We almost took out a loan to build a house for ourselves last year. It wasn’t one of the wisest decisions we’ve made in our 15 years of marriage, but we thought it was the right thing to do at the time the idea was presented to us. Fortunately for us, things didn’t work out as planned and we are still here in the tiny abode that we’re renting, up on a hill, and right by one of Manila’s most progressive cities.
I honestly think that how it all turned out was for the best. Of course, at that time, Covid-19 was a distant threat, and we didn’t know that the economy was going to take a massive dip. But looking at how the world is at the moment, it’s quite a relief that we haven’t taken a loan that we would have been unable to pay.
But along with the relief that we have not placed our children in a lifetime of debt came disappointment, embarrassment, and well…sadness.
Building a house was not in our plans at all, but when we thought we found the most plausible way to make it happen, we started working towards getting it done. We had already spoken with a loan officer, met with an architect and her engineer husband, and have already been presented with floor plans.
We thought that that was it –we were building our house, after all, there was already a small piece of property in our name and despite our initial reluctance, it felt like the right thing to do, considering that my parents are no longer young and having family living right next door to them was ideal.
But it wasn’t for us.
The most painful part was breaking the news to our kids because we had already built them up for the move. They were looking forward to it, having happily discussed with them room assignments, play areas, roof decks, and everything else.
If I am being honest, once we thought the house was going to happen, we started getting excited, too. Excited enough to tell a few close friends of our plans and my husband requesting to transfer work locations. Heck, we even talked about getting a sensor with the best accelerometer possible in our yard to warn us of intruders, haha!
Only to fall flat on our faces.
It was all it took for me to realise that I do want a home of my own, but the hurt and the humiliation was far too heavy, that the realisation felt more like frustration, than hope.
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Prior to our so-called “madness,” I’ve been seeing updates of a certain older couple’s (probably in their late 60’s or early 70’s) house which they were building in the South. We’ve known them for quite some time and we’ve seen how God has blessed them abundantly through the years.
They have two sons who have done well for themselves, both of whom have gotten married already.
They used to rent apartments, too, and took public transport wherever they went; but now, they own a beautiful house with all the fancy trimmings, I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a solar water heater tank in place, and in a beautiful neighbourhood yet.
God’s favour and goodness is so evident in their lives. Their story gave me that ray of sunshine in the midst of my hurts and fears of our future. Surely there is hope for us!
Since they’re good friends, I reached out to the woman for comfort and counsel, while marvelling about their dream of a home, and she told me how God had prepared them for the pandemic. They just completed payments for the house right before the lockdown, which was such a huge blessing because two months later, they lost their main source of income.
She reminded me of the scriptures, “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread” Psalm 37:25.
They were in a difficult place but she found the strength to give me hope.
It was just a short chat but it was a gauze that my wounded heart was needing. Perhaps the experience is my wake-up call. I’ve been sitting in my comfort zone for far too long, I shouldn’t be looking at what we have anyway, they will always be short and lacking. But I should look to the Source and know for certain my God can move mountains and calm raging seas.
Perhaps one day, when the time is perfect, just like our friends, we will finally have a home to call our own.
“Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” Luke 12:24.
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