Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Recently, we started looking for a house to live in. We have been living with my parents for the past couple of months while my husband got situated at his job. Once he was established, we began the tedious job of house hunting. We were looking to rent.

In some ways, we felt we should wait a little while longer. In other ways, we decided it was time.

I was crying out to God; that He would show us His will. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that something big is about to happen. I just know. Sometimes I know things. I can’t explain it except to say it’s a God thing.

While I know this, my heart was still longing for a home. Some place my family and I can work in, live in and be a family in. So, I began looking on Craigslist. We wanted something in our price range (we were going for cheap so we could spend a good portion of our income on marketing).

Sundays after church became our day to drive around and look at properties. We called and left messages, we emailed, we drove by and we visited. Nothing. We received one email reply, which was spam. I was becoming discouraged. I cried out. Lord, do you not see me here? Asking for your grace and mercy?

This past Sunday we were on our usual pilgrimage. We applied for one two-bedroom house. It was small, but it would have worked.

We looked at my notes and we saw a phone number with a rent amount of $650.00 next to it. No additional information. We figured it wouldn’t hurt to call. The lady answered the phone and told us the address and to come on by. She was waiting for another possible tenant to show up.

When we arrived at our destination, our son took one look and said, “I’m not going in there.”

I replied, “Oh yes you are. We will not be rude to these people. We told them we wanted to look at the house and we will. We can always thank them then leave.”

The house looked to be in bad shape. The driveway was buckled from a tree root. The fenced in front yard was overgrown and miscellaneous junk was lying about, including a baby playpen with wood in it. To top it all off, six or seven people were sitting on the small front porch, pretty much looking like they had just stepped off the set of “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

My husband later told me he wanted to put the car in reverse and back up. I’m ashamed to say we pretty much all felt that way.

We approached the group of people, which was quite intimidating. By the outside of the house, we had very little expectations for the inside.

When we walked in the door, my husband described the experience as such: It was like when Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz left her world and entered this grand world of color. It was amazing.

I was confused. I expected to see a run down dirty house and what I was seeing was the complete opposite of that, by a long shot. It took me a little while to catch up to what my brain already knew. This house was beautiful. I glanced at the kitchen and didn’t really see it. I could see the gleaming hard wood floors but, again, I didn’t really see them. When I peered into the bathroom and my mouth dropped at the oversize tiled shower with an overhead as well as a side showerhead, I began to get it. This house is not what I expected it to be.

The landlady leaned over and whispered, “What until you see the master bedroom.”

I looked at the front bedroom and office then found my way through the hallway to the master suite. This room was huge. The walk in closet was big enough to be an office. The master bathroom had a giant Jacuzzi. French doors with stained glass opened up to the horrible back yard. We laughed.

I suddenly found myself wanting to see the kitchen again. Wow! Brand new cupboards, new dishwasher, disposal, everything is new and beautiful and gleaming. I couldn’t get over the difference between what we thought we were going to see and what we actually saw.

We will be moving in this coming weekend. The people who were supposed to come never showed up. It was like God set this gem of a house in the midst of chaos and said, this is for Darlene. I want her to be blessed, because I love her and want the best for her. I know that God did this for me. To know that He loves me that much has brought me to tears many times over the last few days. We serve a wonderful God who plans to prosper us and to give us a future.

Don’t over look what God may have for you because it doesn’t look like your expectations. It may be something much much better.


  1. Love this post, Darlene! I'm so happy that God has blessed you and your family with a beautiful home in quite an unexpected way. It gives me hope in my situation. My husband and I may be facing another Army move for his last year in the service and I am not looking forward to leaving the beautiful home and environment that has nurtured me for a year. But I'm going to trust God and remember Jeremiah 29:11. God is not intent upon making our lives miserable, but to make us better people. He rewards those who trust and remain faithful.

  2. So very true Brandi. He is looking for those whose hearts are turned toward him. He smiles upon us and then reaches forward his hand and divinely protects us. I am so thankful to be his!

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    1. Kelsey, what a wonderful heart you have. I love when God shows me something that I need to improve upon. It means He loves me enough to care about what I need correcting on. I am thankful that you were ministered through the words I have written here...and through the lessons I have learned. I pray for you, for wisdom, for restored relationships and forgiveness. God is so pleased with you!!!