© Marlene Bertrand 2021
Today’s story is a story of faith and hope.
In the year 2008, my husband and I worked as contracted technical writers and editors for the same company. On a regular day, as we always did, we went to lunch together and, all seemed well when we returned from lunch. Little did we know that we had enjoyed our last lunch together with this company. No sooner than we returned, we were called into a casual meeting with the manager of the department we worked. In that meeting, we discovered that we were no more valuable than any other contracted personnel within the company, and as with many contractors working at the company, the manager quickly informed us that, due to economic factors, the company was downsizing and the company would no longer be able to afford our services. And just like that, we lost our jobs on the same day, at the same time.
Losing our jobs suddenly meant we suddenly lost our means of survival (in the lifestyle we had become accustomed to). We could no longer afford the mortgage on our home, so we had to give our home back to the lender (to avoid foreclosure). And, when we gave the home back to the lender, we had nowhere to live. We had a little bit of money in a savings account, though it was not enough to pay creditors, much less, enough to afford to live in a decent part of town. And, even in the most run-down part of town, landlords would not rent to us because, over time, our credit history had become tarnished.
We needed a place to stay, or we would be destined to live in the streets as many people in our situation had succumbed. Desperate to have a place to live my husband and I had the idea that if we could liquidate our 401k plans, we could purchase land and live on it. We figured, if we bought land, we would always have a place to stay, even if we lived in a tent. But, the county in the city where our land was located had other ideas. They mandated that no person could live on their land unless they built a house on it. The county would not allow us to live on our land even if we lived in a self-contained recreation vehicle (RV).
Financially, it was tough because, even though my husband and I were able to purchase the land at a bargain price, now, a good portion of our money was tied up in the land. Survival became unmaintainable and we decided we should sell the land to reap what we could, but we were unable to sell the land because the land was raw, undeveloped land, and selling it turned out to be a non-existent option because, at the time, many other people were losing their jobs due to economic downturns. So we were stuck with the land whether we wanted it or not.
We prayed about what we should do. We agreed that we would rely on the Lord to provide for our needs. We decided that no matter how long it took, at some point, that for which we were praying would be answered.
As luck (or more realistically the Lord) would have it, we somehow had enough money left in our 401k plans to pay cash for a mobile home in a mobile home park. We lived seven years in the mobile home. We retired and lived on our Social Security retirement income which allowed us to pay the bills, live meagerly, and save money until such a time arrived that we were able to sell the mobile home for twice the value we purchased it. With the proceeds from the sale, we bought an RV and lived in the RV for two+ years while the house we are living in today was being constructed.
My husband and I prayed daily. We prayed often. We prayed that the Lord would help us build a house on our land. With our prayers, we had faith that we would be able to build our home at the right time in the Lord’s time.
But, we are human, and I do have to admit that throughout the years, there were times when my husband and I would pause and wonder if our dreams would ever come true. It was taking a long time to save up enough money to build a house on our land. We would ask ourselves if we would ever be able to build a house.
But, the Lord always steps in. In His time, and in the perfect time, the Lord steps in to make everything as it should be.
The message, friends, is that patience is a virtue. More than that, dreams do come true. All we need to do is pray to the Lord for His help, have faith, and keep on swimming.