Ever since I was a little girl I have always heard that voice deep inside me that kept me out of trouble, most of the time anyway. Mom said it was my conscience talking to me. As I grew older and more mature in my faith life, I have come to believe that it is God talking to me.
Before you judge me as nuts, let me clarify how I feel it is God. Mostly if what the “voice” tells me to do is biblical it is probably God (thanks Patti!). For instance, God will not tell me to steal or cause harm to others. God tells me to do the right thing even when it isn’t what I want.
I am not here to debate what anyone else should or should not believe. I am merely expressing how God works in my life and how I understand His will for me. It is important you understand this before I tell you my latest God story. It is also important that you understand that I am not asking for anything else either. We are not victims, life happens and we all do the best we can to deal with the cards we are dealt, for whatever reason. There are many people with problems worse than we have, if you have the time and means, please help them!
For the past several years Florida’s tourist industry has taken several big hits. We had the three hurricanes in a row one year, the oil spill, big business hurting the little guy and of course the fallen economy itself. John’s business works directly with the businesses that sell to tourists. He sells bathing suits; flip-flops, sandals, towels, hats, T-shirts and such. His business has steadily declined to the point that I have ended up the main support which was never intended. (I also had a pay cut due to the economy.) We have suffered financially to the point that we are losing our house. This has been a painful time for us trying to make decisions that will change everything about our little world and we have not agreed on the decisions that have had to be made. We have consulted lawyers and made the best decisions possible. Our mortgage company would not assist us in any way when we tried to do the right thing so we were left with no alternative but to let the house go.
A few weeks ago I talked with the mortgage company about a loan modification and we decided that this option was not for us so we declined. I also talked with a lady about doing a short sale but did not think that would work for us either.
I love listening to Joel Osteen’s Sunday message and Sunday, September 19th I believe, he gave a message that said that God’s plan for us was to do something “awesome” in our lives, something we had never seen happen before. And I said to God, go ahead and awe me! Which you know, when you challenge God, you are going to see something happen!
On Sunday, September 25th, I saw an ad in the newspaper from a realtor that specialized in short sales. I thought that was amazing since most of the realtors I talked with did not handle them. Here was a company actively seeking this business. I filed it in my memory bank and moved on since it really didn’t apply to us.
John left town Monday for a trade show in Daytona Beach and would be gone all week. He does this every year to capture the local business that is not able to come to Orlando for the larger show held earlier in the month.
Tuesday morning when I was leaving for work, I drove past a house in the front of the neighborhood that is for sale. There was a couple in the front yard reading the real estate sign and I heard that voice inside me say “stop and talk to those people”. Of course I drove right on by and then heard the voice again say “go back and talk to those people”. This time I turned around and went back and pulled in the driveway. I asked them if they wanted to buy a house and told them to look at mine, it was for sale. They were Vietnamese and didn’t understand English! Ok God, what are you doing to me? I’m going to be late for work! But somewhere I heard call your girlfriend Buppha (she is from Cambodia). Amazingly, she answered her phone. I asked her to talk to the couple and tell them that I had a house for sale, a short sale, and that I was not crazy. She does not speak fluent Vietnamese but she got the point through good enough and I loaded them in my car and drove them back to my house. With their broken English we did the best we could to communicate and I wrote down my name and phone number. She said her sister speaks English and she would call me later.
A few hours later the sister did call and told me they loved the house and wanted to buy it. I was not expecting that at all. I spent the rest of the day talking with the mortgage company to see what could be done and how to do it.
When I went home I dug through the recycle bin and found the ad from the newspaper and called the realtor. We made arrangements to meet Thursday evening to discuss everything. They warned me that the people interested probably would not work out and not to get my hopes up. I told them that God was directing this, it was a God thing, and it would all be fine.
I talked with the sister on Wednesday and explained that the realtor would be at my house at 5:30 Thursday and she asked if they could come over also. I said sure, what did we have to lose?
Thursday evening as I was coming home from work, John had just pulled in the driveway from his trade show and the realtor was already there as well. To say that John was not pleased is an understatement.
I gave the man I talked to and his partner a tour of the house and they took pictures for the listing. They gave me tons of paperwork to complete and send back to them ASAP. In the middle of all this the Vietnamese family arrived in full force, the couple wanting to buy the house, the sister that interpreted and two other unknown people. Add more chaos to the party!
After all the discussions it appeared that the couple was well qualified and indeed a real prospect. HELLO – God already said that!
I called the bank on Friday so that they could get the appraisal ordered; it is the bank that sets the price for the sale of the house. Then I spent the weekend filling out all the required paperwork for the realtor and the bank. We cannot list the house until we have a price, we cannot get a price until the appraisal is done and the couple cannot sign a contract until we get the price. So now we wait. The appraisal was done Tuesday, October 4th.
John has not been too pleased with me through all this. A short sale is not what he and I discussed or even agreed upon. However, when God talks to me, I listen. I know people do not understand this, John included, but I have to. I have been praying for John’s heart to soften, for a messenger to come to him and help him to see this is a good thing. He is too angry at me to listen to my logic.
Saturday, October 8th, there was a reunion breakfast for Evan’s High School, John’s alma mater. There is a group that meets every month, we rarely go but John wanted to visit with an old friend he knew was attending. When we arrived, there was only one booth available and we were sitting with a retired lawyer that works at the courthouse with people going through foreclosures. He understands all this better than anyone! THANK YOU GOD! John asked him several questions and I think we both left feeling better. John is still not happy with the situation but he is more accepting than he was. There is hope! (and by the way, the friend he went to see never showed up!)
Of course it is now Monday the 10th and we don’t have any answers. That is because today is Columbus Day and all the banks are closed. But I am not the least bit worried at this point. I know God is working this all out for the best interest of everyone concerned. Right now the message is” wait” so I will wait.
Tuesday, the 11th, the bank gives me the selling price. The realtor lists the property and the potential buyers are no longer potential. We have a contract! God is faithful!
We still have a long way to go in this adventure but I know God is guiding the path. Prayers are welcome! I will write more about this journey of faith as it continues.
Have a blessed day!