husband’s arms (at Disneyland, of course, oh the irony) proclaiming all that God has done for us. We have been in a season of sadness and quietness from God. So many sad things have happened in our lives since being married and we just would pray that the season would be over soon, and then another sad thing would happen. That, matched with the overwhelming feeling that God was being quiet in our lives, was so rough, but true to what God was whispering to me back in December, He is making all things new. There are still sad things all around us, that overwhelm us both at times, but in the midst of the sadness, God gave us a gift, a place that we could call our own, a miracle house, that couldn’t be done without his doing. He gave us joy and happiness in the midst of the sadness and he answered a desire of our hearts in a huge way.
So, today, after about a month and a half of being under contract for the house, we finally closed. Something that I never thought in a million years that we would do. God has led us in every step. We have been blessed beyond our wildest imaginations. We own our own little house in a city that we love. You can expect a blog tour soon.
I will be posting more pictures as the house gets in order. There are a lot of projects that we have been working on. I am excited to show you more.