Some of life’s lessons can bring us to face to face with some very harsh realities. Sometimes the emotional stress is almost overwhelming. If we are willing when the full force of these problems come we can learn some important lessons.
Christians are not guaranteed a happy life filled with smiles and sunshine. But we are guaranteed we can live a joyful life. And sometimes that depends upon learning the lessons of faith and trust. We are assured that God will work out for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Our responsibility is to do the best we can and trust Him for the rest.
The following story, along with the previous ones, demonstrates Gods’ compassion and love. And HIs love for us is not based upon anything we do but solely upon His grace. This is true even if and after we make some or bad decisions.
After the disaster of a bad partnership. we were left financially ruined. It all but destroyed our dream of owning our own home. The partnership was a bad decision on my part. The results of that choice left little, very little hope of ever being in able to buy a home. So what do we do? Quitting was never an option. Actually, I was too scared to quit. Because once you cross that line, you have nothing. I was not going to become a victim of the welfare system. So the only option was to step out in faith and push ahead….but to what I was not sure.
Not quitting we began to consider our options. The obstacles before us were major and almost overwhelming. Could we actually find a home, and if we did how could it possibly be financed? Unbeknownst to us, one of the greatest adventures of our life’s journey was about to unfold.
After all, the dust and legal formalities had finally settled down. We realized our business was doing well, and for the most part, we were too. We were beaten but not conquered. In spite of what had happened, there was, however, a strong desire on our part to move from the rental property. It was a townhouse with far less desirable neighbors. It was in our interest and that of our three daughters that we move. Finding this place was a blessing at the time, the rent was cheap and the place was clean. It provided us with a home when we desperately need one. But it was time to move on.
Even though we knew we had no real perceived chance of accomplishing our hope of actually finding and buying a home, we began the long process of looking and dreaming.
There were several obstacles to overcome. The primary one was threefold. One, my previous partnership totally destroyed our credit rating. There was zero hope of getting a mortgage. Secondly, we were self-employed, the business was too new to have any real credibility. And thirdly, we had no money for a down payment. Other than that we were doing well.
Then there was another obstacle, we wanted to find a home in our current area so our girls would not have to change schools.
With so much going against us, why would we even try to find a home? I guess it all relates to faith. There was an honest need, so in faith, we began to look, and look and look……I lost count how many times we were rejected either by our offer or by the banks’ rejection of our loan application.
The situation seemed utterly hopeless, yet we continued, sporadically, to look. The rejection was not on my list of fun things to receive. But neither was quitting.
So many times we found a house, and so many times it would blow-up in our faces.
Then one afternoon in late July of 1987, seven years after we started to look, we came to a house at 885 Welcome Way. At first, we drove past because we thought there was little hope of even trying. But we finally decided to stop in and talk to the owners who were selling the house themselves.
Nice young couple. His job transferred him to Southern California and they needed to sell their home. It had been on the market for over six months with no interest generated. So they were interested in talking to us was a big plus.
Just when it looked like failure and disappointment knocking at the door, several amazing things happened. The first was somewhat expected. They dropped the asking price. But by $20,000.00! Now that was a lot more than what I expected! In addition, they were willing to give us the impound account (the bank used this account to pay property taxes and insurance) which was about $20000.00. Now that just left the bank to deal with. I felt like I had the job of a dragon slayer, only in this case I had a pocket knife and not a sword! I strongly felt this was a real problem……
But what was this? To my amazement, the loan I discovered was a non-qualifying assumable loan. Do you know what this means? I did! It meant the bank MUST accept our loan application as long as the sellers agreed! All of a sudden, the bank was not the one in charge we were! What an amazing advantage, and a wonderful miracle! While these loans existed in 1987 they were extremely rare. So to find a home with one, in the area we desired, with a loan amount we could handle, well the odds were next to impossible. Yet in spite of the odds, we found exactly what we needed and where we needed it. And at a monthly cost not much more than we were paying for rent.
If you have purchased a home you know what a horrific amount of paperwork is necessary. It seemed as though hundreds, well maybe not that many, of applications, verification and endless stuff he needed filled out and signed…..So I smiled at the banker. Put my name at the top of the application, along with the date. Signed the application at the bottom and left everything else blank! Handed it to him and smiled. What aren’t you going to fill out the rest, he inquired? NOPE! I firmly replied! This is a non-qualifying loan, the only thing you need and are going to get, is my signature accepting the terms of the loan. Needless to say, he was not happy, but he had no choice. For once the financial laws that governed this type of loan was on our side. And I did not hesitate for an instant to take full advantage of this wonderful blessing and opportunity.
We needed a small amount of cash to close the deal. So Barbara’s dad was kind and gracious, he loaned us the money, and he did so without charging us interest. WOW!
I had done my homework, I knew the banker, by law, had to accept the application, along with the down payment. As I handed it to him. He mumbled something then stamped the application approved. And just like that, we had bought a home!
It was less than a month from the first time we contacted the owners until we took possession of the home and moved in.
When God decides to move a project forward, He doesn’t wait around He does it swiftly and with grace. So before we had a chance to realize what had happened, we were moving in!
The house was in the perfect area, our girls could continue to go to the same schools, which was what we had hoped for.
It was a 4 bedroom, one for each of us, 1 1/2 bathrooms, with three girls, four including Barbara that 1/2 bath was necessary for my survival, it also had a nice family room with a stone fireplace. This was our new home, and here we would live there for the next 27 years.
Sometimes miracles happen when you least expect them. But they never will happen if you just do nothing. Our part was not to accept defeat and not to give up. It is always to move forward and trust in God for the rest. So far He has never failed, and actually, He never will, of that I am sure.