asking, seeking, knocking

Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

There’s an old saying that pretty much sums up our housing situation.  When it rains, it pours.  “We” had a great plan.  Our tenants would be in the rental house we own in Georgia until the summer of 2013.  The lease on the house we are currently renting in Virginia ends at the end of August.  Our landlords gave us a written statement that says we can end our lease with a thirty day notice when we kept demanding that they actually make the house livable.  Being a realtor, I am constantly scouring the housing market and several months ago I learned of a great house that had not yet been listed and that would perfectly meet the needs of our family.  It has a ton of unfinished square footage that would allow us to customize it and make it the home of our dreams without having to add on.  Our four children attend four different schools and the house is in an area that would not force any of them to change schools (a big deal for military brats who’ve attended more schools than I care to count).  The owner is looking to sell and move in the late summer.  Our plan was to close on the house six to eight weeks before the lease was up on this house and have renovations done before we moved in.  And then it rained…

I bumped into our landlord at the grocery store.  He said that they were going to either sell the house that they are currently living in or the one that we are living in.  Later that week we got a certified letter stating that they would not offer us the option to extend our lease when it ends on August 31st.  Just before spring break he called my dear husband and offered to pay us to end our lease and vacate the house by the end of June.  At that point we were still hanging on to the hope that we would buy the great house and we came up with an equally great idea to put all of our belongings in storage, rent a summer house on the Chesapeake Bay, and have a summer of family time on the water while we were waiting to occupy our new home.  And then it poured…

During spring break we learned that our tenants in Georgia received military orders that would have them moving by the end of May. Even if we were able to get a mortgage to purchase the new house, we knew that we would not be comfortable taking on a new mortgage while carrying a mortgage a house that is sitting empty.  And, we can’t commit our savings to a new house when we might need it to keep the bank from taking the one we already own.  The last time the house was empty it took us seven months to find renters.  We drained our savings and put a mortgage payment and utility payments on a credit card before those seven months were up.  That was the motivator behind our passion for Financial Peace University (see sidebar).

So…I checked my What would Dave Ramsey say? app and confirmed that we should probably wave off on buying right now.  I switched my house-hunting focus to the rental market.  Ummm….it’s pretty bleak.  Add the fact that there is not a single rental in our area that will accommodate a family of six with two dogs and that, despite countless hours of searching, I have not been able to locate a single summer rental that is available for more than a week, and you get a fairly stressed out mama/wife/realtor/renter.

I have repeatedly prayed, asking God to show us what His will is in this situation.  Both of us have heard one word when we pray over the situation….”Wait.”  Uh, yeah, God.  I think that’s what we’ve been doing.  It would be really nice if you would tell us or show us what we’re waiting for.  Just sayin’.

We obviously suck at taking our housing situation into our own hands and I’m at a point where I have to believe that His plans are greater than our own.  With the knowledge that stress is simply the absence of faith, and with total exhaustion from the tension headache that kept me from sleeping for nights on end, I gave up.

Matthew 6:31-34 “Don’t worry and ask yourselves, “Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear? (Or a place to live?)” Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well. Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.”

Last Thursday we sent our landlords a note saying that we just have to wait.  Our lease is not up until the end of August and unless God screams very loudly between now and then that we have to move, we will remain here through the end of our lease.  We haven’t heard from them, but I’m quite certain they aren’t happy with our announcement.  Our house in Georgia is still empty.  After two months, no buyers have even looked at it.  Our realtor held an open house on June 5th and to our delight, the air conditioning decided to go out that day.  On Father’s Day, a tree fell in the front yard.  The Department of Defense has this great program for military families who are forced to move and are upside-down on their mortgages.  We don’t qualify.  Still no rentals in our area that we can fit in.  Still no summer rentals with more than a week’s availability.  So we wait.

And…we claim the promise that Paul made to the church at Philippi in Philippians 4:19 “My God will meet ALL  your needs (I’m counting on housing being included in that ‘all’). He will meet them in keeping with his wonderful riches that come to you because you belong to Christ Jesus.”

BTW… If you know anyone looking for a 4bed 3ba house in Columbus, GA please send them my way.

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