“Thank you God for our food, for my family, and for our new house. Amen.” A little boy said with his head bent over his cereal bowl, and a spoon in hand.
That’s been a regular prayer at our house for a long time. We had been so used to praying it, so used to talking about dreams we had for our next home, so used to waiting… that we had kind of forgotten the gift of how EVERYTHING CAN CHANGE from simply one day to the next.
And so on a regular Friday there was still nothing on the horizon after years of waiting, praying, and thanking God. Every last door had been shut this past year, some slammed, some gently closed… and man I had reached the stage of deep sighs and simultaneous head shakes. Prime ground for discouragement to set in. That night I took one last look out our kitchen window staring down at the cars and buildings and like I had been for a long time I prayed again…
Dear God, I know only YOU can do this, in this crazy expensive city… literally a mountain is going to have to move.. And if you’re going to make this happen… could you please do it in a big way? In a way that my boys know WITHOUT A DOUBT that all of this could have only come from YOU?
Saturday morning… “I found an apartment on Craigslist. It looks old, but it’s big, and it has 3 real bedrooms. It’s 1567 sq. feet.”
“Oh yeah? Where?” We had always joked, ‘It’s not like we’re going to find an apartment on Craigslist…’ (Turns out I need to stop joking around…)
“Down the street…”
“Do you want to try to go see it?” I asked. We had been through this process so many times, but we had NEVER seen an apartment that big downtown before that wasn’t an unaffordable penthouse for the single guy with the Ferrari. We were 90% ‘is this for real?’
And then amazingly enough the guy on the Craigslist ad called us back, they never do that. And by that afternoon we were walking through the place for a whole 10 minutes as a family. And with the boys slightly wrestling at my feet while I talked to the property manager he said, “The owner would like to rent to a family. She’s already said no to some other applications.”
I’m sorry what now? Most rental ads specifically say, ‘Maximum 3 occupants,’ or ‘Young professionals only…’ (Please read, ‘Move your kids to the suburbs.’)
And that’s when my year of sales experience kicked in and I bravely asked, “Are you flexible on the price?” (Because at the listed price before us, we just couldn’t even…)
“I think there’s some room for negotiation.” He said. (Of course he said that…)
And successfully negotiate we did, and then a lease was signed, our notice to our current place was given, and all of a sudden A MOVING DATE WAS SET.
Everyone in our house was like, “But… IS THIS for real? Like are we ACTUALLY moving?”
There’s a hallway for soccer, summersaults, and race cars. A hallway… (Can you hear the angels singing?!)
“To think after all these years Mom, it’s been sitting under our noses this whole time.” He said staring out the kitchen window straight down the street looking at our new apartment. (The one that allows barbecues by the way.)
Turns out it just wasn’t ready for us yet. Turns out we did just have to hold on a little bit longer. And it turns out we were ready for this because about 9 months ago I shot up straight in my bed and said, “I feel like God is telling us to prepare, like we need to get ready for all the things.”
“When are you moving?” People would ask.
“Soon.” I’d say.
“Where are you moving to?” (In this insanely priced city…)
“Not sure yet, but it’s going to be great.”
The whole time, I felt like when I would question it all, a whisper from God inside my soul would simply remind me, “Do you trust me? With your family, your house, your life story?”
It’s a Christmas miracle folks. Our little Christmas story beside the REAL Christmas story. And even if the house itself wasn’t enough, in the course of a week, generous kindhearted people were slipping us money for our year ahead, for our moving expenses, Christmas expenses, new furniture, and on the very same day I said, “We’re going to need another table,” a friend sent out a message that read, “Does anyone need a table?”
My son said, “Mom, I’m starting to think this isn’t all just a coincidence.” I tousled his hair and squeezed him like I always do. A big way God, you’re showing them… Thank you.
“Thank you God for our food, for my family, and for our new house. Amen.” He said just like always, and then he paused and looked up and said, “Wait, He did it!” And mom cried, because she always cries, when she’s happy… when she’s sad… it’s a thing.
Answered prayer. From our God who goes above and beyond. Who surprises us with the unexpected. Who often asks us to remember that He is a God of ‘At just the right time…’ And also our God who can change EVERYTHING in a matter of days.
“He led them by a STRAIGHT way (Like straight down our current street…) to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:7-9