We would move to Jupiter, Florida, for a year. Dave would work as the rehabilitation coach for the injured Miami Marlins’ pitchers. We would rent a lovely, furnished, two-bedroom condominium near the ballpark, buy two bikes, swim, play tennis and find a church on fire for Jesus. That was the plan…which wasn’t quite as do-able as it sounded.
Apparently New Yorkers migrate to Jupiter during the winter months, booking their rentals a year in advance. (Who stays behind and shovels Buffalo’s sidewalks is what I want to know.) Unless we spend Dave’s entire paycheck (not to mention, I would need to get a waitressing job), we were out of luck. We were going to have to settle…for Plan B.
Asking for a covered parking spot? Perhaps a shady tree would do.
A washer and dryer in the unit? Laundromats are fun places to witness about Jesus…you know, captive audience and all that.
Furniture? For $1,100 a month, we could rent the “middle” package… the one with cardboard cones supporting the coffee table.
A pool and tennis court? Hahahahaha
Maybe we could buy something small. Like a fixer-upper. And not fixer-upper it.
On one apartment-seeking drive, we saw an older beach home with a “For Rent” sign in its front yard. I immediately called the realtor’s number and was told it had just rented…for $20,000 a month. I started laughing. “Did you say $20,000 a MONTH?”
“I know,” he answered. “But it is on the beach, and it has a 100’ pier.”
“Is that pier plated with gold?” I asked. Dave told me to hang up.
My husband noticed an “Open House” sign at a trailer park and pulled into its entrance. The owner was a sweet little lady who carried a bottle of Pine Sol around as she proudly showed us her home. At least it would be clean, I told myself. It was furnished, had a carport and a washer and dryer. Never mind there was no pool or tennis court or workout room OR that it wasn’t even for rent, and for $220,000, we could move in at the beginning of February.
One realtor offered us a furnished unit that apparently had been decorated by someone on a very tight budget—like, oh say, $100.00. It did, however, have a pool and a workout room and a tennis court. Oops! Check that. The tennis court was filled with construction materials because each unit was being rebuilt due to water damage from poorly-designed roofs. Ours already had been rebuilt, we were told. This was to be good news. Dave said we had no choice.
Yes, we did. We could jump off a gold-plated pier.
This morning, right before Dave accepted the contract on that unit, I had this crazy idea to phone the church Dave and I attended last Sunday and asked if they knew of anyone who might help us. They did. Her name is Rhonda; she is a church volunteer and also a realtor. She contacted me, I explained our predicament, and the first thing she said was, “May I pray with you?” And pray she did! She called on the name of Jesus and let loose! I was driving at the time, but had our truck had a sunroof, I would have been transported to Heaven. It was glorious!
And guess what! Within 24 hours we were signing the lease on a cozy duplex with not just a single garage but a double one. In our latest email correspondence, I wrote this to Rhonda: “How does God do it? Amazing.” Her response? “RIGHT! He always blows me away. I have been especially on fire since we prayed! Honored to be a witness of His Grace.”
Me too, Rhonda. Me too.
Ephesians 3:20-21– Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Emphasis: mine)