I know some, if not most, of you have heard a rousing sermon inspired by, Joseph’s journey (begin at Genesis 37:1) from the pit to the palace. Rousing, in that, if you are in the midst of or have faced a similar trial, you naturally desire some measure of reassurance or encouragement that your end might embody Joseph’s. Trials don’t ever feel good, especially when they surface on the heels of a God Promise.
In March, my husband and I accepted an offer on our home, after it was on the market for approximately 5 hours. We were in awe! God exceeded our expectations, after what seemed like a lifetime of preparation. Not only did we work hard to prepare our home to show, but we also prepared our house to be a home for what we assumed would be a first time buyer and/or young family. We truly believed that our home was to be a blessing to whomever purchased it.
Moreover, we knew that God wanted us to move in a few ways, but one way was through relocation. There was more that He had for us, but we had to be willing to shift to get it.
All good thus far, right?
Shortly after we audibly praised God and shared His sure provision and omnipotence, everything that could go wrong went wrong, and not in the way you might expect.
How many of you have ever sent Judah first, witnessed a supernatural alignment in your favor, and shared what looked like the fulfillment of a God promise, to then find yourself communicating a testimony modification or derailed expectation? Just because God is faithful to do and deliver what He’s promised, doesn’t mean He will remove every roadblock, hindrance or opportunity to develop us along the way.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 emphasis added
Our real estate challenges primarily centered around unethical and unprofessional behavior on the part of the buyer’s lender and agent (business/names omitted). Our experience can best be summarized by blatant lies, repeated settlement extensions for no legitimate reason, stonewalling, indifference, and profanity-laced emails (not from us), ceased buyer’s agent to buyer communication, direct communication between myself and the buyer, an unsavory business relationship and history between the loan officer and buyer’s agent, and the discovery of a forged document. To spell out further details here would only serve to make you question whether I was exaggerating a scene from a mini drama finale’ or whether my experience informally qualifies me as a junior real estate agent.
I’m smiling as I type this, not because I find myself funny (although I do ) but because I’m on the other end of a crooked road that led to fulfillment of His promise and made my husband and I stronger, individually and together.
I would love to say that I never wanted to quit the process, when the promise turned faint. But in all honesty, it’s not until I heard the voice of the buyer on the other end of my phone – nearly in tears – that I finally made the decision not to terminate the contract, but instead fight both on my knees and in the natural UNTIL….
The buyer was without an advocate and being taken advantage of and I couldn’t ignore it. Nor, could I ignore the poor business practices that had gone unchecked.
God knows how to get our attention.
Well, this got my attention. Then, I got the lender’s Branch Manager and Broker’s attention.
Still, I had a promise that didn’t come easily.
If you don’t know, it’s extremely rare for the buyer and seller to contact each other directly during a real estate transaction with agent representation, but through necessity, the buyer and I began to build trust and an alliance. She shared that she was a single mother who relocated away from her family to pursue a new job. In fact, during the process, her apartment security alarm went off, and to our surprise, she reached out to me. We prayed for her and her children.
When her loan was finally approved by underwriting, the lender oddly contacted my real estate agent first to share the news with me. I then quickly called her to share the good news.
As peculiar as this may sound, I fight for us both.
We went to settlement last week, the buyer moved her family into their new home, any additional expense she and I incurred due to delays was reimbursed by the lender and buyer’s agent, and two men who once operated with little or no accountability were finally exposed and held responsible for their improper conduct.
Do you know/remember these lyrics from a once popular choir song? It’s one of the songs that got the church fired up and the saints ready to take the land. Oftentimes, women took off their high heels to demonstrate.
I went to the enemy's camp and I took back what he stole from me Took back what he stole from me Took back what he stole from me
Yes, absolutely! Take back everything that was stolen from you. But even before that, don’t willingly hand over your promise to the enemy of your destiny. Store God’s promises in your heart. Never relinquish them and allow circumstances beyond your control to shake your resolve.
I submit that the promise is not the only thing you will reap. The process – the crooked path – has much to offer you. Know that God wants to layer His blessings on you and every layer won’t be discernible, at first, nor will it be for you alone.
Remember this: You will SURVIVE many trials on the certain yet winding road to your promise. Pray like it depends on God. Work like it depends on you. Keep going, UNTIL….
P.S. I received this text message from the buyer today and it blessed my socks off.
“Sherrie, I wanna thank you so much for helping me and my family get through the home-buying process. My kids and I are so ecstatic about the house and we literally started moving in the day of closing. Thanks again!”