For a few weeks, I have had friends on FB, family, and others praying for a situation that had the potential to be quite difficult, financially.
We have..... let me back up.... we HAD a house in NM.
In 1998, we moved from Alamogordo, NM to Silver City, NM. We had a home in Alamo. A CUTE and wonderful first home for us. We could see Sierra Blanca from our front porch. We were just 30 minutes from Cloudcroft and 45 minutes from Ruidoso. It was a nice place to live. We had pecan trees, lavender bushes, a grape vine, a back porch with a lovely trellis that covered in trumpet vine during the summer..... we even had a basement!
We moved across the state, due to hubby's job, and rented out our house. We weren't really in a financial situation to sell, considering the market and finances. (I was in school and we were paying for DH's flight training.) SO, we rented it out.
We felt blessed that we had an older couple with an older child. Whenever there were any problems, we would get a phone call from the renters. They would generally take care of having something replaced, send us the receipt, and deduct it from their rent.
Several years into the rental, they fell on really hard times. As in.... could not pay rent..... at all. *sigh* Difficult, yes. And, where we legally had the right to kick them out, we just didn't feel like God wanted us to do that. After much praying, we decided to let them pay what they could, when they could. Praise the Lord! We were always able to keep up with the payments. These were times when we really saw God's hand on our finances.... because let me tell ya.... it was TOUGH! Kids. Teaching job. Airline job. TWO house payments. That equals MORE going out than coming in. BUT, GOD PROVIDED.
After a few tough years, the renters were finally able to start paying. They weren't able to pay anything from the non-paying months, but it was OK. We had had them for several years and had a good renter/landlord relationship.
This past June, on our way to Minnesota, we got a call from Mrs. Renter. She informed us that she and Mr. Renter were splitting up and moving out. She called to give us notice. (Not the normal month, but a few weeks.) Not only that, but they wouldn't be able to pay rent for the month, NOR would they be able to pay the few thousand in what they owed. *sigh* Really?
We were frustrated, but it was all good. We finished our vacation and DH flew out to NM to see about having the house professionally cleaned to either rent out again, or put on the market.
OH. MY. WORD!
OK.... these people didn't pack and move.
Picture appliances and furniture on the porch.
Picture water damage in the bathroom.
Picture caving in ceiling in the kitchen.
Picture lawn equipment that is broken down.
Picture dirty dishes in the sink.
Picture 2 or 3 rooms full of furniture.
Imagine the smell of smoke from 13 years of housing multiple smokers.
That is what it was.
First things first..... pay someone to haul off crap. YES! CRAP!
After much thought, and talking to a wonderful friend (who happens to be a realtor)..... well, we discussed several possibilities:
Fixing it up and renting it out.
Fixing it up and selling it.
Letting the bank have it. (We still owed SEVERAL thousand on the house.)
Leaving it and paying it off.
OK.... bonfire wasn't really an option.... I promise.
It would cost us THOUSANDS to fix it up. Honestly, we wouldn't be able to get a loan to help us, because the house just wasn't worth it. Sad, huh?
We couldn't let the bank have it.... that would RUIN our credit!
So, we were faced with leaving it alone and paying it off.
I PROMISE! WE NEVER CONSIDERED BONFIRE!
Imagine having a cute little starter home, which you adore. Then, pseudo-grown-ups coming in and trashing the place, flipping you "the bird," and leaving you THOUSANDS of dollars worth of damage.
Yeah.... that's how we felt. Well, except for flipping us "the bird," that is exactly what they did!
It was sickening.
We are not rich. My hubby makes a good living. But, we have 4 boys, and a VERY expensive ear that we will be paying for, for awhile.
AND, I do not have a job.... yet.
So, we go from: comfortably having 1 income, 2 homes, renters, 11 1/2 ears, old carpet, and plans to slowly, but surely, fix a few bedrooms, to having 1 income, looking for a job in a SLOW market, 2 homes, no renters, 12 ears (and the bill to pay for that ear), busted pipes, water damage, need of new carpet, various other medical issues, and necessity to fix the bedrooms, PLUS tons of cash needed to fix the damage left in one of the homes.
This immediately became a matter of prayer. Sometimes, you don't know what to do... much less HOW to do what needs to be done.
I started posting requests for prayer on FB. Our families were asked to pray.... and, of course, hubby and I really began to bombard Heaven with our pleas for guidance and financial assistance.
Some family in NM gave us the name of a dude who buys and flips houses. THAT would be a great option. Hubby called him and they met at the house. I don't *think* the dude laughed out loud, but he did tell us that he wouldn't even pay $14,000 for the house.... less than half of what we owed.
At the suggestion of our realtor friend, we cleared the junk and put the house on the market... damage and all.
In a little more than a month, someone was found. That is incredible, in and of itself. HOWEVER, this buyer gave us $1,000 OVER what we owed.
THAT, is a God-thing.
There is no other way to put it.
Yes, I realize that God is involved in every aspect of our lives. He helps us. Guides us. Whispers to us. But this? It was ALL. HIM!
I have seen miracles in my life. I have prayed for miracles. This? This was a miracle. An unexpected miracle. We were praying for more income, somehow.... not that the bill would go away completely.
We give God ALL the glory for this one.
THANK YOU, GOD!
ETA: a word from my hubby: "Just to clarify a point to show just how amazing this was: It was a month from the time we found out the renters were leaving to the time we sold it. But it was only 2 WEEKS, from the time the junk was hauled off to the time we had a deal. AND, we never even actually listed the house. Our great friend in Alamogordo hooked us up with the deal before it ever even got that far. AWESOME!"