Read Part 1 here. It was THE.HOTTEST.DAY.OF.THE.YEAR. For real, I think it was the hottest day we had this year. Matt claims it was the second hottest, but second hottest day of the year is a mouthful, so let's just stick with my story, k? I add this small detail only because if the bushes were going to spontaneously catch fire, it would have been that day. It was scorching.
My phone rang. It was my friend, Jess. I don't talk to Jess on the phone much. In fact it had been a while. So when she called I immediately assumed she was calling to ask me a question, you know, she had an agenda. And then it hit me. As quickly as I thought, "Huh, that's Jess calling," I thought, "Oh my gosh, she's calling me about her house." I just knew it (cue the Holy Spirit.)
Jess and I small-talked. It was good small talk. Like I said, we hadn't chatted in a while. We had some catching up to do. And she was gearing up for the move of her lifetime. Her husband's company was transferring them to London. ENGLAND! And if any two people are more perfectly fit for an international transfer, it's Josh & Jess. They are the super cool traveling type. Jess is the kind of person who straps her baby on her back and shuffles between time zones with ease. I sort of hate her. But I really love her so it's cool.
Small talk ceased and Jess wanted to get to the point. CUE THE HOLY SPIRIT. Jess went into this whole long explanation about their pending move and Josh's promotion being a 2-year assignment and some whacky living allowance formula and the bottom line was that it made no sense for them to sell their house while they were gone. The only thing that made sense financially was for them to ask someone to live in their home and care for it while they were away.
So they prayed. And prayed and prayed and prayed. And they got their friends to pray. Because it was their bloody house and they weren't about to hand over the keys to any ol' chap.
And don't ask me why. I don't know why. It makes no sense why. But God put US on their hearts. US. A family of 2 adults and THREE very small kids. And an EIGHTY POUND dog. And two fish, but whose counting? Our kids are in the color-the-walls stages. And our dog, well, he's just big and hairy but really, why us? Why not the sweet and tidy widowed homemaker who boasts 2011 Notary Club Garden of the Year and who answers the question, "When did you last clean your baseboards?" with Two weeks ago Friday, unlike my answer, Never.
Why us? Why?
And that's when Jess dropped the big one. They not only wanted us to live in their home but they wanted us to live in their home RENT FREE.
As in no rent. As in free. As in, what-the-what?
I told you the bushes were on fire.
I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that God was giving us the opportunity to live in a real bona fide house and we weren't even going to pay for it. IT MADE NO SENSE.
Until it started to make sense.
You see, that's only half of the story. The first half of the story is awesome. The kind of awesome where I'll forever be able to say with confidence that God is our Provider. The kind of awesome that allows me to talk about the blessing of a home in terms of me and my wants and desires and Yay! God!
But I don't think that's the point. I didn't even mention to you that up until one week before Jess called, my husband and I were one payment away from paying off some serious credit card debt. And I mean serious. It was one week after sending in our final credit card payment that Jess called about the house. One week. Coincidence? I don't think so.
And the not-coincidences don't stop there. But this is already a multi-part post so I'll spare you the list, but know this: God has been orchestrating this very moment for years. And to see all of these little moments come together for this big moment is one of the coolest things I have ever been a part of.
Part 3, the finale, tomorrow.