Or rather, God used this blog to drop a place to live in our laps.
But before I get onto the details of that, I need to mention something seemingly unrelated.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about grace. My brain is exhausted from trying to reconcile it in my mind. Before I was a Christian, I could easily defend the absurdity of it (while denying the grace I daily experienced). Admittedly, as a Christian it still seems ridiculous. Why would God give people what they don’t deserve?
What started this contemplation was What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Phillip Yancey, which I’ve been making my way through the last couple weeks. He focuses on Jesus’ examples in the parables. Laborers who lazily show up an hour before quitting time and get a full day’s wages. A son who walks away from his father, to come home only because he’s found himself in ruins and can’t do life on his own.
Why would God give when He has every right not to? And his own Son at that! No questions asked. I don’t get it.
While this pondering has been going on, God decided to use our search for a new home to show me that even though I may not have mastered the concept (let me know if you have, I’d like to know your secret), grace can be as real in my life as the back of my own hand.
Over the last couple of weeks Jason and I have been driving around Seattle, discouraged by what we’ve seen on the rental market. Unless you’ve got loads of cash (and let’s be honest, those people aren’t renting), you still pay a lot of money for something not-so-livable. Every time I have started the search process (this is the 5th time in 8 years in Seattle) I realize how much it makes me feel desperate and out of control.
What does Elisabeth do when she feels this way? Well, let’s start with the bright side of things . . . there were a few times I humbly prayed for God to provide. I will stress the word few. And in doing so, I really did feel a sense of peace that He would. I was reminded how He always has before.
But most of the time I picked one of my favorite standby habits. You know (or maybe you don’t), the ones that are like old friends who welcome you back with a big hug, and regrettably later on, a stab in the back. They are anxious, angry, and the illusion of control.
Needless to say, I have not been an easy woman to live with lately. Jason also got a lesson in grace (giving it, not receiving it). I’m sure he would’ve preferred to opt out of that lesson in exchange for a wife who was not nagging him, warning him of our impending homelessness, picking random fights, and constantly on craigslist searching rental ads (he likes to look at his ESPN).
All of this led to a complete emotional meltdown–tears, waving of hands, flopping on the bed, and the like.
I see now that my anxiety, anger and pursuit of illusory control easily ushered me into temptation from Satan to believe a lot of lies about God and about myself. I willingly grabbed the bait. And of course I dragged Jason into it because that’s what you do when you’re a sinner and you’re married.
I did eventually see the light. And I did reconcile with God and with Jason. But I also woke up on Monday morning feeling pretty crappy about myself and all that had happened.
Right around that same time, a post about how we were looking for a rental appeared on this blog. I had written it the week prior and set it to appear later. I sort of forgot about it until I checked my email later on in the morning and saw that it was posted.
I then went off to start the week, trying to recover my sanity while getting things done. I met a friend for a coffee date and when it ended at 11:30am Jason called me to tell me that his friend Jeremy had called about a house he was looking to rent. He had seen the blog post and he was willing to offer us the place for the monthly amount we said we could afford.
I got in my car and headed to the address. It’s in Ballard, literally three minutes from where we are currently living. And it’s a whole house–not 450 attic space square feet of one, not even a main floor, but the entire thing. And a good size house at that. Even just from the peep through the window into the interior, I knew that Jeremy was offering us a good deal. And it met all of our practical needs, going even beyond that.
I called Jason to see if we could schedule a time to do a walk through. Then I sat in my car for a minute, trying to make sense of the situation.
And then it hit me–this is grace.
I didn’t deserve this house, or even the opportunity of considering living in it (because at that point, it was just an opportunity). More often than not, I failed to believe that God would provide. I accused Him of torturing poor old me with all the desperate searching (which I really brought upon myself). I blamed the man God put in my life to help me see that He does indeed care. I sided with Satan and let my emotions have their way.
I didn’t get what I deserved. I got this really amazing gift. I got grace. To think about it overwhelms me.
I can’t say that grace is now understable to me. But I can say that I truly experienced it and it caused me to fall down in worship. Not of the thing that I received, but of the Person who gave it.
I must also say that I think it’s really cool that God used this blog, of all things, to bring about this grace.
Thank you also for your prayers. They played an integral role in God’s plans for us with this house. They were also comforting to me in my moments of anxiety.