Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. Zechariah 9:12
I love hearing that there will be double for my trouble. That seems to be the message I’ve been given often lately.
I have been given beyond double for what has been taken from me in my short life. A large chunk of my life was pure hell.
But it has had a happy ending for sure. I have been given back years and years lost. I have been blessed far beyond my imaginings thus far and I am still receiving gifts all the time.
Recently, we received nothing short of a miracle in the housing department.
I woke up one morning and just knew it was time to buy a house. And what a wrong time it seemed to be. Housing prices in California have skyrocketed, rents are going up 13% a year here in Sacramento, finance rates are set to rise…boy oh boy. My blood pressure was rising right alongside all that.
Then I found a great real estate agent and lender and was told we only qualified for 130K in a loan! What??!! The average home in this area is starting at 250K to 350K. That is an average home in an average neighborhood. We are talking Sacramento where it used to be affordable. With 130K we are not even entering the bad neighborhoods with run down homes. We are talking trailers in the outback.
But God was kind and He had a little 1941 home hidden away in Yuba City. No one claimed it and when I ran out of options I drove by this HUD home and thought I’d give it a try. I put in my bid and the next morning I was the winner! I got this little gem for 135K.
It is charming and in a fairly good neighborhood. I say fairly because there is just one little unit across the way that is causing some issue. But isn’t that the way of the world these days? There is always that one bad apple.
Turns out that our little, sweet home was that bad apple for a long time. According to my neighbors, my new home has housed squatters, prostitutes, and drug dealers for years. It sort of shows. The home needs a lot of work. However, on the outside of the home are a few bushes and trees that have produced the most lovely red and purple flowers. Off to the side of the driveway is a yellow rose bush with the most fragrant roses. I didn’t even know roses had a scent anymore due to all the mixing of breeds. I read an article the other day about roses and I was surprised to read that yellow roses are the least likely to have a scent.
But there is my reminder of all that is good and rare. A bright yellow rose bush that has survived decades with that house and all it’s unhappy going ons. It has remained victorious and fills the air with a thick perfume.
Soon, after lots of loving work, the whole house will become a home and the yellow rose bush will have all the more reason to celebrate. For me, it will be a reminder that God is always there in all things to help us find our right spot and our right people.