While visiting my old tromping grounds where I grew up, God surprised me with a gift. My parents had moved into the countryside into a sprawling ranch perfectly angled to the long country road. Sitting on a hillside, the view was spectacular -- trees, woods, acreage, and even deer donned the landscape.
I was with my friend and I asked her to stop to see my old home. I didn't know who lived there since thirty years ago. So, as we pulled into the driveway, I cautiously climbed out of the SUV and shouted to a young man who was there. "Hello," I said. "Oh, We're not salesmen...I used to live here. Is your mother home?"
A woman slightly younger than me came out of the front door. Rarely did anyone they didn't know stopped by. I went up to her and introduced myself and why I was there. My friend and I interrupted her day, but she graciously heard my story and welcomed us onto her front porch. When I asked her (at an appropriate time), "When did you move in here?" Her reply - 1995.
Smiling, I said, "Oh my, you were the one who bought the house from my patents!" Both of us relaxed when we realized the chances of meeting one another. My step-dad and mom moved out when he contracted Alzhiemers and knew it was time to move close to my sister and I. Leaving the house and property they loved dearly for over 30 years was not an easy task. Many memories - good and sad - wove throughout the homestead. My mother prayed, "God, please let a family move in here with children who can really enjoy this beautiful home and spacious land."
Not only did God answer my mother's prayers, but this family also homeschooled their four children like I homeschooled my children. Before they signed the papers for the house, my mom was ecstatic that this was the family to take over their home. They were homeschooling when my children were homeschooled - in the early beginnings of the homeschooling movement. The big built in pantry my mom used for her fine china and stashing chocolates had become a homeschooler's dream - built in shelves for the books, curriculum, and supplies used!
Now, 25 years later, I stood face to face with the new mother of the house, a woman very close to my age. After an unexpected tour of the house and grounds, she went onto say, "We held large church parties for the youth with bonfires in the back. We don't ever plan to move out of this house, but want our future grandchildren to fill this yard with fun, laugher, and play just like our children."
Ironically, or God-coincidentally, I observed today that God's plans are never accidents and He turns our accidents and mishaps for His greater purposes. How did this family find my old home to buy and make it their home? You see, my parents had not yet put a For Sale sign in the yard when this family dropped by. Yet, by accident one day, when they saw a dead deer in front of the house, this family met my parents. The rest is history. My mom would be so happy to know that this divine encounter of two strangers was just what God had planned.