we've been back home for a while now, but i never did tell the story of everything that happened to get us here. it's a long story, but it's an amazing one. so here goes.
our home got hit back in may when it flooded. we got about three feet of water, so we had to gut the entire lower level and then rebuild. the house sat for about 3 months while we scraped up enough money to start construction. we started not knowing how far we would get before the money ran out, and not really sure of what we would do when it did. but God kept providing and placing more resources in our path, and by His hand we were able to completely rebuild. we were even able to make some improvements that we had always talked about maybe doing one day.
well, the summer was long, and hot, and stressful. husband was either at work or at the house working. little man definitely had a difficult time of things - it was obvious that he missed both his house and his daddy. and if you remember, i was pregnant. enough said.
but we trudged along, and the house slowly started to look like a house again. we started thinking about furnishing it, but we had basically put all of our funds into the construction itself, and there wasn't much left for anything else.
some friends of ours who live nearby were also flooded. they were ahead of us in construction, and then one day they invited us over to see what their church had done for them. we weren't exactly sure what we were going to see, but it was not at all what we expected. their home was not only fully furnished, it was decorated. artwork, accessories, window treatments, rugs, even electronics. it was all there. and it was beautiful. they were told to leave one day, and when they came back, their house was ready to move into - like an extreme makeover kinda thing. it was such an amazing blessing for them.
a few weeks later, these friends called us and said that the church had asked them if they knew anyone else who was in a similar situation - as in a newly renovated empty home. they immediately thought of us, and the church wanted to extend the same gift to us. we were pretty stunned at first, and i think we were both hesitant to let ourselves get excited, just in case it didn't happen.
a few days later, Nancy called me. she told me about the church that she and her husband had started, and about this amazing way that they were blessing families. she asked me if this was something that we were interested in.
about a week later, Bobby and i went to meet Nancy and Pastor Stan. we were actually kind of nervous and anxious about the whole thing, and we were still trying to stay calm and not get excited in case things didn't work out. but they were the most friendly, warm, welcoming couple, and they put us at ease right away. we talked for quite a while, and Nancy asked us a lot of questions about our house. and then we set a tentative date (since construction wasn't quite finished at this point) for them to come and do the makeover.
this is when we finally let ourselves get excited.
about a month passed, construction was complete, and then, we were banned from our house for two days. we were told when we were allowed back, and that they would be waiting for us to walk us through and show us around. we were also told that the local news had shown some interest and might be there.
well, we got to the house and we were greeted by three separate news crews who started putting microphones on me, because Bobby told them i was the talkative one. (yeah, right!) so i started feeling very overwhelmed and nervous, which just makes me quiet, and not talkative at all.
we walked around to the back of the house, where there were at least 20 people waiting for us, most of whom we had never met.
and then it hit me. really hit me. these people were strangers. they didn't know us. but they were there, giving their time, their energy, giving of themselves for us.
and then they stood around us and they prayed for us.
and then the tears started.
but there were news cameras watching us, and i did not want to cry on the news. because i knew that if i started crying, they would not be sweet little lady-like tears. they would be big ol' gasping-for-breath ugly tears. (because remember, i was 38 weeks pregnant at this point) and i was not going to ugly-cry on the ten o'clock news.
so i decided not to say anything and hold it all in.
we walked into our house, and we were overwhelmed. i was instantly struck with how much it looked like home, and i had an immediate sense of calm and relief come over me.
the house was beautiful. so far beyond anything that we had expected. it was so apparent how much time and thought went into everything that they did. most all the furniture was donated, and the way that they made it all work together and the way it all fit so perfectly into our home still blows me away.
we went from room to room. Bobby was the talkative one, and i was the mute. i'm afraid that my silence might have given the impression that i did not like it, but it was completely the opposite. i sincerely loved everything, but just couldn't shake the mental image of myself bawling on tv. i think Nancy was a little nervous because she knew that i was a designer. but the thing is, i was a designer, but at this point, i was a wife and a mom who just wanted her home back so she could take care of her family in it.
and that's exactly what they gave me.
the icing on the cake was little man's big-boy room.
these pictures come nowhere close to capturing his excitement. he must have said choo-choo a hundred times that night. and he's had a train in his hand ever since.
it's been over four months since then. we are all settled in and we feel like we're home again. there isn't a day that goes by that i don't think about how blessed we are. God placed these amazing people in our lives, and they gave us so much more than they can ever know.