Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: HOME (02/07/19)
- TITLE: Answered Prayers and Leaky Faucets
By Francie Snell
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Home-sweet-home, it was finally mine.
The woman at the county clerk’s office looked surprised when I handed her my application for a First-Time Home Buyers Program; a binder, complete with cover page, index, and tabs separating all the required documentation compiled from hours of research, like delivering the first draft of a thesis. She turned the pages. “I can’t believe this” she murmured, then eyed me with a smile. “Looks like you’re well prepared. I think this is everything we need. We’ll be contacting you soon.”
I headed out the door with bold assurance, envisioning the house I had already made an offer on, my home to be.
FTHP sent me numerous requests through the following weeks for more information which I speedily provided. While I fielded the on-going requests, the sellers of the house grew impatient. “What’s taking so long? This was supposed to be a 30-day escrow.” They demanded either escrow be completed immediately or “the deal is off.” I pleaded for more time. But weeks turned into months with FTHP continually demanding more information. To no surprise, the sellers canceled the deal. So, I made a new offer, priced slightly higher, and begged their mercy for more time. They accepted.
Yet another hurdle awaited me.
One week away from final approval, I was informed my income was too high to qualify. How many times had we gone through the numbers, and now this? Yet, in those last hours when my world was crumbling out from under me, my employer came to the rescue with a brilliant idea. “Let’s decrease your hours by 2 hours a week.” Voila. It worked. I was approved.
So, after 4 months of sleepless nights and fervent prayers, I breathlessly accepted the keys to the modest little A-frame. It was the next best thing to winning the lottery. It made first page news. People congratulated me, patting me on the back, probably relieved they no longer had to witness me teetering on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Yes, through God’s grace, I had finally achieved the illustrious goal of home ownership with my sanity still intact. The Lord had blessed me, a struggling single woman, with owning my own home.
The real work had only just begun.
That was 19 years ago, and I still look around my house to this day, pondering the repairs and improvements demanding attention. It’s an exhausting list of honey-dos that never ends.
Even so, I know this is my temporary home for now. And it is what it is. God has given me everything I need, including a growing appreciation for the imperfections that make my home unique. Creaks and cracks from aging wood are but gentle reminders that nothing in this world is ever perfect. I’d probably miss those sounds if they weren’t there.
My home holds a story full of dreams, miracles, and answered prayers; The single woman who couldn’t afford a house but, against all odds, was able to do so; A dark and cold, fixer-upper that, with the help of a few quarts of white paint and a lot of TLC, became a home of warmth and light. I won’t go into too much detail describing trenching a new water line or crawling under the house to reinforce some sagging pillars in the foundation… too many projects to mention.
However, I will mention the gentle ticking of a woodstove as a thick carpet of snow silences the outside world, and aromas of food cooking, wafting throughout the house, reminding me of God’s loving care and kindness.
To me, a house is not a home unless it is blessed by God. And regardless of how it appears, He will fill it with his presence just the same if we just ask Him in.
But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” Josh. 24:15, NKJV
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