As you may know, if you've followed my blog for awhile, we moved to the Georgia Coast about 2 1/2 years ago. (Click here to read the first in a series of posts about our move.) That was right about the time the bottom was really dropping out of the real estate market, and houses were just not selling. After having our house on the market for several months with not as much as a nibble, we were grateful when a family wanted to lease our house.
Renting out the house seemed like a huge answer to prayer and kept us afloat. However, being a landlord has its own downfalls. We experienced various, large unexpected expenses related to the upkeep of that house, plus we had the nasty surprise of learning that the extra rental "income" pushed us into the very unpleasant situation of owing a considerable sum of money in income taxes. :( :( :(
We managed to hang on, but then in November, we learned that our tenants would be moving out the end of December, leaving us to resume the mortgage payments, utilities, and maintenance costs associated with that house, on top of our rent, utilities, etc. on the house we are leasing here. Not only that, but we would still be facing additional income taxes for the second painful year in a row! It was at that point, that we reached a real crisis!
We decided that we had to try to sell our house before the end of the ear. I knew it would take a miracle to sell our house at the holidays, but I started praying that God would sell it by December 31st, which would save us from having to resume all the house-related expenses in January, and keep us from owing additional income taxes too. I started praying for a Christmas Miracle!
At first, we were full of faith and hope, confident that God would see us through, but as the days ticked by, a feeling of despair and hopelessness took over. I reached my lowest point on Thanksgiving Day, when the impossibility of the situation bore down on me and my husband both. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I spent the day crying off and on, had very little interest in the big feast I had prepared, and had anything but a spirit of thanksgiving! I was even more overwhelmed with hopelessness when I learned that the couple living in our house had been refusing to show the house to potential buyers, because they didn't want to have to clean the house and show it!!)
Because of our financial crisis, we agreed for the first time in our married life to not exchange Christmas gifts at all. I'm not talking about a light Christmas -- I mean we decided to buy nothing for our children for Christmas. I knew that the older kids would all understand, but it was pretty difficult to not buy anything for our younger children! On one hand, I knew that Christmas was not just about the gifts, but on the other hand, I couldn't imagine waking up Christmas morning to a totally bare Christmas tree and no presents for excited little children to unwrap.
But God is so merciful and does way beyond what we can ask or think!!!!!
Come back tomorrow for part 2 of Our Christmas Miracle!