Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another good gift from our Father

Part 2 - How we began to crawl out only to dig a deeper pit...

So, you've heard my whining story of our first house purchase. At the time, it seemed like a gift from God. And so it was, but not in the way we usually think of gifts. If Cassie's car works great, runs for 10 more years and gets great gas mileage with few repairs, it'll be a great gift. If it breaks down repeatedly in the next year, costing us thousands more, I doubt we'd look back on its coming to us as a blessing. We're more likely to think that it was a trial sent to test our patience and endurance! Gifts are blessings depending on how they serve us, right? Well, that's the end of the story, but here's the middle...

We were only in this small town about three years when God opened up a job in Temple just about 45 minutes away. That's the same town where we attended church, small groups and Bible studies. Needless to say, we longed to be there and not spend hours on the road...though TBC was definitely worth the drive for us. Thanks to some amazing people there who built into our lives and to the amazing power of God's grace to such sinners, we were so different than when we arrived. We went from trying to find our Bibles each Sunday to reading them, studying them, even teaching from them. We went from being so far in debt that we couldn't make it month to month, much less try to give what we owed our Father through our having only a student loan and house payment and finally learning what it meant in Malachi 3:7-10 to return the whole tithe into His storehouse. We moved from being consumers of church to servers, givers. We saw our oldest put her faith in Christ alone for her salvation. It was a good few years. What had started as my worst nightmare became a place of great blessing.

But a few things hadn't how stupid Wayne and I could be when it came to grabbing after what we want whatever the cost. But God had plans for that as well. (And this time we're praying it sticks!) So, the job comes open in Temple. Wayne applies, gets an interview and learns that the head coach and his family are planning to attend TBC. Instant connection. The job also couldn't have been more perfect...9th grade football (much fewer hours than a varsity job) and head track coach which is Wayne's first love. (He was an all-American hammer thrower in college...yes, I'm bragging...) We tell a few friends about it...all pray together about the job, really feel like it's what we're supposed to do. And what do you know?? He gets it! Yipee!

First things first...put the house in Marlin on the market. Start packing boxes for the day it sells...surely that won't take long. There's still nothing else to buy or even to rent. Someone will need a nice, brick, three bedroom home. We price it low for a quick sell. Won't even make money off of it. Make plans for the next house by looking online, driving around Temple on Sunday afternoons, considering friends' neighborhoods. A month goes by...then another...then's summer. Wayne starts football in just a few weeks. I'm out of town when Wayne says that he thinks he's found one we should make an offer on. Well within our price range. We actually have a down payment this time and won't even need it as the seller is very anxious to get out from under it. It's lower by far from what we qualified for. What a difference a few years make. So we put a contingency on it and waited...and waited. Nothing. Not one looker for our present home. Now what?

Well, having learned such a good lesson from the years past and having seen so much freedom from being in debt, we of course decided to buy it anyway. That's right. Two mortgages. After all, how long could it be before we finally get an offer? We can make the two payments for a few months. We move in late July, a few days before coaching school. Friends help us move. Wayne starts football...learns the job is actually a varsity position job as well as head freshman so the hours go up. But that's okay! We're in Temple. Friends everywhere. Good paycheck. And that house will sell, right? Right?

Sure did. 5 YEARS later...and telling about that journey will take another post...

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