For the last few months Carol and I have been looking for a new place to live. Each time we thought we had our answer we would go down that trail, only to find a dead end. As the clock counted down to our moving day this coming weekend, we found our stress level getting a little higher with each new day. As we would pray over our housing situation, the Lord seemed to always lead us back to these two verses:
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight
Every time we would hear these verses we would see so many different ways it could be applied to our search, but we just weren’t getting any further clarity on where we needed to be looking.
A few weeks ago, my business partner asked me if I would consider living in a mobile home and he even went so far as to go on a fact finding mission for me at a local mobile home park. As doors continued to close in front of Carol and I we decided to explore this option. Last Thursday night Carol and the kids toured several parks, but came away without a real sense of peace about any of the trailers they looked at. This past Friday, was our last real day to look at housing options, so we decided to go back to one of the parks after looking at some houses this morning that just didn’t fit our needs.
Carol showed me the trailer she had viewed the night before, but both of us came away with the same sense that this particular trailer wasn’t our answer either. As we were driving away, she pointed out an attractive double-wide that was for sale by owner at the far end of the trailer park. We called the number on the sign, and low and behold they were home (I must warn you, there is a twist in the unfolding of events…you haven’t solved the case yet Sherlock Holmes). We went inside and met the owners who were moving due to the husband’s terminal illness and his need for in home care. As I looked around, the trailer was nice, but there were large gaps between the two halves of the trailer and part of the ceiling was breaking away.
Carol and I left, dumbfounded and asking ourselves “now what?” As we were driving away, the phone rang. It was the wife from the trailer we had just been in. She told Carol that her sister, who had been at the trailer when we were there, had a house on Padre Island that had been wrecked by the previous tenants. She said that if we were willing to paint and clean carpets she would be willing to reduce the rental. As we turned back around, I told Carol: “this sounds like a God thing taking shape.”
When we returned to the trailer, we were met by the sister of the trailer owner’s wife. She jumped in the van and said, “Let me show you the house.” As we drove towards Padre Island, we learned that her husband had passed away a couple of years ago and that she didn’t want to live there anymore. She said the previous tenants had ruined the carpets and the walls, requiring a lot of elbow grease.
When we arrived, we found a 4 bedroom brick home with a pool and ample space for our house church ministry. The work needed was primarily clean up and cosmetic. When I asked her what she wanted for rent, she named a figure in our price range. When I asked her what the work was worth, she indicated that it was worth at least one month’s rent, but she also stated her need for some rental income from it. I told her what we were currently paying and asked her if we could pay her that same amount for February and March, discounting for the clean up work. We agreed to begin paying the full rental amount in April. She suggested we put it in writing, so on a notepad we drew up those terms and she handed us the key. No pet deposit, no rental deposit and just what we needed when we need it.
God being the loving Father that He is, went far above what we needed. We are now 3 blocks from my favorite fishing spot, I have a place to exercise daily with my favorite activity…swimming! And by positioning us on the Island, our ministry now has placement in 3 key areas of Corpus Christi.
These past few months have been a practical exercise in not leaning on our own understanding. This housing scenario could not have been designed by us on our best day. Maybe today you find yourself in the middle of a lengthy search for answers. Your best guesses and efforts are falling short. I encourage you to let go of the wheel and watch where God takes you. You may find that the answer had never even crossed your mind.
Until next Monday, may God’s richest blessings be yours this week.