Our family has been so protected in a recent experience with our home. Back when we signed a two-year lease and moved in, we knew very little about the owner except he’d lived in the house about fifteen years and had recently divorced. There were no indications of what we would later encounter.
About a year into our lease, we started to notice some rather unusual things happening. First, a bank kept leaving notices for the homeowner to be in touch. We contacted the agent, who told us not to worry as the owner had substantial equity in the house. So we just left the situation alone.
As the weeks passed, we began to see people stopping their cars right in front of the house, some of them taking pictures. This was a quiet subdivision and “traffic” like this was not the norm. One afternoon, there was a knock on our door and a man asked if he could look at the house. When I asked him why, he said that the house was on a list of Sherriff’s Sale homes and he was curious about its features.
After he left, I immediately went on the County Auditor’s website and found that, yes, they had foreclosed on the house! Calls to the agent went unanswered after he initially said he’d “look right into it.”
Weeks passed, and we wondered, should we look for another place to live? Should we pay the rent? Should we trust the situation? These questions just kept leading us back to God. We clearly felt that trusting God in the “disposal of events” would be the best way to handle it. (My 281:6-7)
One afternoon, the homeowner showed up and sat down with my wife and me to explain what had happened. He proceeded to let us know that he had worked with his lawyer up until the last hour to save the house from foreclosure. It appeared there was no way for him to keep the house, he was told. Then the lawyer asked if he rented the house to anyone, and of course his answer was “yes” and that this in fact was how he was able to keep the house. We rejoiced, and felt that God had worked this out for both him and for us.
Fast forward to the end of that year. We began to see bank notices again on the door. As I prayed for God’s direction, I was led back to the Auditor’s website. The house was now slated for auction in TWO DAYS! The agent suggested we pay him the upcoming rent until he could get valid information about the upcoming sale. We did not heed this directive, as we continued to listen to God and not the opinion of men. It reminded me of the story of the building of the wall and Nehemiah’s statement, “I cannot come down.” (Neh. 6:3)
The date of the sale came and went. No word from the bank, the owner, the agent, no one. We patiently waited for God to reveal His plan, putting away all fear through trusting God.
A few weeks later, an unfamiliar-looking man showed up at the house. He announced that he was the new owner. He told us he wished to “flip” the house (in real estate terms, buying a house at auction and reselling it for a greater price after doing minor repair work) but told us we could stay as long as we needed. We told him that we would work to be out of the house as soon as we could find suitable housing.
In the search for another place to live, and taking the practical steps that seemed most logical, things did not go very efficiently nor smoothly. My thought was, “why is this happening? I mean God leads us in the right direction, doesn’t He?” I began a period of deep sadness and confusion, akin to Job’s days of feeling estranged from God. Prayer revealed to me that the same God was speaking to others and He was also revealing ideas to me, because Mind governs all men, not just Christians or those who pray. This was a simple but necessary revelation to me, as it really forced me to turn more to God for the answers.
Summer came, and we had scheduled to move out of the house by August 1st, but absolutely nothing had unfolded. We went to speak with our new landlord and explained the situation to him. He said immediately, “I’ll make you a deal. Let me do the reparations to the house and put it up for sale while you’re living there. Let me show the house. You can stay until September 1st. If I sell the house by then, you won’t have to pay the last month’s rent.” This sounded like it came directly from God. So, we agreed to the deal and thanked the landlord (and God as well).
The repair work began in earnest and was completed quickly. This was on a Friday. The house was listed with a realtor on the same day. On Sunday, we got a call from the realtor to show the house. Two families viewed it on Sunday afternoon.
On Wednesday, we learned that a bid was placed and was likely to be accepted. Hooray, the house was sold!
Since then a unique employment opportunity unfolded for my wife in her CS nursing practice. And all aspects of the move went very harmoniously, as we were led to sell household items, leave our employment, and send our children off to school. God has met our every need and supplied much good to our family throughout this experience.