Monday, September 10, 2012

Hanging On

On a Friday approximately three weeks ago we received word from our mortgage company that the approval process for the short sale of our home was complete, and that Monday would be the first day of escrow.  Monday morning we received another phone call confirming that escrow had started and that we were in contract with our buyer.  We had 30 days until the house would be sold.  Later that afternoon we received word from our real estate agent that there was a very serious potential problem.  The bank negotiator had contacted him to say he did not know what had happened, but another department in another branch of the bank had continued with foreclosure proceedings in spite of the short sale process and approval.  Someone had not just messed up paperwork.  The house had gone to the auction block that day and the negotiator did not know if the house had sold.  We could do nothing other than to wait and pray, and wonder what in the world God was doing.

Three days later our real estate agent contacted us to say that the news was in.  He was livid. The bank had informed us there was nothing that could be done. The house had indeed gone to the court steps and been auctioned, but no one had purchased it.  That was irrelevant for the case was closed and there was nothing they could do.  We had been accidentally foreclosed on while in an active short sale agreement. We completed the escrow cancellation paperwork for our buyer.  All parties involved were absolutely devastated and floored.  Everyone had lost something.  And I was sent into an absolute panic.

We were told to wait to be contacted by an agent of the bank regarding moving out, because we are no longer owners -now we are tenants. The expected time to hear something was from 1-7 days.  We had no where to go and no rental property found.  I sunk to an all time low.

Where was this house we were praying for? We have so many needs and it seemed so unrealistic to expect them all to be met. The only words I could hear were those of discouragement - good luck finding that, that really doesn't exist, no one is going to visit you in the boonies, hurry up and find a place before they show up and say get out, maybe you need to rethink what you are looking for, stop telling people you have a sick child, perhaps you should forget the chickens, you will have to increase your rental budget, just don't tell them you have chickens, etc., etc., etc.  We had several friends helping us look, and many offers for rentals that came in.  None met our needs and that was all I could see.  We must be doing something wrong.  The noise in my head was deafening to the hope that had been promised.

A week passed and we heard nothing from the bank.  Surely we were even more pressed for time now.  We decided to raise our price point in hopes of finding something anything.  What we found.....was nothing. It was as if someone had mysteriously wiped out all of the adds on craigslist we might even consider.  I threw up my hands. Seriously?! Finally we went and viewed a few properties that were way out of our price range, and couldn't bring ourselves to say yes.  We have had friends offer us their property for use. We would now consider an apartment and housing our chickens elsewhere if that is what we had to do.  God? Is that what You are wanting? Where did You go? The family stress showed in the faces of our girls.  I dug down deeper into a pit of doubt.  Things appeared dark.

Last Saturday we went and viewed two more houses.  One was an expensive option, and the other......seemed like it might be perfect.  But I had thought that before, so I didn't spend much time thinking about it.  Instead I spent the weekend making our household/homeschool schedule and decided that this week things would be different.  If I couldn't shake my depressing doom and gloom then I was going to make a go of 'fake it till you make it'.  This was not how I want my girls to remember this time. I want them to look back and see God's provision and the joy we had in it.  Even if I have to pretend my way through it.

Sunday we decided to take a family trip to the zoo.  Big Sis begged to bring her money and go to the zoo store.  "Can I please bring my money from my save or share (savings or church) jars?  I have nothing left in my spend."  No I am sorry. She was obedient, but hung her head.

While walking towards the zoo entrance Big Sis said "Mommy someone dropped one of those tigers over there and lost it."  If we can't return a lost item, or give it to a lost and found, our family policy is to leave it lying for the person to come back and find.  If we came looking for something we lost, we would hope to find it still there.  We try to do the same.  Because of this (and my always telling her to stop picking things up off the ground) she had not even picked it up.

Where? I asked. She showed me.  It was a tiny plastic tiger figurine from the zoo that she had eyed in the past.  Well, I told her.  This late in the day it is doubtful someone will come looking for it or even find such a small toy, so you may pick it up and keep it.  Her eyes sparkled and she grinned. OK! She fingered it.

I took her by the shoulders and found myself saying: See! God blessed you! He took care of you! You did not have the money for the store. You were obedient and did not take your money from saving or sharing, and He provided.  See how He did that? God is good for that. He provides.  He blesses us when we are obedient.

She grinned bigger and nodded.  And I heard my own words loud and clear.

1 comment:

  1. Is there no "Channel 5 Consumer Watchdog"-type agency in your area that could investigate (hopefully intervene) with the bank? Those papers saying the short sale had been approved must be worth something. (I would hope) But perhaps I am wrong. I usually pray for "right outcomes", more than for specific desires.


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