Signing on the dotted line

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

The realtor was at our house. My husband had just signed the contract to sell our home, and now it was my turn to sign. But I couldn't do it. I was crying. It just felt so awful to fail.

About five years before, we'd fallen in love with some land in the country that felt special to us - gentle and spacious and homey. It would also stretch our budget. Before we bought, we prayed about whether this was a wise thing to do.

Even though we really wanted to live on that land, we felt we needed to be willing to sacrifice this desire if it wasn't our Father's plan for us. But it felt as if we should go ahead and buy it, so we happily did.

During the next couple of years, we kept running up against our financial limitations, and had to revisit the question of whether what we were doing was God's will for us. We prayed to be willing to let it go if it wasn't, or to see the way to continue if it was. Each time we found a breakthrough, so we could keep going. Then, after careful planning, designing, and plenty of praying, my husband worked with another carpenter and built our good little house. Our home.

Just as soon as the house was built, though, a recession hit, and employment turned out to be difficult. I had a steady job, but my husband didn't. We couldn't keep up with the property taxes, and we were eating hardly anything besides the 43 buttercup squashes from our garden. It was all just very hard. So, after living in our dream home for just a couple of years, it looked as if we were failing. Selling was clearly the logical step to take.

So there I sat. I'd been handed the pen to sign the contract, my hand was shaking, tears running down my face - and I just couldn't. I was silently pleading with God to rescue us somehow.

And then, I heard a very clear statement in my head: "I will be with you all the days of your life." It was God. And suddenly, I knew that I could live happily anywhere. It really didn't matter where, because God would be with me. Mary Baker Eddy referred to such a moment this way: "My angels are exalted thoughts, appearing at the door of some sepulchre, in which human belief has buried its fondest earthly hopes. With white fingers they point upward to a new and glorified trust, to higher ideals of life and its joys." ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 299). So I dried my face and signed the paper.

One of the things we wanted to do before selling the house was refinish the cherry wood floor my husband had made. It had gotten scratched up, and we wanted people to see its true beauty. The floor guy we hired to do the work said that he'd been in lots of houses, and he hoped we were getting a good price for ours, because it was a particularly nice one.

As a matter of fact, in our desperation, we'd priced the house low in order to sell quickly, not even quite getting back what we'd spent on it. The floor guy was a religious man, and the three of us started talking about a Bible verse that fit the situation. "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it" (Ps. 127:1).

Well, the Lord had built this house - we'd prayed every step of the way. So it suddenly seemed really wrong to sell it "in vain." First thing the next morning, we took it off the market. We had regained the courage to try to make it.

That evening, the realtor told us that someone had made an offer to buy our house at the asking price. But we restated that we had taken it off the market that morning, and it was no longer for sale. He told us that if it had still been on the market, even if we changed our minds about selling it, we would have had to pay the realtor's commission, as he had found us a buyer for the asking price. But he graciously gave up the deal and wished us well.

We were so grateful to God for that chain of events. We were able to stay in our home and have continued to live there since that happened nearly 15 years ago. And we were never so financially challenged - or fearful - again.

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