Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do I Have A Story For You

I know that you all know by now just how excited we are to be moving and becoming home owners. After what happened this morning though, I can't contain the story of how all of this came to be. This is a long story, so settle in.

Flashback ten months when we were trying desperately to find any home for our family. We had tried at that time to purchase a home and even looked into lease purchasing one we found that had five bedrooms. No luck. After a divorce and nine years of single-parenting, Brad's credit was shot and while my credit was still ok then, I had not a dime of income. So we gave up and started looking furiously for a rental.

We finally found the home we are in now and the only reason we could get it was because my mother agreed to co-sign on the lease. Brad's name could not even be on there (I don't tell you this to embarrass him in any way, but it is an important part of why our current circumstances are such a miracle).

For the first three months of our marriage, Brad slaved away at Saturn trying desperately to rake in enough every month. Enough to feed us all and keep us in our home. As a result, we never saw him. He was at work Monday-Saturday from 8am-8pm. He had just become Daddy to Carson and Memphis and they were often still sleeping when he left and already asleep when he returned. Brianna and Meyson and I were still getting used to each other. Needless to say it was a stressful time.

We prayed everyday for a new job opportunity to present itself. Brad couldn't exactly go job hunting because that took precious time away from the car lot and every unit sold was like gold to us. We couldn't afford to miss even one.

And then it happened. Just by virtue of knowing the right people, Brad got hooked up with a man who had instant faith that Brad was just the guy he was looking for. A guaranteed salary?!? Benefits?!? Eight to five, Monday through Friday?!? Talk about an answer to prayer. Little did we know that was only the very beginning.

Sure, we went through some more stress this winter with Brad having to be gone for seven weeks of training, but overall, it has been well worth that struggle. We have health insurance (that's a first for me since being on my parent's policy).

Ok, flash-forward to March when we receive a phone call from our property management company telling us that the owners of our house want to sell it and asking if we were interested in buying it. We told them that with our sixth child set to arrive in May, we needed something bigger and that it was highly unlikely that we'd be able to buy anyway. They told us that if we wanted to stay past July that would need to renew our lease right away for six months and if we wanted to renew again at that point, that it was a possibility.

Brad and I began to get nervous about all the renewing we would have to do just to stay in our home for another year. After all, there was no guarantee about the amount of rent we would pay and we are already maxed out on this place every month.

We started tentatively looking around at rentals and again revisited lease-purchasing. It didn't take us long to begin to feel hopeless about the situation because five bedroom homes in our price range are just...well...*impossible* to find. We tried to keep the faith and we continuously asked God to intervene and solve this problem.

Then one day I was chatting with another parent while in the waiting area at feeding therapy (never thought I would thank God for my son's eating problems). She mentioned that she and her husband were trying to buy a new home and told me about one that they had looked at. Her husband did not like it so they were looking elsewhere. The house had been a repo and was a really good deal, so Brad and I drove by one day. There was not any information in the yard, but the house was empty.

We saw the neighbors outside and asked them if they knew who we needed to talk to about the house and they gave us the name of a realtor they knew. I called him from the driveway and he informed us that there isn't a lease option on a repo, but promised to see what else they had available and get back to us.

I thought the odds of ever hearing from him again were next to nothing since he had absolutely nothing to gain from helping us. We didn't know at the time that God had sent us the man who would not rest until we were in a home. (As a side note, the week after we met him was the week that Memphis started eating again. Coincidence? I think not.)

He called the very next day with a possibility for a lease-purchase and we got the ball rolling. The house had potential, but would need a lot of work. Our excitement over finding something overtook our fear of the work. We wanted it. He had us fill out an application and as we turned it in we began to brace ourselves for rejection. It was inevitable, right?

Nope. Again, God had our backs. Not only were we approved, we were approved to BUY!!!! Not lease-purchase. What has changed? Nothing. We are still the same couple who could not buy a home that was $30,000 less just ten months ago. Yet another answered prayer!

Our realtor wasn't satisfied. He had become very familiar with our family and didn't want to put us in a place that needed so much work. He set out to find us something in better shape and he came through in a major way. He found us a five bedroom house with two living areas (or one living room and the homeschool room that I had given up on ever having!).

We put in our offer and it was accepted the next day without so much as a counter-offer. Just accepted outright. Then the inspection went very well and we got a closing date! Everything has been falling into place as if it had been planned that way. And, we believe it was planned that way. Not by us, but for us.

The only roadblock left was getting out of our current home. All this time I had been assuming that we would only have to pay a relatively small fee to break our lease. If I had known the truth, we would never have started looking for a home. See? Another God thing. Anyway, my mom warned me that I should go back and read our lease again to make sure.

Of course I found that we were responsible for all of the rent until the end of our lease and we would also have to pay that "small fee" for leaving early. Talk about a bubble buster. We were panicked. What do we do? We certainly cannot afford to pay the rent here and the mortgage payment at the same time. How were we going to do this?

So, Monday I packed up Carson and Memphis and my huge, pregnant belly and went to the property management office prepared to be as pitiful looking as we could and beg, no, plead for mercy. I was cut short and told that the decision wasn't their's to make. They would have to contact the owner for that.

I walked out of there trying to figure out what creative combination of credit cards could take care of this for us. When Jesus said, "Ye of little faith," He was talking about me. Yesterday, after stressing about this issue, I decided there was nothing else I could do. Whatever will be, will be. And it was then, for the first time, that I felt complete peace about the whole situation.

I received a phone call this morning from the property management company informing me that this was our lucky day. No joke. The owners are allowing us to break our lease. Yes, they are. This is unheard of. They have contracts for a reason. They don't just let people break them. If nothing else in this story has persuaded you that God has been orchestrating this whole thing, this is the one that will do it. Incredible.

When I got off of the phone, I screamed a very happy scream and told Carson, "God loves us very much!" And she said, "Did He call?"

Well....yeah, He did.

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Blogger Everyday stuff said...

Thats so wonderful! I'm so happy for you and your growing family! Were is this new house?

I feel the same way in stressful situations, I have no control over it and God will bless me with what ever I need, and whatever I dont need and I shouldn't worry about it! I'm really very happy for you!

4/23/08, 3:11 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

I'm so glad for you. Things always work out. God really does take care of them if we don't get in the way of His plans. It's really hard to let go of that control sometimes but it always works out for the best.

I love Carson's comment "Did he call?" LOL LOL Becca lately has been saying something about when God comes to her house. It's funny to see their take on it.

4/24/08, 7:55 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

This is a wonderful testament to God's grace and how he provides for us. I'm so happy for you and your family.

4/25/08, 2:47 PM  

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