How does faith grow?
I asked myself, “How does your faith grow?” The answer came quickly and spontaneously. It comes through the trials and tribulations that ALWAYS give us the opportunity to TRUST (or not). I have had many open and closed doors over the last 5 decades on my spiritual journey. It’s not easy to be patient when you are in the “hallway” and waiting for the door to open. Sometimes it takes years of waiting-like waiting 15 years for my soul mate to appear. It was worth the wait, although there were times when I complained and banged on the door. It didn’t do any good, except get me frustrated and angry. God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect.
My family received a text today (Good Friday) from my son, Tim, sharing his journey of open and closed doors. He didn’t give up on his dream, in spite of many closed doors over the last year and a half. The text brought tears to my eyes, and I am so proud of my son for his perseverance and TRUST in the divine plan for his life. The best Good Friday text ever. I’m grateful to be able to share this with you as the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
“Well family, some great news on Good Friday. I closed on the construction loan this afternoon! It’s been 18 months with five rejected offers on several different pieces of land I wanted to buy. There were five or six times that the funding was approved, then unapproved. I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours planning to get to this point. In the end, it was the love and support of our amazing family that helped me clear that last hurdle, with no days to spare on the closing. I’m so grateful for you all and what we share. As I see other friends with their families, they don’t have what we share. It’s a gift. Thank you and I love you all. Excavation has begun! The building of my new home will start next month as we wait on permits. I’ll keep you all posted!”
It brought back a memory that happened 45 years ago of an opened door at the very last minute. My ex-husband and I had applied for a VA loan so we could purchase a home for our family. We met with the manager of the bank and he said, “I’m sorry Mr. and Mrs. Hastings, it’s unlikely you would be eligible for a mortgage with all of your money tied up in your new business.” My husband said, “I know, but we can still apply, right?” The manager replied, “Yes you can. I just want to be upfront with you about the unlikelihood of it going through.”
Our real estate agent knew of our circumstances with money and our new business. She also knew about our faith and that we were trusting God to intervene and get us the house. She tried to be positive, but she had her doubts. She called me one day and said, “Pat, I don’t think it’s a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. What if the house falls through? What will you do? Are you sure it’s a good idea to give your notice at the townhouse before you know if you will be approved for a mortgage?”
I replied, “Thank you Darlene for your concern. I know it doesn’t look good on paper, but my husband and I are certain it’s God’s will and it will go through.” Sometimes, it’s just God’s grace that gives you that kind of certainty-a knowing deep within.
We stepped out in faith and gave our notice at the townhouse. We started packing boxes, acting “as if” all was well. We didn’t hear anything for a while and trusted that was a good sign. With only two weeks left before the closing of the house, we started to become nervous. The boxes were packed high in the living room and dining room. We were moving, no matter what.
When I answered the phone, I could hear the hesitation in Darlene’s voice that it wasn’t good news. I took a deep breath and listened carefully. “Pat, this is Darlene. I just got a phone call from the manager of Sovereign Bank. Your mortgage wasn’t approved. I know how you were trusting God. I’m so sorry.”
I blurted out, “Is there anything we can do?” Would you please give me the manager’s name at the bank so my husband can call and explain the situation?” She responded, “I’m really not supposed to do this. I could get fired, but I will give it to you if you don’t tell anyone where you got it from.” I thanked her and said, “I promise, I won’t tell anyone.” I immediately called my friend to pray together and we asked God to intervene and give us a miracle.
I called my husband and gave him the bad news, along with the manager’s name and phone number. I instructed him to not let him know how he got the phone number. My husband called and got right through to Mr. Simone – the manager of the bank. He wasn’t happy and said, “Why are you calling me? How did you get my number? You weren’t approved and what do you want me to do about it?”
Joe said, “I’m just asking if there is anything you can do for us. Maybe there has been a mistake.” The manager reluctantly replied, “I’ll check it out and get back to you.” A half-hour later, Mr. Simone called back and said, “I completely agree with the disposition. You weren’t approved because your money is tied up in your new business.” For some “unknown” reason Mr. Simone asked my husband, “What makes you sure that the business (a Christian bookstore) is going to be successful?”
My husband doesn’t remember what he said, but to his delight and surprise the manager replied, “Okay, I will approve of it.” Divine intervention and the power of prayer for sure. It was our faith, trust, and prayer that moved mountains. We did our part, and God did His.
When we called our real estate agent to give her the good news, she said, “Wow, you must know someone upstairs. I have a stack of mortgages in front of me that didn’t qualify and they were much better than yours.” She laughed and said, “Can I please send them over to you?”
When we trust and have faith, miracles happen. I’m so grateful my son, Tim, followed his heart, in spite of the many closed doors. The right door opened at the right and perfect time.
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