Sunday, November 19, 2006
My Autobiography - Part Two
Part Two of my Autobiography. Scroll Down to read Part One.
Not quite a year after my father went Home to be with Jesus, Becca and I received notification from our landlord that they wanted to remodel our townhouse. We were going to have to move everything into another townhouse, allow them to remodel and then move everything back. Considering that I had multiple sclerosis and wouldn’t be able to do all that packing and moving - it wasn’t an option. We decided to opt out of our lease and we began looking for a home to buy.
The problem was - we had no down payment. We attended a church service around the Christmas holiday and the pastor asked anyone with a financial need to stand. I stood. The pastor prayed that the Lord would meet the financial need, through no prompting of my own and that I would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord had worked on my behalf. I agreed with him in prayer, but then really forgot all about the incident until two months later when my mother called to tell me that my Grandmother wanted to give me $17,000 to buy a house! I almost fell over! My grandmother wasn’t the type to give away even a $20 bill. She was very frugal and managed her finances well. I got off the phone, turned to Becca and said, "I can’t believe that Grandma wants to do this. I didn’t even do anything to prompt it." Becca immediately jumped and down and said, "That’s it! That’s it! Through no prompting of your own –that’s what the pastor prayed in church a few months ago!"
So...we began the long process of buying a house - together. When I was uncertain, the Lord said to me, "Deb, don’t I take care of the sparrows?" I replied, "yes, Lord." Then He said, "and aren’t you more important to me than a sparrow?" I replied, "I guess so, Lord." I then opened my Bible at random and looked down and read in Psalms, "The sparrow has found a house..." Confirmation that we were to go through with everything.
Two weeks later, while driving home from a weekend birthday celebration for my niece, Becca informed me that two days before she had lost her job due to downsizing. We were so upset - knowing that there was no way we could buy a house now with only one income. It was raining that night and we were on the turnpike. A semi-truck kept passing us. We would pass him, he would pass us. This went on at least four times. The entire time we were crying and discussing what we were going to do since we were certain that we would lose the chance to buy the house that we had found. Finally, after the fourth or fifth time that the truck passed us, Becca said, "What is with this truck?!" And then we saw it...emblazoned on the back of the semi in big red and yellow letters were the words, "Hurting? God Cares!" We began to sob! It just so happened that this occurred about two miles from the exit where the new house-to-be was located. We turned off the turnpike –drove to the house –pulled up to the front and prayed together. "Lord, if You want us to have this house, we trust that You will work out all the details - including this recent loss of Becca’s job. We promise to give the house back to You to use however You will."
A month later...all the details were worked out and we closed on the house. The next day, as the movers were moving the last of the boxes into the new home, Becca, my mother, my grandmother, a friend of ours, and myself stood on the lawn, held hands and I prayed. "Lord, we are so thankful for this house and we want You to know that it’s Yours. Place a hedge of protection around it, station Your angels at all the corners. Use this house - we give it back to You - bless it and use it in whatever way You will."
Several weeks went by and I answered a knock on the door. A couple was taking a neighborhood survey and asked what I wanted to see in Cranberry Township. (Which is where our new home was located.) I couldn’t think of anything besides a Taco Bell. I told them that I wanted to see a Taco Bell in Cranberry. They laughed and then asked if we were attending a church in the area. We were. (We had begun to look for a church and been attended several.) They then thanked me and left. Becca emerged from the other room after having listened to our conversation and said, "Why didn’t you tell them that we wanted to see an Assemblies of God church in the area?" (This was our denomination and Cranberry Township did not have an A/G church.) I said to Becca that they were just taking some silly neighborhood survey and it probably wouldn’t matter, but I would call them back. I opened the door, called them back and told them that even though I was sure it wouldn’t make any difference in the world, we really would like to see an Assemblies of God church in the area. They immediately got excited and said that the reason they were there was because they wanted to start an A/G church in Cranberry. We asked them where they were meeting and they said that they didn’t have a place to meet, that they were hoping to start in a home. We told them that they now had their place to meet and three weeks later, CrossWay Church of the Assemblies of God began in our living room with 15 people. (CrossWay has now grown to over 350 people. We also discovered later that there were three couples canvassing the area that day. Earlier, someone had prayed with the couple that knocked on our door that God would lead them to the house where the church would begin. God used us in spite of our struggle with sin.)
I was very active in the new church - singing on the praise team, keeping the church offering records and leading a Bible study. One evening, after Bible study our friend, Colleen, hung around after everyone else had gone. She started talking and asked us if she could share her story. She told how the Lord had delivered her from a life of homosexuality. I just looked at Becca and said, "Should I say something?" Becca said, "You might as well, you’re going to spill your guts anyway whether I give permission or not." I told Colleen of our struggle with homosexuality. At this point, we had been a couple for 17 years –longer than most of our friends had been married. Colleen immediately said that we MUST sell our house and live separately. At this point in our minds –it wasn’t even an option. I insisted that even though we shared a bed - we were rarely intimate. Colleen just looked at me and laughed –and said, "Deb, I’m going to ride your butts until you follow through with selling this house and living separately because until you do –you will never break free from this stronghold the enemy has on your life."
....to be continued....