A couple of years ago my son, Justin, and I invested in a piece of property with the hope of “flipping” it for a profit. It took an entire year to complete the project as we ended up taking the interior down to the studs and adding a new kitchen and bathroom. It ended up being a really nice house that we were proud of but, unfortunately, could never sell outright. We ended up renting the property and have been doing so for the past year and a half.
I struggled trying to figure out why it never sold. Everyone loved the property and the neighborhood – but we never received one offer. All the hard work and the hours and hours spent trying to complete the project seemed all in vain. Until this past Friday.
Justin and I had talked for a while about him eventually moving into the house. Eventually, Lisa and I hoped, he would bring a new bride to live there with him. And so we would mention that scenario on occasions to him but he never really committed to moving or marrying. Until this past Friday.
Now parents reading this will understand when I say that Lisa and I have been praying for the spouses of both our daughter and son since the day they were born. We have always wanted them to marry someone that would love them as much as we did and love God and our family as well. Heather was able to find that match a few years ago. With Justin – we just had to wait. Until this past Friday.
In November Justin got serious about possibly asking his girlfriend, Lori Johnson, to marry him when he invested in an engagement ring. Lisa and I felt that an engagement would happen by Christmas. Then we thought it may take place soon after we got home from Loma Linda, California. When that did not happen we began to think it may never happen – until this past Friday.
We had decided that one way or another Justin would move into our remodeled house and so we offered our renters a six month lease with the understanding they would probably have to move out by the end of July. We were hoping that Justin would ask Lori for her hand in marriage before we left on Lisa’s next work assignment. But that did not happen as we headed back west to Kingman Arizona. Before we left Justin decided to go ahead and move into the house but he would not commit to when he would get engaged. Still waiting and still wondering – Lisa and I left for Arizona more unsure than ever that he would ask Lori to be his wife. Until this past Friday.
While working on that house I had many people come and say that I was doing way too much. Some said I should just clean it up and throw some paint on the walls and call it done. However, I just could not do that. I wanted it to be a nice home and so we went above and beyond – putting in all new windows, insulating all the walls – even adding an additional bedroom. But it never sold and I could not figure out why – until this past Friday.
This past Friday our renters finally moved out, Justin invited Lori over to see the house for the first time. There in that house where we sweat and bled and almost cried over numerous times – he asked her to be his bride. The date for a wedding has not yet been set – but they will live in our little remodeled house and there they will start their lives together.
I have written before about theologian Eugene Peterson’s idea that life is really a story and that in our lives we often cannot understand why some things happen the way they do. He described his wife and he reading books together and often she would say, “Why did that happen?” or “What does that mean?” He reminds her that she needs to let the storyteller tell the story and eventually they would understand. “We are on page 200 – we may not know until page 326. Let the storyteller tell the story.”
That is the way I now can look at the story of our remodeled house. Lisa and I have been stuck on page 200 with a lot of unanswered questions – until this past Friday. The storyteller just told us the part about how our son would use that house as the setting to propose to his future bride. The story of their marriage and life together is in just the first chapter – with many pages yet to be turned. All those prayers – all the waiting – all the worrying was really unnecessary since the part of this story Lisa and I have waited for so long – has finally been told.
Thank God, the great storyteller, for this past Friday.
Congratulations Justin and Lori
Love, Steve and Lisa