I wrote this post about 3 years ago but never posted it. I’m sharing this now because I believe it will encourage someone. Life has peaks and valley’s, there are times when we are doing exceptionally well and then there are times when life seems like it’s beating us all the way down. But as my 90 year old grand mother says “keep on living” things always come full circle. So read this and be encouraged. God has a plan for your life. It doesn’t matter what it looks like today, tomorrow is a brand new day full of opportunity.
Previously dated July 2, 2013
Previously dated July 2, 2013
“Homeless” with Money
I’ve heard it said many times that 1/3 of American’s are one paycheck away from being homeless.
I can identify.
For lack of a better explanation for the past 2 years my family and I have been homeless. No, we weren’t living on the streets or moving from pillar to post (as my mom would say) but we didn’t have our own place to live in 2 years. We lived in one room of a basement at my uncle’s house (wet bar included). Yes, all five of us lived in one room. My children slept in one bed on the floor and my husband and I haven’t had any privacy (save the couple of weekend trips we’ve taken) in two years!
We were “homeless”, but we are together.
It’s very strange how it all happened. One minute we were “living it up” in our 3 bedroom 2 bath apt in Brooklyn and the next minute we were packing our bins (who uses boxes anymore) and moving to NJ. It happened so fast almost like the blink of an eye or the snap of a finger. I distinctly remember the day when we made the decision to end our lease. Long story short our landlord wanted to raise our rent to an unrealistic amount and was not willing to fix the problems we were having in the apt; mainly little hairy mice!!! It was the beginning of summer and the children were headed to my mom’s for a couple of weeks, I was riding the bus to the train heading to work when I got a call from my uncle who heard about our dilemma; he offered to let us stay in Jersey until we could find a place that was reasonable and what we wanted/needed. We have three growing children we no longer want to rent 2nd floor apartments. We want a house, a place where our children can be comfortable, in a good neighborhood with thriving schools. NJ was the perfect solution to the school situation and we knew that we’d find something suitable back in NY within a year’s time after saving money. My uncle wasn’t asking for a huge chunk of change for rent so that would afford us the comfort of paying off some outstanding debt and save enough for a down payment on our first home.
Well wouldn’t you know that it was at that very moment that all hell would break loose? They say it’s Murphy’s Law but I’ll say it’s God allowing the Devil to test us as He did Job.
Not only did we agree to move to NJ, but the powers that be agreed that I should be laid off of my job and my husband would lose two gigs! Yup, all of this in less than 6 months’ time, now we were officially homeless and broke! I was unemployed for eight months! 8 months!!! I became one of the 47% that Mitt Romney talked about in one of his ‘off air’ moments. I had to apply for food stamps. I mean really $400 a week for a family of 5 just wouldn’t cut it on unemployment. We had to pull our weight some way somehow. After much convincing and cajoling from my sister and mother I finally went down to social services to ask for help. Everyone was pleasant and for a family of 5 we received MORE than enough food stamps to feed our family for the month. I am so thankful for the help and will always pay my taxes so someone who needs help, can receive it from the government.
After interviewing and applying for jobs eight months later I was hired at a start-up company. I received the pay I asked for and got a raise and Director title within 3 months! Yeah that’s God.
So why were we still homeless?
Yes children, even though you have a job, your past financial missteps follow you for upwards of 7-10 years. No, we never filed for bankruptcy or anything critical but we did close credit cards by paying off our outstanding balances, we didn’t monitor the activity on our credit reports (trying to apply for credit cards and being denied lowers your credit) crazy I know.
We went through the ENTIRE process of buying a home down to writing a check for our down payment. Only to be denied by the mortgage underwriter. Yes, we had pre-approval and all that good stuff but it didn’t matter. Our credit wasn’t up to par and I was unemployed for 8 months.
We had money in our savings. I’m paid (pretty well) every two weeks and yet finding a house to rent was the bane of my existence. We worked with a wonderful, resourceful, patient Realtor but for whatever reason our house was in hiding.
While going through this trail of ‘homelessness’ I learned A LOT about real estate, the economy, my husband, my children, myself, my extended family and my God. You ever heard that song He’s an on time God? I know it to be a fact. He may not come when you want Him but I’m confident He’ll be there RIGHT on time.
While going through I was clear in my requests to God in what I WANTED but the bible says God will supply our NEED according to his riches in Glory. God knew what our need was and it wasn’t for a house with a termite problem, a house with a dormer roof that wouldn’t allow my husband to stand upright while in the bedroom or the children’s room. It wasn’t a house with one bathroom and an unfinished basement.
Although I wanted a house that had a separate area for my mother it wasn’t what I NEEDED.
Although I wanted to live within walking distance of family it wasn’t what I NEEDED. I asked the Lord for exactly what I wanted. We gave our tithes and offering, blessed our Bishop and Pastor and drove from NJ to Brooklyn (over two bridges) just about every Sunday for Worship (for 2 years)! I just knew I’d get what I wanted but I’m so glad that God has provided what we NEED.
Our house was taken out of hiding and was presented to us on a silver platter. Some of the things I wanted were a three bedroom, 2 bath house in a good neighborhood with a good school system.
When we picked up our keys it was to a FOUR bedroom, 2 full bathroom, large backyard, basement, beautiful eat in kitchen, living room and dining room house! In a beautiful part of NY which has a terrific school system. My children will NEVER sleep on the floor again unless they WANT to.
AINT God Good?????
I am sharing this testimony with you because I want you to stay encouraged. Don’t think that what you are currently going through is for nothing. Hold strong to your faith. Believe with everything within you that God is still working on your behalf. You may not see the return of your investment (time, tithes, faithfulness etc) immediately but hold fast and your blessings are on the way. Don’t be weary in well doing (although I KNOW that it can be hard) God yet has your best interest at heart. The bible says that God wants us to prosper EVEN as our souls prosper! I know that moving forward we are going to have some challenges but I know with certainty that if the Father can bring us through this…. He will bring us through whatever else might come our way. We are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus! There is NOTHING to hard for Him. NOTHING!
Until next time…