FunderFarm was behind us. We had finished another test of faith. Surely God’s “next thing” and the end to this waiting was just around the bend.
He had just begun to test our faith.
Late house notes. We had never had late house notes.
For two years of waiting, the house notes had been paid. September and October’s notes had been late, but He paid them quickly and miraculously.
But now, November’s note was unpaid.
God was upping the faith-test level.
In my mind, I imagined bank officials driving up in a black SUV with dark tinted windows, two men in black suits throwing a black pillow case over my head, and them pulling me backward into the vehicle while I lashed at them with my garden hoe. They would put me in debtor’s prison and forget my name.
Three late house notes. Surely the boogie man was coming.
Calm down. Remember He knows what you need.
Wait on Him.
Would God allow a foreclosure? Surely not.
I was sick at my stomach at the thought. I wanted to cry and yell and plead and beg and run and stay. But with all my asking, He would not promise not to foreclose.
Our only choice was to come to terms with a God Who could take away our home place in such a way and still be good.
And still be trustworthy.
And sometimes that’s hard and takes time.
February’s house note came and was filed with its sisters.
Four house notes.
One cold February day the trip to the mailbox yielded what I had feared: the bank’s foreclosure notice.
There it was.
Two and a half years of waiting, hoping, dreaming, praying, working, expecting, learning, and seeing provisions…ended here in a foreclosure notice.
That’s what I feared.
And all because God wanted us to “wait” and not work…so He could teach us.
But God was faithful as ever. He gave us another Biblical example to encourage us. I buried myself in the story of Moses and Israel at the Red Sea (Exodus 14).
With never-before-seen wonders, God had triumphantly led Israel out of Egypt. They followed a cloud by day and fire by night. They followed obediently and expectantly behind that cloud and fire, knowing this was the same God Who had fought so fiercely for them in Egypt. They followed right down to the shore of the Red Sea.
God had made sure they were in a strategic position – with no escape. Then God hardened Pharaoh’s heart again, and the Egyptian chariots rumbled out in pursuit of their lost possession.
What was Israel to do?
There was no way out.
God had set them up.
HE led them here.
This was HIS idea.
The people panicked. They cried in fear that God had sent them there to die. Standing there with their little ones and carrying their elderly, how were they to defend themselves from such an army?
Then Moses stood and shouted,
“Fear ye not! Stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will show to you today. For the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more forever. And the LORD shall fight for you and you shall hold your peace!”
Moses had promised that God would fight for them. And he told them what they were to do: hold their peace.
Hold your peace.
See God do something all by Himself.
Now, all was faith up to that point of the story. Israel had not yet seen the provision.
Then, God sent a strong east wind to blow a path through the Red Sea. A wind so strong that the water became walls on both sides, and the ground they traveled across was dry. They came out on the other side, rescued.
Standing in the driveway with a foreclosure notice in my hand, I could hear the chariots.
I could feel the ground tremble with the pursuit of an army that we had no resources to face.
And just like Israel, we had followed Him here.
This was HIS idea.
This was HIS plan.
…To wait, to not work, to not try to save ourselves…that led right down to the shores of Foreclosure.
We were exactly where He wanted us to be, yet there was an army coming after us.
We told no one. Not even our parents.
We prayed and asked God to part the Red Sea. To stop the foreclosure.
We did our best to hold our peace.
We were to wait on Him.
The tension mounted as the foreclosure ran its course and we lay in the silent pause between problem and provision.
I called our bank to learn the ins and outs of foreclosure.
We owed $7200 in late house notes and attorney fees to stop the foreclosure. If we did not pay that, they would proceed and a “sale date” would be set – the date they auction off our house to the highest bidder. Once the sale date was set, the bank would run an ad two weeks prior in the local newspaper announcing the foreclosure and coming auction.
We prayed that He would stop foreclosure before the ad went into the newspaper. We feared, like the Israelies, that the ad would cause people to mistakenly think God had brought us out here to leave us. Also, on a less honorable level, we feared people would think we were wrong all along…that God had not led us out here and that we were delusional.
We didn’t have time to sell the house (the closing procedures would have taken too long) or do a short sale with the bank.
We continued to pray and wait.
We received a letter saying the ad would go in the paper soon after March 8th.
We were still asking God to stop the foreclosure before the ad went in the paper.
I called the lawyers’ office the morning of the 8th.
I wanted to know when this would be over.
I wanted to rip off the Band-Aid. Either foreclose or not.
The office was waiting on paperwork; it would likely be April.
No Band-Aid pulled today!
We were going to have to…
you guessed it…
We had chosen to finally tell our parents in case the ad went into the paper before we could warn them. We also told our closest friends, friends we had met mostly during “The Waiting Years.”
They all were very supportive and prayed and believed with us.
What a gift.
We had continued to battle with the idea that God could allow foreclosure. But by mid-March we had submitted to Him and His plan, whatever it may be.
For us, the foreclosure was not about following God into foreclosure. God had not given us instruction to foreclose.
This was about waiting on Him as foreclosure threatened.
Holding our peace as the Lord fought for us.
Then the east wind began to blow!
God was going to do something all by Himself.
But it blew so gently at first that we didn’t recognize it.
We had offers to help.
Shortly after telling my parents about the foreclosure, they offered to pay what was needed to stop foreclosure if we had someone to buy the house.
But we had no one to buy the house.
Then some friends of ours, the Sikes, called and were interested in buying our house if they could sell theirs.
But who would pay the house note until it sold?
For a year, our friend Ryan had said that when he paid off his house, he would pay on ours. He paid off his house that spring and continued his offer to pay our house note.
We noticed these offers to help but didn’t want to take any of them. We did not want to take money from our friends and family. We wanted God to rescue us some other way!
But slowly we began to see that these three offers were God’s provision for us. We were seeing His east wind blowing the waters of the Red Sea out of the way, whether we liked His method or not.
We found it interesting that my parents never offered to pay the house note. Ryan never offered to get us out of foreclosure. The Sikes only offered to buy the house. They each beautifully played their specific and unique role in what God was doing.
We spent days in prayer making sure these three things were indeed God’s provision.
The east wind was surely blowing.
But would the Red Sea part before the ad went into the newspaper?
I called the lawyers’ office on a Monday afternoon. The sale date had been set. The ad would appear in the newspaper later that week. They needed to receive payment by Wednesday morning to stop the ad from appearing.
Look’s like God is going to do His “last-minute-so-everyone-will-know-it-is-Me” thing.
Just hang on.
Monday evening I let my parents know how much money was needed. My mom brought the check to the house around noon the next day.
I put her check on the desk in the office, not sure if I was going to take it or not. I did not want to take their money. God’s response was finally, “If you don’t take the money, you’re missing my provision.”
I swallowed hard and took the check to the bank.
I overnighted the funds to the lawyers’ office. They needed to receive the money by noon the next day to keep the ad from appearing in the paper.
They received it at 10am.
Oh, my goodness, that was close.
(grinning at Him) God, why do you DO that to us – wait ‘til the last minute like that?
Thank You so much.
He led us through the Red Sea on dry ground.
We had held our peace (in the very loosest of terms).
He had fought for us.
We had seen the salvation of the Lord.