On February 14, 2014, we held a Day of Dedication to pray over the home and 10 acres we purchased, to thank the Lord for providing such an opportunity, and to dedicate it all to His glory and purposes. Nearing the end of the hour, this was on our schedule:
5:45 - Property We Don't Have
Psalm 37: 34 "Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along His path. He will honor you by giving you the land."
Focus: pray over the land we do not currently have - the remaining 5.23 acres
- Pray that the sellers will be open to selling to us first and be willing to negotiate.
- Pray when they are ready to sell that we are ready and prepared to buy.
- Pray that we will have the financial resources available at that time to purchase the property.
- Pray that this land will be able to expand the reach and fulfill the vision of Bright Side.
- In the meantime, pray that we have a good relationship with these neighbors - if there are renters - and that we will develop great relationships with all of our neighbors.
For the last 8 months, Devin and I have prayed over the 5 acres next door pretty much every day. It weighed so heavy on our hearts and was on the forefront of our minds each time we passed it on the driveway, mowed alongside it, and gazed across the pond. We talked about it so often that we affectionately referred to it as 1057 (because the address is 1057 N. Shiloh Road). Since we were motivated to prayer walk around the property as often as we could (and did so 12 days in a row at one point), Devin mowed a path for us to take. Those prayer walks were opportunities to pray for more than just the provision of 1057, but it was often the passionate focus of our hearts during those sweet moments with the Lord. Each time we crossed from the land we owned over to the land we didn't, we truly felt God revealing to us that 1057 was meant to be kept as a piece to the whole and that it was intended for Bright Side. However, for many months, the purchase price remained completely out of reach, and we had difficulty seeing how God would make it all possible.
Things really started to take a different turn, though, in the last month. It started with a drop in the price. Then, we met a stranger fishing at the pond, and through a short conversation, we found that this person was going to make a cash offer (something we certainly could not compete with). Turns out, he was not the only visitor to 1057. With the price drop, interest in the property had greatly increased, and we began to panic a bit. We had concerns over losing vital land (that already had a well, septic, and electricity on it), challenging neighbors, and property line disputes. What did we do when we felt it all slipping away? We went right back to prayer walking and talking it over with Jesus. I directly asked the Lord to help us focus our hearts and emotions in one of two ways: if it was His desire for 1057 to belong to someone else, then to help us grieve the property, let it go gracefully and to focus fully on the current property; but if He wanted us to keep pushing forward and pursuing, then to give us an overwhelming burden to push open every door we could find.
While a few well-meaning people said that it must not be "meant to be" and a few others stated this must not be God's will, we never once felt like we should give up. If anything, we felt even stronger that we should take action and not just sit back and wait. So, we went back to the drawing board. Devin and I approached one of only two local credit unions that give loans for properties with mobile homes, listed a selling price we weren't even sure would be accepted, and jotted down a down payment we certainly didn't have. It started as a whim to see if the bank would even be willing to give us a loan. Then, we were approved. Seriously! Where we were turned down before, we were now accepted. Now, the big hurdle loomed in front of us: to approach the seller with our offer. After a lengthly and honest conversation, the seller was willing to accept it. He said, "I believe the Lord wants to you have the property." Needless to say, I was in tears at this point. All that remained was to find the down payment for the loan.
Throughout this whole time, we thought we didn't have any money to put forward, but the truth was, we actually did. We had a little set aside for retirement that could cover the down payment and closing costs. Are we crazy to cash in our retirement for a vision that is just starting to unfold? Maybe. But, one thing we have learned in this process is that a vision from God requires everything. At some point, we have to be all in. And, we are now completely "all in" and trusting God in new and deeper ways.
There were a few moments when we realize we could very well be in over our heads, but God is already providing opportunities to rent out the mobile home, which is such a blessing. The best part about the last 8 months? I have learned to pray bolder and trust deeper, and I want to do it again.
God certainly didn't have to see to every item on our list from back in February, let alone a few whisperings of our heart, but He chose to do so. And, we are so grateful. He made it possible, and we want to dedicate the land back to Him. We close on November 21, 2014, and plan to have a second Day of Dedication where we would gather with friends in person and through social media to pray over 1057.
We would love for you to join with us on that day, wherever you are (whether near or far), to thank God for His blessings, give back what He has so readily given, and dedicate all future plans and purposes to Him. Keep an eye out on social media as more details are to come.
Lastly, I want to pass on to you what a dear friend shared with us:
When you dedicate the land to the Lord on November 22nd remember Hannah giving Samuel back to the Lord.
1 Samuel 1 : 27-28
27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
( 27 I prayed for this land, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give the land to the Lord. For the land will be given over to the Lord.” And I worshiped the Lord there.)