I don’t know if there is a good way to put this into words. Sitting in my smoky apartment that so often I have found myself grumbling to the Lord in– more than once upon arrival, I am now laughing because once again the Lord’s generosity is hilarious.
I have it good.
I always do.
He provides and his steadfast love never fails. And it won’t.
Months ago my husband and I were excited to find a place that would let us move in so quickly. Our jobs were lined up and temporary (relatively cheap) housing was set up. Our landlords were gracious and held it for us so we moved in after one week. For this one, of many reasons, we knew we were meant to be at 1650 Tenth Ave. As boxes flooded the first room of the apartment and we could barely squeeze three people in, I reminded myself of this-as I did each time I entered the bathroom to see the most hideous olive green sink, bath and toilet. Yes, we knew what we were getting into, and John and I continue to believe that the Lord’s will was done. We moved in. Others who hesitated knew well not to argue- we explained more than once that this is where we felt the Lord wanted us and this would be our new home-green loo and all.
A few months later I began to struggle with my health. My breathing began to worsen and I woke up with my head pounding each morning, aware that I was not getting enough oxygen. When we left for vacation, we opened our suitcase, to find that our clothes reeked of smoke. The people that had moved in beneath us (two weeks after we did) were heavy smokers and somehow we did not notice this until we were away. Several trips to the emergency room and to the Dr. told us how serious this was becoming and we began to wonder what God’s plan was in this. We had signed a year long lease! What would we do? There was no way we could break it. Who else would be crazy enough to live here? And we couldn’t pay for two places? The very thoughts only caused my panic to sky rocket and asthma to worsen. We left for a weekend to see if a trip to my parents would bring any relief. Upon arriving back we were made aware of the most terrible odor of smoke and mildew. Our landlord came and could not figure out the problem but did notice a leak in the sink which he claimed to fix by covering up the wet wood with another layer of wood. My allergies and breathing continued to worsen. We began to ask for prayer and look for other options. After much prayer, we found that our landlord would allow us to break lease due to my health conditions. Praise God! Now we would need to find a new place to call home.
House after house that we looked at I just became more overwhelmed. The price wasn’t right, the layout was awful, it was in a bad neighborhood, it was too far from work, it was too small, it was too high. I admit, as we looked, it seemed hopeless. I felt ashamed to ask for prayer as if I was complaining, but told one friend that I could not wait to show them how God would provide, because I knew he would! John and I continued express that to each other and the Lord.
At a time when I felt particularly hopeless, I expressed my concern to a dear friend. She prayed with me, assured me that the house was being saved especially for me, and that it would be exactly what we needed. Moments later John sent me a text with a link saying–” I found it!! Showing at 11:30 on Friday!”I looked at the photos, and was shocked and afraid to become too excited. Could this be it? Everything I wanted down to the silly amenities?
We pulled into the drive way on Friday morning and outstepped a well dressed beautiful ethiopian woman. “We introduced ourselves and she said “Yes, I’ve been waiting for you! Come in!” As we stepped in and looked around a familiar feeling swept over me. The feeling that I had when the Lord provided a job for me and job for my husband after we spent months praying that we could eventually move back to Minnesota. The feeling that you get as a child when someone hands you a gift and says “This is for you!” Could this be what I think it is?
Into the kitchen to see the exact layout I had drawn in my mind- nice open layout facing a window- and up the stairs to see more space- beautiful space! To anyone else, this was a basic townhouse with no major bells and whistles. To me, this was the promised land.
As we chatted with the owner, she asked what we did and John told her he is a youth pastor. She teared up almost instantly and said “I’ve been praying for christians to rent my house!” I stood dumbfounded knowing that John had also prayed for a christian landlord. Could this really be?
We filled out the applications, exchanged numbers and she promised to be in touch by the end of the day. We left the house and I instinctively noted her license plate (yes, i know she was a christian, but I’m a freak, we found the house on craigslist and I had just given her a lot of information, so…I looked =-)
It read “Matt 7-7”
John said “Duh, it’s a bible verse. She’s a christian. Honey, you’re so weird.”
Never the less, I jotted it down.
Only after she had called, we had received the lease agreement and settled on a move-in date did it hit me.
“Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you.”
You have got to be kidding me.
You can laugh. We did. 😉
Pictures (and more adventures) to come…..