Years ago I wrote this story over on Ask Anna, but as I thought about this blog, and it being a compilation of my stories of faith, I felt like the Lord was asking me to tell this God story here, and to re-write it for this blog.
I was talking to a friend recently and told her it felt weird to re-write the same story but she encouraged me to write it, without going back and reading the other version, because the longer we live here, and the more God continues to work in our lives, my perspectives have changed, which gives me new insights and perspective of the story.
Rewind back to spring of 2013.
We were at the beginning stages of having Gabriella (our future adopted daughter) come and stay with us on the weekends, we were having the girls from the safe house over from time to time, and for the first time, our little house started to feel little.
One of Matt’s co-workers had told him about a house that was for sale, which was a beautiful English Tudor. One night we looked the pictures up on the MLS and dreamed out loud about how amazing it would be to have a house that size, have an extra bedroom and bathroom for Gabriella, etc. But it was WAY out of our price range and we thought there was no way it could ever happen.
I don’t normally take my daughter to school in the mornings, because we carpool, but the next day I ended up taking her to school, and on my way home I heard the Lord say, “Go ask me for that house.”
Of course I thought that was nuts so I proceeded to argue with Him about how crazy it was, and then He said to me,
I’ve done crazier things.”
Well, that’s true, and not really a point I can argue with, so that day I drove to the house, parked across the street, and asked God to give us the house.
There are a thousand details to this story, God giving me words about the house, visions for the house, showing me that it was going to be a place of healing and that everyone that crossed over the threshold would find healing, and so much more. But the story I feel is important to share, is from a message I heard at church during the months I was asking God to “release the house to us.”
We were in a series about Nehemiah and the faith he had to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. One Sunday our pastor was talking about how Nehemiah had been so bold that he went to the king and asked the king for the time off to re-build the wall. In his response, the king not only granted Nehemiah the time off, but offered to pay for the timber for the project (Nehemiah 2:8).
In that moment I felt the Lord say that He was going to do the same thing for us. Not only was He going to give us this amazing house, but He was going to pay for it.
God continued to speak to me about the house and we continued to ask Him to release it to us. We even got Malea involved, who was 3 at the time, and her prayers were always my favorite.
Dear Jesus, please relieve the house to us.”
In April 2013, I wrote about the process of asking God for the house on Ask Anna (click HERE to read it). I felt like it was time to share the story, and even though I had no idea how it was ever going to work out, I knew I had to share the story with the world.
In response to my post I received lots of comments and encouragement, but the one that stuck with me the most was a comment from a woman named Shelley. Here’s what she wrote:
I love to hear people willing to step out in Faith and believing God for what looks like the impossible! He can and absolutely will give you favor in this! We went through a bad job situation 2 years ago and lost both of our cars over night. The day we lost our cars God was very clear in telling me that he was going to GIVE us a van, to pray, “Speak that which is NOT as though it were” and wait. Some times God’s timing of telling us is not the time of receiving but to prep us and encourage us to walk it out in Faith. I told my kids that we were going to believe God for our new van and that that would pray and thank him EVERY day until we saw it in the drive way! Every day I thanked him even when I really started fighting doubt that I had heard from Him about the van. Last August, my neighbor, I had only met 2 weeks before, called and said they were giving us their van, that the Lord told them to do it and he would help them get a new car. God is SO good! We have been SO thankful for it and my kids were able to see God Provide AND see their OWN prayers answered. I truly believe they could ask for anything and believe he will do it! I wrote this to say, that I will stand and agree with you that it is YOURS. He said, “without a vision the people will perish,” He has given you that vision so you stand and claim it in faith and it will happen! He DOES want you blessed and living in provision! I can’t wait to read your post of receiving your new house!!!”
This became the promise I held onto because I knew if God had done it for them, that He would do it for us too. I was also relieved to know that I wasn’t the only one asking God for crazy things. 🙂 Shelley’s words hit me deep in my core and I told her story over and over again as I shared our story, and our journey of faith, trusting God to give us the house.
At one point Matt and I actually met with the owners and toured the house, which isn’t a significant part of the story but one thing still stands out to me. I remember standing in the kitchen talking to them, after walking through the house, and I felt so comfortable there. In my mind I was thinking, “I see myself spending a lot of time in this kitchen, when can we move in?”
However in June we found out that the house had gone into escrow and I was devastated. I knew that I was supposed to keep asking God to release the house to us but I was beginning to wonder what God was up to.
Shortly after that I left for a mission trip to Cambodia and was gone for 2 weeks. When I came home Matt informed me that the house had closed escrow and the new family had moved in. I remember talking to my friend on the phone and telling her, “I feel like I want to be mad at the Lord but I can’t. I feel like it’s not over yet, like there’s something else He still has for us.”
I will never forget her response, she said, “If this was the house God told you to ask for, then this is the standard He was setting for you. He’s not going to set you up for disappointment, if He showed you this house, it’s because he has something of equal or greater value for you.”
Even though I wanted to be upset with the Lord, I couldn’t. I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that He had told me to ask for that house, and I knew the story wasn’t over yet, so I kept praying.
Lord if this is the house you have for us, then release it to us in your timing. Or if there’s something else out there then please show us what it is.”
About a week after I had returned home from Cambodia I was hanging out with two friends, one of which was also looking for a new house. She was telling me about a house they had looked at, they weren’t interested, but she thought we might be. I asked her what the address was and when she told me, my response was, “Shut up! That’s right across the street from the other house!” I had driven by the house countless times when I’d gone to pray for the other house, but I’d never even noticed it! I knew right away God was up to something.
I went home, told Matt, and two days later we met the real estate agent over at the house to look at it. I didn’t care what it looked like, how much it was, or any of that, I knew this had been God’s plan all along.
I felt like God was testing my faith to see, #1- if I would ask Him for a house and #2- when He took that house from us, if I would continue to trust Him and believe Him, and the promises He’d given me.
When we walked in the “new” house, I knew right away it was only a matter of time until we moved in. It was still a little over our price range, and I had no idea how any of the details were going to work out but I trusted the Lord, and His promise that “not only was [He] going to give us a house but [He] was going to pay for it too.”
Lord bless my husband and his willingness to follow what I hear from the Lord, he worked with the owner, the agent and the bank to work out at deal for us to buy the house, and by the blessing of the Lord we moved in only a few short weeks later.
Do you want to know the best part? This house is so perfect for us, even more perfect than the other house would have been. God knew the desires of our hearts and He gave us a house that would fulfill so many of those desires, here are just a few –
- We both love sunsets and our backyard faces west, so in the summer we have front row seats to the most beautiful sunsets.
- We love a good project and this house provided TONS of remodeling projects and content for Ask Anna.
- We love to entertain and this house has so much space for entertaining, especially in our backyard by the pool!
- We wanted Gabriella to have her own private bedroom and bathroom and this house provides that for her.
- I grew up being friends with all of my neighbors and we have the same thing here. We have multiple grandparents that have “adopted” Malea, the neighborhood kids are all friends and ride bikes together, in summer we BBQ together in the cul-de-sac and Christmas carol together in the winter. Raising our girls in this neighborhood has been a dream come true.
But the even better part of this story is that we became really, really good friends with the people that live in the English Tudor. We hang out with them every week, she drives Malea to school, they have stood by us through hard times in our adoption journey and we have spent hours and hours in their kitchen, talking about the Lord, taking communion, praying and laughing, just like I saw myself doing, when we toured the home.
God is SO good.
But the story doesn’t end here. Just like Shelley’s testimony was something I held onto, our testimony is something that you can hold onto. Last year one of my best friends told me they were looking for a house but she said, “I don’t want to just buy any house, I want a story like yours, a God story, a God house.” And less than 6 months later they were moving into their “God house”, which was a crazy God story.
Your story might not be about a house but what is it that you’re asking God for? What is the crazy thing God has asked you to ask for? Whatever it is, have faith for it! Don’t let fear get in the way because fear is the enemy of faith, and I can tell you first hand that what God has for you, what He’s asking you to trust Him for, will be SO worth it.
When opposition comes remember to pray and declare what God has already done!
The journey might get a little bumpy at times, doubt might start to creep in, but remember that no God story comes without a fight. Fight the lies and the doubt with truth because God’s truth will always win.
If you have a crazy God story I would love to hear it! Please leave it in the comments so others can read the testimonies and use your victories to declare victory over their own stories.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19