Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Opposite Answers

Today God answered two huge prayers for our family with completely opposite answers.

Our daughter, Katie, is 6 years old and full of sweetness and joy. We were saddened when we found out one of her girlfriends from Illinois had been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer that did not respond to chemo or radiation. The only treatment, outside of God's miraculous healing, was to cut the cancer out. The docs found it in her finger. We all started praying and Sydney entered her first round of tests. All those tests came back clean and everyone on her prayer team celebrated. Then we found out that the cancer could still spread microscopically and until the doctors started operating, we wouldn't know if the cancer had spread. Persistent prayers again were lifted on Sydney's behalf. Last Thursday, Sydney had surgery and the doctor's removed a finger, knuckle and lymph node from her left side. She recovered so quickly from surgery that she went home the same night. We all kept praying that the pathology results would come back clean. This morning, we celebrated, with tears streaming down our faces, as we read her parent's Caringbridge update - her labs were clean. Sydney is cancer free!!!! Praise God, the Healer, who chose to say YES to our prayers for healing for Sydney! We are so stoked.

Four months ago, almost to the day, we flew to Portland to sign the contract on my husband's new job and to look for a home out here. In three days, we viewed 33 homes, and of the 33 homes, we liked ONE, and only ONE. Of course it was the last home we viewed and it was a total fluke that we walked through it as it was WAY over our price range. But since we were already there, we viewed the home anyway. From the time we stepped inside, it felt like home. It was a layout we were familiar with and all the upgrades looked like we had hand-picked them. I got VERY emotional and started weeping because this home had already captured my heart. We dubbed this home the "Mother Ship" because it seemed so far out of reach. From that day, we continually prayed, "God, if the Mother Ship is the home for us, please don't let anyone buy it. And make a way where there seems to be no way."

We moved to Portland the end of June. The buyers of our home in Illinois closed on July 7th. On July 8th, the builder who owned the Mother Ship dropped the price by $40,000! I nearly fell off my chair when I got the email from our realtor. We were convinced this was God answering our prayer and two days later, we went and saw it for the second time. Again, we fell in love and the Mother Ship wormed her way further into my heart. I just KNEW this was the house God had for us and even though the new price was still a huge stretch financially, I was convinced we could make it happen. My husband, Curt, was a little more uncertain about the financial aspect, but we were so blown away by the timing of the price drop relative to the closing of our house in Illinois, that we decided to write an offer. And then we started running into brick walls. Every time we turned around we would hit another snag - our realtor was out of town, the builder's sales office was closed, our mortgage guy made a huge mistake and wrote up all the paperwork with wrong figures, and Curt started getting heart burn, which only happens when he's under great stress. After three days of ups and downs we slowed down and asked God what was up. He whispered in our ear, "WAIT."

I did NOT want to wait, but I trust my husband's capable leadership of our family, and he decided that he was not comfortable moving forward with the offer. So we drew back and kept looking. We viewed at least 25 more homes over the next several weeks and eliminated HUNDREDS of listings before even going to look at them. We kept coming back to two homes: the Mother Ship and one we called WD, for water damage. Last week, after making an analysis of the pro's and con's of each home, we decided to pursue WD first because it would cut off a big chunk of Curt's commute. But when we made the first initial step, we were stopped dead in our tracks by God saying, "WAIT."
We kept an eye on the Mother Ship, and in my heart, it was home. Today, on a whim, I drove past the Mother Ship, and felt like someone smacked me with a 2x4 when I saw a big "SOLD" sticker slapped on the sale sign. Our realtor confirmed that it went under contract two days ago. I was overwhelmed with sadness at the thought of someone else unpacking their things, choosing paint colors, hanging pictures on the wall and making memories in the Mother Ship. Our son, Grant, was equally disappointed and started bawling. He kept saying, "It's not sold Mom. You have to fight for it. Go and make an offer right now and fight for it. I'll give you all my money. And Katie and Alli will too."

Through tears I explained to him that God promises to answer our prayers. I reiterated that our prayer all along has been, "God, if the Mother Ship is to be our new home, keep it open for us. If it is not for our family, close the door and sell it to another family." God answered our prayer. He just said "NO," and sometimes that's a hard answer to process. I'm sure God will bring a perfect house for our family in His perfect timing and one day we'll be able to look back on today and realize why He said no.

For tonight though, I have to stand on the dock and let the Mother Ship set sail into the sunset of my dreams and be grateful that God said no.

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