The Bible says a good man's steps are ordered by the Lord. It also says His ways are not our ways and His thoughts not our thoughts.
In 1976, my parents apparently set out to find a house. I don't remember how many houses they looked at or where; I wasn't even three at the time. I do know at some point they decided upon the house I now reside in and call my own. The funny thing is, I never planned on calling it my own.
I grew up out here and in 1983, my father took a job promotion and we moved to Sikeston, MO. My parents tried like crazy to sell the house and wound up renting it out to some people who were apparently intent on trying to destroy it. A TV sitting on cinder blocks in the living room amongst other things. My parents evicted them and decided to move back out here. I still remember the smell of poop that had infiltrated my bedroom closet.
As I grew up, things really didn't change other than my father having a fireplace put in and the carport made into a garage. I still had the "American Dream" of growing up, getting married, having a place of my own, etc. Isn't it funny how life throws us curve balls?
I got married to the lady I thought the love of my life in 1995. I left the old house behind and ventured out on my own, never figuring to return except to visit from time to time. Ahh, but those curve balls!!!
In 1997, just two short years after marrying, finances forced me and a now expanding family back "home." A couple of years later my parents divorced and my father moved off. Here came another curve ball. A letter from The Money Store came in early 2000 (I believe) informing my mother that because my father had declared bankruptcy, they required payoff on the house or her to vacate within 30 days. Thank God it was tax time; I helped her finish paying off the house.
For the next 11 years, I fought my father over the house. He wasn't living here and even said he had no intention of moving back. Every time I would ask about the house, it was met with some excuse of why he couldn't sign it over to me. I had experienced the same thing on my first car, being given every excuse why he couldn't sign it over to me completely and even trying to talk me out of it on the way to finally get the title completely in my name.
Excuse. Excuse. Excuse. He was scared my now ex-wife would try to take my half in a divorce. Oh, he intended to give it to me when he died. He still had excuses after my divorce. I had some troubles over a credit card issue from several years ago. After my ex-wife left, I had to leave my job due to daycare issues. Yes, like the majority of Americans out there, I missed payments and Citibank refused to work with me. I offered to work with them on paying but got a big fat "NO!!!!" The newest excuse was they might try to take the house.
Finally in 2011, the house had gotten to a point it became easier to say what rooms did NOT leak than what ones did. I patched and patched and patched with black tar. It would hold a while and start leaking again. The ultimatum was finally made of either sign over half of the house to me or fix the roof. He finally agreed to give me his half on the condition my mother signed over her half.
In March 2011 I found myself the owner of a home. A home I never expected to live in as an adult. A home that is paid for. No one is going to come and take away the house from me. No bank is going to stick a foreclosure notice on my door. It's a nice feeling to be quite honest. In spite of the fact this house is no longer the house that appraised for $48,000 in the mid-80's, it's still mine and I still love it and the acre of ground it sits on.
We've got a long ways to go. The roof isn't leaking like a strainer anymore and there are brand new screen doors and brand new regular doors on the front and back. The garage has been built in to a storage room though it's far from a pro job. The kitchen floor has been tore back to the sub-floor and had new floor put in. Next is tiling it. I need space and lots of it with three teenagers and a mother being in residence. The foundation needs to be fixed and new windows need to be put in in the worst way. Whenever things go wrong (such as the drain pipe under the sink breaking loose tonight) I keep in mind that it's mine and it's paid for.
Funny how God works, isn't it? He knew those 30 years ago that I would be living here and the house never sold, even in the good housing market of the mid-80's. A good man's steps are truly ordered by Him!!!!