We needed a house, we were now clear on what we were looking for and honestly, neither of were sure that what we needed was available. I was feeling emotionally stretched!
The following Sunday, my Dad told us that he had talked to a gentleman at church. An elderly couple who we knew from our congregation were no longer in the position to care for themselves at home. He and Dad went to talk to the husband and had been given permission to take us on a tour through the home.
We stepped in the front door and almost immediately knew this would be our new home. It was modest and simple. We asked our questions as we looked around. There was a carport, an en suite. There was new roof, a few years old. As we went into the back yard which was spacious and southern facing, we saw a great huge garden. There in the back corner was the biggest Saskatoon bush I had ever seen in my life!
You can imagine our shock as we saw all the needs checked off the list. Even more so as we continued to check off all of our listed wants. Not one thing was missing. Not one single thing. It wasn’t perfect, there was work to be done, updating. Even so, clearly, this was the home for us.
A phone call was made to their eldest son saying that we were interested. They phoned back with a price that was close to what we had prayerfully decided. Craig and I talked about an offer, higher than our previously agreed price. I was a little worried of offending. On the phone, Craig lowered the offer while my eye’s went big. What was he doing? I was afraid they would reject it. You can imagine our shock when the son said that what Craig had offered was exactly what they had hoped to get. Honestly, I just about fell over. Even writing this out I get goose bumps.
We moved in on a day where -28 was the high. Windy cold, exhausted. It had been an emotional ride, so many ups and downs. It was overwhelming in many ways. I felt all those things again.
I was thrilled about our new home and it’s potential.
I was grateful, so very grateful. We could have both my parents and more for dinner without the threat of the house bursting at the seams.
I felt undeserving. There were many more people in the world in greater need than I. We were not in need at all really. I truly didn’t feel I deserved it.
I was overwhelmed. This was more than I expected. At first, I had fully expected God to protect the youth of our old neighbourhood. If he could add in changing the man’s life, moving him out of our city or moving us off the street, it would be a bonus. I didn’t expect all three things to happen. I trusted God to provide for our modest needs, I never expected him to give us everything on our list of wants. He didn’t have to, but it didn’t stop Him from doing it.
About a week into our new home, I had this dream about what our home could look like. There was a wall knocked out a computer station in the kitchen with cupboards all around it, and an island where our kids could eat snacks and do their home work. It was beautiful. I told Craig about it in the morning and jokingly called it the 25 year plan. After all, we already had more than we deserved. I couldn’t ask for more. I was a little sad, can you believe it? Yup, that is how selfish I am, I am ashamed to admit it. I loved the idea of the computer being central in an open space for easy access for homework and help. The kids congregating around the island would be such a nice reality. It was a major renovation. I couldn’t ask for more. So I tucked the dream away and started working on small changes. Painting the kitchen cabinets. Making it feel like ours. I was content truthfully. It was a great location, the school was across the street, Craig’s work at the end of the block. The yard was fantastic and we could have families over again. It was such a gift.
The second winter being in our new home, our church had a building program planned. Craig and I prayed separately about what we should set aside to give to the project. We believed in it. We needed better space for children’s programs in summer. We came together at the end of a week and shared what we thought we ought to give. Our ideas were close and we decided to go with the higher amount. We pledged to give that amount. At that time our two oldest children were diagnosed with Asthma. About a month later I started stripping the wall paper in the living room. Under the living room windows there was black mould. Overwhelmed and discouraged and stripped the hall and then started in the bathroom. There was black mould again. Knowing that this was a health risk for our kids, but feeling particularly strapped because of the financial commitment we had made to the church we started praying about what to do.
The obvious choice would be to take back our pledge. Neither of us felt good about that option. God had known about this trouble before we had uncovered it. We felt he had led us to give that amount, so we decided to remain firm on it. We prayed about what to do about the mould in our home.
Four months later we got a call from Craig’s parents at six o’clock in the morning. The time of the morning you expect to hear really bad news. Instead it was Craig’s Dad saying that one of his Uncles had wanted to gift his nieces and nephews with a generous amount of money. How does one even respond to that?
I am sure we walked around for a week fully shocked. The amount given would not only allow us to take care of the health issues that had arisen. But that dream, with the island and the computer in the kitchen and the wall knocked out? It would accomplish that too. Not just that, but even more. I couldn’t believe it. God hadn’t just provided for our needs. He once again had looked after our wants. More than we would have had the boldness to ask Him for.
I had felt undeserving and overwhelmed before. I didn’t even know what I felt now.
Through this experience, this gift of so much more than I deserve. I learned a few things.
1. Thanksgiving and gratefulness are good. Having a thankful attitude is proper and appropriate.
2. I really am undeserving, yet somehow it delights God to give good gifts.
3. When I ask in faith, I should be prepared to be overwhelmed. I didn’t even bother asking God to give us the dream, I felt too guilty. Yet He did it anyway. He is way bigger than what I can imagine. God’s ways don’t make sense. So ask. Ask in faith and expect big things. Expect more than you thought was possible.
He hasn’t always given us what we asked for, we asked for healing for our child and were denied. I want that much more than I wanted a new home with a new kitchen and bathroom. I didn’t get that answer, I am still thankful, I still know I am undeserving, I am still overwhelmed. Even in denying us that answer, God has given more in that situation than we could have dreamed to ask Him for.
4. God cares about the details. He didn’t have to give me a Saskatoon bush that was 50 times bigger than the little one I had rescued from my parents property. But he did. He didn’t overlook a single detail from our needs or our wants. He cared about the details, all of the details, he didn’t forget a single thing.
It has all been more that I deserve!