Many parents tell their kids that "God always answers prayers," but then qualify it saying, "but sometimes he doesn't answer them the way we want, or as quickly as we'd like." Well let me tell you that while this is true and may protect against disappointment, that is not always the case. Sometimes God answers prayers fast...so fast that we cannot doubt His action.
Our story starts some time ago. Our goal was, and still is, to move out to the 52 acres in the country that our family bought together, but we have never had a clear time-line. We contemplated selling our house two years ago, and certainly the timing in the market would have been much better then, but the timing for our family was not. So it was not until last spring we put our house on the up for sale. Everyone would agree that this was the worst possible time to sell a house. Only 10 couples came to see the house over the entire summer of 2008, from that we got only one low-ball offer which we quickly refused. Our hearts were really not set on selling it, partly because it is a lovely home, and also because it is hard to sell a house for less than we paid for it. Part of us felt it would be better to hold off until the market made a recovery. So even when we prayed that God would help us sell the house over the last year, it is safe to say we didn't really commit our hearts to that end.
As you probably know, my parents travel a lot, and for the last 6 months or so we have been house-sitting for them and renting our house to one of Anna's sisters. The plan was to move back into our house before the new baby arrives in May. But surprisingly, my parents, and my younger sisters didn't seem too thrilled at the idea of us moving back to our house. Nonetheless, we began following our plan and taking some belongings back to our home in preparation to move back in. But neither Anna nor I felt peaceful about it.
The Saturday before Palm Sunday we talked to my parents and came to the decision that our ultimate goal of building a home on the land would be better served by staying at their house, saving money faster, and keeping my younger sisters company during my parents long absences. We really have enjoyed the situation here, and it is nice for the kids to get to know their grandparents a little better (when they are around:) So we all held hands together, including our kids, and prayed to God that he would help us sell our house quickly because we were ready now to move on to the next season in our life. There was nothing extraordinary about the words used, but there was something very decisive about the whole experience. It was as if we were saying, "ok God, we are done waffling in our own hearts, this may not be the best time to be selling our house in the world's eyes, but we are ready, and if you want us to take this next step please help us to sell the house quickly."
We do not get to pick which family we are born into, but had I been given a choice I definitely would have chosen my parents over again. This whole scenario would NOT be possible without their supreme generosity and the fact that they are great people to be around.
We began setting up an area in the house for the new baby, and unloading the car that was full of boxes that hours ago were slated to go back to our house. It was only moments later that we got three separate calls from the realtor's office asking to show the house. The next day, Palm Sunday, more people saw the house in that single day than had been to the house in months. One of those couples fell in love with the house and saw it again on Tuesday and again on Thursday, they put an offer in on Friday, we countered back and forth a bit and by Tuesday after dinner we had a deal.
I am sure if you have read this so far you don't need me to state the obvious, but I will for the record: this was a miracle. This was a true example of God answering a prayer moments after it was uttered. The neat thing about this whole experience was that God waited for us to be ready. Once we finally planted our flag and put ourselves in a position for Him to act, He did.
It is so amazing to have our children see prayers get answered in such a real way. I hope this blog will serve to remind them of God's active presence in their lives as they grow older.