My husband lost his job right before the holidays in December 2007. His job defined him and thought he’d one day retire from it but God had other plans. When the dreadful recession of 2008 picked up steam, jobs dried up. It was all we could do to keep making the mortgage payments on our dream home. Little by little his retirement fund vanished and desperation set in.
Finally, he landed a short-term contract more than 2,500 miles away. I stayed home and prepared our home for sale while I worked part time. Before he left for South Carolina, we painted the shutters and door and planted beautiful flowers to give our home the curb appeal it needed but, in a market where there were thousands of homes for sale, the prospect of selling seemed bleak. Room by room, I sorted, packed and pitched. But I kept praying. Praying for favor from buyers and wisdom for the sale.
My husband remained stubborn, and he refused to sell even though it was the only way to keep us from losing everything we worked for. His South Carolina job was not what was advertised, and he wanted to come home. He couldn’t stand being alone. I gave him an ultimatum. He could come home but he had to do two things: put the house on the market and find another job.
In July, he made that long trip back, and we put the house on the market. It took months to sell the house, but it sold when no houses were selling and most of them were selling for less than the owners’ mortgage. This was a miracle given the Sacramento area was one of the most hard-hit of recession areas. When our house finally closed on December 31, 2008, we were overjoyed because it sold at a profit. Unheard of. We knew God showed us favor in the house sale and He’d continue to show favor with a job.
We moved into a small apartment and put most of our belongings into a storage POD. During the sale period, my husband received an offer to work for a company that worked for the military in Germany. Neither he nor I were keen on living in Germany. Neither of us were getting any younger. He turned it down. Once. Twice. Three times. The employer told him the job would be his if he wanted it. After the third time, my husband said, “I don’t know how many times God has to hit me over the head. I think we should take this job.”
I wasn’t thrilled with picking up and moving across the world to a foreign land but if God wanted us there, we’d go. We had valid passports and no house to sell. A perfect situation for us and his future employer. But we could only take so much with us. Our decision to rid ourselves of all the gardening equipment housed in the storage POD meant we had to dispose of it.
We traveled the short distance to our old neighborhood and gifted our old neighbor, Chuck, with the gardening tools. When we arrived at his home, not only was his home on the market but so was the home right next door to our old house. Chuck had the same house as ours. The one next door to our old house was a little larger. Both owners were short selling their homes.
When we unloaded the gardening equipment, he said to us, “You were very lucky. Your buyer overpaid for your home big time.” And I said, “That wasn’t luck. That was the power of prayer.”
My husband and I rejoiced all the way to our tiny apartment and looked forward to the adventure God had in store for us when we moved to Germany.