Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All In God's Time!

Today God answered a prayer Will and I have had for over a year now.  If you would like to read the moral of the ensuing long narrative please feel free to scroll down to the end.  I'm sort of long winded, but I come by it honestly :-)

When we first bought our house at the tail end of 2009 we bought it partially based on the fact that we had a buyer's agreement with the owners of the 1/2 acre empty lot right next door to our house to purchase their land.  The property was being disputed in a divorce proceeding and the land went into foreclosure and was taken over by the city February 2010.  We prayed and decided to pursue the property. Phone calls flew back and forth between Will and the city who informed us that the land would be up for auction at the local land auction.  We decided to attend the auction to see if we could purchase the land that way.  

Shortly before the auction we found out that the minimum bid was for $1200 more than we had settled on in the buyer's agreement. After more prayer and discussion we decided not to pursue the lot at the auction as we felt the land wasn't worth that much money and we knew the back taxes owed on the property were significantly less than what they were asking.  We thought this might bring some closure to the situation.  That was not to be however.  I attended the auction in July 2010 with my mom to see what happened.  No one bid on the land and it was left unpurchased.  This was encouraging and we decided to again pursue the lot. 

More calls back and forth and much waiting (patiently on Will's behalf, not so much on mine) with the city led us to find out that the County Land Bank now owned the property.  More phone calls and we found out that County Land Bank was going to auction the lot off in a package of properties at an auction in Ludington at the end of October 2010.  I was upset to say the least.  I mean who sells bulk packages of empty lots at an auction?  And who buys them?  That's crazy!  While I did not attend this auction we found out that the property had again gone unpurchased. 

We continued our now tired pursuit of the lot and had the occasional thought, is it even worth it?  At this point in time even the County Land Bank wasn't sure what they were going to do with the lot.  After much discussion amongst themselves they finally determined in late December 2010 that we would be allowed to place a bid for the lot and that it would be either approved or denied at their next meeting on January 11th, 2011.  Elation!  Will talked to the county treasurer who hinted that the County Land Bank was really hoping to still get the "minimum bid price" from the July auction.  That made me nervous that they wouldn't consider any offer that wasn't at least up to the minimum bid, if not above. 

We talked and prayed and talked some more.  Then we consulted our realtor who encouraged us to give them a low ball offer (lower even then our buyer's agreement offer) as there has been no new housing construction in the city proper for several years and empty lots have been for sale for eons.  We took his advice and offered them half of the "minimum bid" which was also over $1000 less than our buyer's agreement offer. We kindly explained why we offered so little, what we would like to do with the property and that we had the cash on hand to back up the offer.  And today, joy of all joys, we found out that they accepted our offer!  I was flabbergasted!  I really thought they would at least counter offer!  But no!  We are getting a 1/2 acre of land for a pittance!  Will found out from the county treasurer and then we had the following IM conversation:

Will: so i've got some more shoveling to do.
Me: (thinking he said it because it had snowed a little that morning) how do you know?
Will: how do i know what?
Me: that you have to shovel?
Will: i know... because our sidewalk just got longer
Me: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, there really were that many exclamation points.  Ask Will!

So for those of you who skipped down here's the moral of my story (in which I am also long winded):  While this may seem a somewhat trivial situation there were definitely times during the process where I despaired that we would ever be able to purchase this lot.  From the very beginning I had big plans for that lot which included a nice sized garden!  So each time purchasing the lot didn't work out I got frustrated with the city and county governments, with the previous owners for not closing the deal before foreclosure started, and even at God.  I felt like at times I was almost being teased by Him as we would find out we could possibly purchase it and then be disappointed,  for example finding out the minimum bid was too high.  Towards the end there I wasn't even sure we would ever be able to buy the lot.  I had started assigning some of the money we had saved for the lot to a new car fund :-)  

I say all of that to now say, God's timing is perfect.  When we started the buyer's agreement process over a year ago I never would have imagined that we would be able to purchase the lot at such a low price.  The fact that we're going to now still astounds me quite frankly!  God's plan was much better than mine could ever hope to be and while I rarely had the patience and faith that I should have during this process I am reaping the rewards of God's goodness! While God doesn't have to prove anything to me He continues to provide me with examples that further establish His love and plan for me and for that I am so very thankful.  Hopefully I'll be more insightful next time!


  1. Yay! That's wonderful!

    It is so good to see God's hand in our lives, sometimes we don't recognize Him at work because we have our own timetable!

  2. SO happy for you and jealous that you get to have a garden - IN TOWN! That is like getting the best of both worlds :) What an ordeal, but what a great testimony to God's goodness and timing. As I was reading your story I was thinking of the hymn we sung on Sunday (it is so true that He proves Himself over and over and yet we fritter and fret - or least I do over silly earthly things).

    Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
    How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
    Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
    O for grace to trust Him more!

    PS: favorite part of the story was your IM with Will and your exclamations! lol