sun shining/Christ died for our freedom

If you need to read about “angels unaware”……

If you need to read about a visit about “angels unaware”….

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing, for some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews: 13:2

My husband and I were talking the other day about downsizing sometime in the future. That got us thinking about our first house, and I thought, “Bingo!” a post.

In fact, I can’t think of why I haven’t written this sooner because the circumstances surrounding the purchase of our first home is the closest thing to a miracle I’ve ever experienced. And it’s the Christmas season. What a better time to share our story with you?

I don’t really know a lot about angels. But I believe they exist, and I believe they show up in our lives.

So here’s my “angels unaware” story

My husband had gone back to school and just graduated, so we were finally getting our lives on track. We couldn’t afford to buy a house, so we rented a downstairs apartment of a two apartment house. Our landlady, a retired teacher,  lived upstairs. (Weird, huh?) Her closest relatives lived in Arizona. I often took her to the doctor as she was in bad health. She was a large woman. When I look back, I wonder how I even got her up and down those stairs.  She was a difficult woman, but I tried to befriend her as she never had any company.

She died just shortly before the birth of our daughter. My husband was a pallbearer at their funeral, and it wasn’t easy finding anyone else to help. Few people attended. I thought that was so sad.

Here comes the miracle part.

bare tree with glossy christmas toys and lights against dark sky

Our landlady had sisters we never knew existed. They lived in Arizona. The bank told us they were coming to settle the estate. I was in the hospital due to deliver at any moment. We had no idea what would happen to the house and we were in no position to move right then. We were scared. Here we were with a young child and a baby on the way any minute. We were worried we’d be forced out of our apartment because we figured it would be sold, and we knew we couldn’t afford to buy it. So that would mean trying to find a new place to live in the middle of winter.

The sisters arrived a few days after I came home from the hospital. They came to talk to us one day.

They were giving us the opportunity to buy the house. We were both floored but disheartened at the same time because we knew we were in no financial position to buy it.

Here’s the next miracle part.

They asked us if we could afford $$$$$$.

Again, we said, ” No. We can’t. We can handle the mortgage payments, but we don’t have enough for the down payment.”

The next miracle part.

They waived that.

And again.

They said they would handle the financing.

The miracle just kept delivering.

They let us determine the amount of the monthly mortgage payment.

And finally,

So, while we’re still reeling from all that, they asked us if we’d like all the furnishings in the upstairs apartment. Again, “No, we can’t afford that.” Do I need to say what happened next? I still have two of the bedroom dressers. The rest we sold.

distressed dresser

One last part,

Before we had even completed the paperwork, we had a renter for the upstairs apartment. It covered our house payment in full.

Now about our renter and his role in our heavenly visitation

He was a millionaire. Seriously. He really was. He didn’t want his estate any longer, just an apartment. Why he would have even considered renting ours, I have no idea. I don’t even know how he made it up those steep stairs; he was probably in his seventies at the time. And I don’t know how he even knew the apartment was for rent in the first place.

Mr. Schnorbach was his name. He spent most of the year in Florida. Needless to say, we never worried about him making his payments on time. Once we learned who he was, we drove by his estate. And “estate” it was!

The only thing we could ever figure is that he wanted people around him, and he liked knowing someone was living below him.  I don’t think he had family in that town. If he did, we never saw them. He wasn’t exactly personable either.

I mean, seriously, two much-older people living in the upstairs apartment? Go figure. (And, no, he didn’t leave us any of his estate when he died.)

Every word of this is true. We never heard from the sisters again. Our checks were sent to an address in Arizona. We often wondered if they even existed outside of their presence in our lives for those few days. Did we “entertain angels unaware”? 

Was it a Christmas miracle?

How our “angel visitation” was passed on

We made sure we used our house in a way that reflected our blessing. We hosted many Bible studies. Our church built a new building, and so we also hosted Sunday Bible classes in our home. One year, we hosted a three-day open house and ac the entire church.  (It wasn’t a small church.) We never stopped entertaining others. It was our way of paying it forward.

That house was the beginning for us. Since then, it’s been a steady climb up. We’ve been blessed with a great marriage. We’ve seen the world. We’re certainly not rich, but we’re a long way from poor. 

What a gift those sisters gave us. We didn’t deserve it. We weren’t special people. Just two young people starting out in life. We have tried our best to “pay it forward.” Whether we’ve succeeded or not is up to God to determine.

Do I really believe it was a miracle?  Could there be another explanation? Did the “sisters” want to get rid of the house?

You decide for yourself.

But the circumstances surrounding buying that house was pretty spectacular.

Why us? Believe me, I’ve often asked myself the same thing. But God is God. He can and does show up when we least expect it.

I love telling you this story, especially during this season of miracles. 

My hope is that all of you will experience a miracle someday as well.

God bless.

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