HOW GOD SPOKE THROUGH DREAMS TO PROVIDE A HOME FOR OUR FAMILY
My friend Abe* told me that he had only ever had three distinct God-dreams. Each time there was no doubt in his mind that it was God who had spoken to him and given him directions for his future plans. This man had been following Jesus for a long time and had developed complete confidence in God’s faithfulness. So, when God showed him in a vivid dream that he was to pack up and sell his house, he took it seriously.
In the dream, Abe saw a shipping container outside his house and he had placed all his household possessions inside. He saw himself closing the door on the container and putting the bolt in place. Just to make it even more intriguing, the Lord told him to save the date, Fri 18th.
When he woke, he checked the calendar to find out what year and month that date fell on - May 2018. He told his wife, Sara*, who was bemused but unsure of how it would all work out. However, because she also had confidence in God’s faithfulness to lead them, she agreed. At that stage, they had no idea where they would be moving to or what God had in mind for them when they did. In faith, they began to pray about it more and make plans.
About that time, my husband and I were exploring our options with the banks to purchase a house. We had been saving a deposit for almost ten years and we were undertaking the deflating task of searching for an affordable house. The housing market in our city was tightening and prices jumped up so fast every month we couldn’t keep up. (Since then, the situation has only got worse in our city).
I recall a casual conversation I had with Abe one day when he asked how our house-hunting was going. I shared how difficult it was and our challenges with the banks and finance. He described his own home and said how it would be perfect for us with five bedrooms. I loved his thoughtfulness but went away thinking how there was no way we could afford his house.
Faith dreams of the future
Meanwhile, we engaged our children in the process of trusting God for a new home and encouraged them to share their dreams with God. One day, I was sitting in the car with them while my husband was inside a real estate agent’s office presenting yet another offer on a house. I suggested they ask the Lord what He had in mind for us. My eldest closed her eyes and then described what she saw - it had a staircase, a tree, and a fireplace. I was good with that!
We continued to miss out on the houses we put offers on. Disappointed, discouraged, but also dependent on God’s kindness, I continued to pray for our own home as I walked around our neighbourhood. We were renting in an expensive area (how we got that house is another miraculous story!) and there was the temptation to covet the designs I admired. However, finding myself entirely reliant on God's plans, it became an intimate time with the Lord and experiencing my heart and mind being refined as I walked those streets and processed it with Him.
One street I walked down had homes that looked out on some of my favourite views - rural landscape and the ocean. I had been told to be specific about my requests in prayer, but I couldn’t decide which I loved more! So I accepted the Lord would figure something out seeing as nothing was coming together for us. One request I made more than most though was that I wanted an extra room my husband could use as his own studio (he is an artist and musician) - he was living with four women after all!
Waiting for God to hint or holler
More than a year passed, and as May 2018 approached, our friends Abe and Sara, trusting the Lord’s instruction, made the decision to put their house on the market. When we heard about this, my husband felt a strong sense we should talk to them about their plans. I recalled Abe's comment that their house would be perfect for us. When we asked them if they would consider a private sale, we discovered that they had already thought of approaching us about it. We visited them at their home and they proudly showed us the view. Not only did it look over the ocean, but on the other side it had the sweeping scenery of rural farmland - including the same hill I used to look at from our rental house that prompted me to remember Psalm 121:1 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?”
What was God up to?
At that time, we still did not have a sufficient deposit and the bank had set down conditions that limited our potential price offer (one bank asked us to stop tithing for them to give us a mortgage). As you can imagine, this whole process had been a long and frustrating one for us, and by this time I was reluctant to invest my heart into a home that we might not have. Restless, I needed reassurance from the Lord we were on the right track, even if we couldn’t see all the details worked out yet. He had given me lots of hints, but I was waiting for a holler to be sure!
Dreams are free but you need money to buy a house
All of a sudden, things slowly unfolded. We wanted to honour the price our friends required for the sale of their house, which would require a miracle. We put a loan application in and waited.
Not long after, I had a dream that I was at a meal with Abe and Sara and two other couples who are good friends. In the dream, Sara said confidently, “When this all goes through, there will be plenty of room.” Then my colleague, Tony, said “Yuss!” followed by a fist pump (real name, and if you knew him you can imagine him doing this).
I wrote in my journal later, that after this dream I began collecting packing boxes in faith, and my daughters were making plans for their new rooms.
Within days, the bank not only confirmed the loan but gave us a grant which would cover lawyers' fees and other expenses. Abe called to ask how our plans were going and my husband was now able to present a reasonable offer. To his surprise, Abe simply announced, “I’ll take it!” (as it turns out it was the same figure he and Sara had decided to accept on his agent's recommendation).
There was one condition. The settlement date must be the exact date the Lord had spoken to Abe in his dream, almost 18 months ago. Friday, 18th May 2018.
I love it when a plan comes together
That night my daughter had a dream about the house we were going to buy. Although she had not yet seen Abe and Sara's house, the next morning she casually described key features, including its age and condition. In addition, in the dream, she saw that “someone was going to give us money to buy a house”, and that, “it was going to be a new beginning”.
What she did not know was that a few days before, someone had called us and committed to giving us a lump sum of money (this had been a game-changer for the bank and prompted them to approve the mortgage). The same day our daughter told us of her dream, the person who offered this financial gift called and confirmed it was possible -- with one condition — the funds would be released on Friday, 18th May 2018.
Dreams were not the only way that God spoke to us in that time regarding our new home, although they were the most intriguing and impacting in how they intersected between the different parties. There were many other significant prophetic details to this story (I have no space to include them all here) but it was the dreams and specific timestamp that prompted me to throw all my chips in and turn my trust into faith. I now vacuum those chips off the floor of our family home that, as my daughter saw in her picture, includes a staircase they named the 'breakfast slide', a beautiful kowhai tree that stands pride of place in front of the house, and later a fireplace (yuss!).
God is faithful and He will do it again, for me and for you.
P.S. We moved in on the 20th of May. Abe and Sara have their own story to tell of where God led them next and the home they have built since. It was a life-changing outcome for both parties that brought personal and financial freedom in unimaginable ways. We are deeply thankful for those that encouraged us, prayed for us, and gave generously in different ways. God is good.
Do It Again - Elevation Worship (2017)
Walking around these walls
I thought by now they'd fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle's won
For You have never failed me yet
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I'm still in Your hands
This is my confidence
You've never failed me yet
* For privacy reasons, my friend's names have been changed for the telling of this tale. The choice of Abe and Sara seemed fitting as our friends followed the example of Abraham and Sarah's obedience when God called them to leave their home and trust him with their future. (Genesis 12).
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