In looking back over the peaks and valleys that we've had with this house, I can see it no other way. It is a testament. A testament to God's mercy, grace, and goodness.
In 2006, we decided to build a new home. We had a perfectly good home. One with a very reasonable mortgage payment. But we saw a modular home going up in our neighborhood, saw what it was priced, and thought, "Gee! We could have ALL that for the same as we're paying here!" And the greed/desire/insistence that we HAD to have a bigger home set in.
We searched for a piece of land. We found a builder. All the time, doors kept closing on the project. We did not -- not once -- pray about our decision. We did not seek God's plan for us to build a new house. Looking back, I can see so clearly all the doors closing. And yet, we kicked them open and walked right through.
The entire process was riddled with problems. We had problems selling the older house. We finally sold it for $25,000 less than we'd planned on. Our builder went $30,000 over the budget. We were misinformed about what fixtures and finishes were going to be in the new house, and so put close to $50,000 on credit cards to pay for lighting, counters, appliance, flooring, landscaping, and driveway materials.
All these things combined to make for one really awful scenario. You'd have thought we'd begin praying about it now, right? Uh, nope. Not us. Still being thick headed.
Once we finally sold the old house and moved into the new one, we realized that our "best case scenario financial plan" was not at all how things had turned out. We had a mortgage that was double our old one, debt up to our eyeballs on credit cards, and we weren't really that happy in our new house.
It was at that time that God began to bless us through our hardship. While we'd been attending church all through the building process, we'd not once prayed about our decision to build, or the problems were had faced, or the financial hardship we'd created for ourselves.
But God is good. His mercy never ends. Sitting in church one Sunday, an ad for Financial Peace University came on. We were in so much pain financially, that I was willing to try anything that might help. So, while MotorMan was deployed, we went through FPU. We rearranged our finances. We finally made a budget -- and stuck to it. And blessing followed. We seemed to have money coming from everywhere. Each month, we were able to squeak by. Only by His provision.
In December 2009, we knew we'd need to get the house on the market, as MotorMan was expecting Permanent Change of Station orders. So we listed the house. And prayed that a buyer would come quickly. And so began the wait for God's perfect timing.
And we waited.
And showed the house a time or two.
And lowered the price.
And waited some more.
And then, we waited some more.
In June, we went to our new duty station on house hunting leave. We had prayed and knew that we'd need to rent. We looked over our FPU budget and knew what we could afford. And then -- GET THIS: we decided to rent for LESS than we could afford. I know, I know. New concept for us. Apparently, learning was occurring!
In July, we moved. And the house sat vacant. While we paid it's mortgage, and our new home's rent. In addition to two sets of utility bills.
It became pinch time. Our savings was quickly dwindling. We knew we could not hold on to the house much longer.
And that is when God showed up for us -- big time. We had used all of the money we had in savings, and knew that we could not support the house any longer.
And that's when it sold.
In looking back, I know that God was with us during the entire process of building, living in, and selling the house. I also know that He was merciful when we were rebellious and disobedient. I know that it was His grace that brought us a buyer, and at just the right time.
"It is finished." Jesus declared this on the cross. He was stating that the payment for our sin was paid. The debt was no longer. Jesus paid it all. It was finished. Forever. Even in instances where people (us) don't heed God's voice and choose to disobey. The debt was paid. We ask for forgiveness and it's given. It's finished.
God is good.
All the time.
His mercy and grace abound.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God..." Ephesians 2:8