We all have stories to tell.
God was reminding me of this today as I was driving, running errands, and listening to the radio. A song came on the radio, not one that I usually listen to but I stopped and really heard the words, "Let me write my story on your heart". It was God speaking to my heart.
I started to think about our "story"...which is lots of stories really. At times I have let a shadow of shame hang over some of our story. I have let the enemy pronounce "Failure"over me. Today as I was driving I felt the Lord whisper that I need to start writing down my stories and in doing so reframe how I see them. Sometimes we need to remember where we came from so we can know where we are going. And in doing so we can see where God was in our lives and where He is now.
So that is what I am going to do... starting with this story.
We had been married two and half years and were living in the city in an apartment that we loved. Our vision from the time we first got married was to live in community, sharing our lives and hearts with others and we were doing just that. We had one strong little 18 month old boy who preferred to sleep with keys and disregarded cell phones instead of nuks and blankies. And we were pregnant with baby number two. Life was good.
But there was this dream inside of our hearts to own a home in the city. A place to call our own, to raise our growing family. So we did what anyone who has no money to buy a house does. We started looking and dreaming. We would go for long walks through the city with the stroller and my growing belly looking at houses and dreaming of the future. We went to the bank and looked at what we could afford. At the time we were in full time ministry so our paychecks were random to say the least but we had good credit and soon found out we could get a "no documentation" loan that allowed us to get a loan without having regular paychecks. We looked at several houses seriously but still had no clue how we would afford to buy one. But yet it seemed like it was on the Lord's heart.
During this time Mark felt the Lord speaking to him one day and he wrote these words down in his journal "Your shaving cream will be your confirmation in regards to a house". It seemed silly. It made no sense. But he wrote it down.
Also at this time Mark had a consulting business and spent much of his time coaching small business owners. He would meet with them and help draw out the vision and dreams that God had placed inside of them regarding their businesses. One of his coaching clients told them that his wife had a dream about us and she felt like it meant that they were supposed to help us buy a house. He said to let us know if we found a house.
A few weeks later Mark was in the bathroom shaving his head. Our landlord and good friend Keith knocked on the front door which was right near the bathroom. Mark popped his head out the bathroom door head full of shaving cream and razor still in hand. Keith had his real estate license and had just found out about this house a couple blocks away that was recently redone, had a double lot with a fenced in yard, and a garage. "Someone should buy this house" Keith said.
Mark looked at him, head full of shaving cream, "Yeah I think its me."
Within a couple hours we were there walking through the house. It was my dream house in the city. I loved it. I wanted it but didn't see how we were going to come up with that kind of money.
The year was 2005 and the market in the city was hopping. Another young couple went through the house at the same time we did. Keith told us he didn't think it would be on the market by Monday. It was Saturday.
Mark called the coaching client and told him we found our house...and that we would need fifteen to twenty thousand to buy it. The client paused for a second and said "i have fifteen thousand I can give you..." They talked details about how to get the money in time to make the deal and then Mark asked how they should write up the terms of the load for paying him back.
"I don't want you to pay me back. I am giving you the money."
And just like that we were handed fifteen thousand dollars. The rest of the five thousand dollars we needed came in between that day and our settlement. We bought our first house. Our dream house. God had fulfilled our dream.
|~A page from our scrapbook showing the "proud homeowners" and an ad from the time that also was a huge billboard in the city that God would always speak to me through every time I walked past it and a picture of the roses that grew in our backyard~|
We are in another season of dreaming of a house to call our own, a place to raise our "growing" family. We have been driving around the countryside looking at houses and dreaming. God reminded me today of this story. It is not a story of failure, but of His faithfulness. I don't know the end of this story but I do know He likes to write page turners.