We made a mistake moving to California but Jesus turned water into wine, again.
Let's jump back about 7 months. Last July we decided to move from Washington back to California to spend time with our families. Long story short, it's been a pretty tough 7 months. I've had to fly back to Washington every 6 weeks for work, just to make ends meet. Jacie's been sewing her pretty little fingers to the bone growing her new business. Honestly, if it wasn't for her we'd be sunk right now.
Last week I took another tattoo trip to Washington. I stayed with my friend, co-tattooer and boss Justin Ferreria. Probably the nicest guy I've ever met. So nice in fact I thought he was a fake. I remember saying to myself that nobody is this nice, he's gonna show his true colors soon. But he and his wife have been nothing but a blessing to my family and I. While I was there I looked for houses and even went to see one in downtown Poulsbo. It was ridiculously over priced and not gonna fit our family. The only thing good about it was that I could walk to and from work. But, that just didn't make it worth it.
I called several places while I was there and found nothing affordable. Meanwhile, Jacie was back in Big Bear trying to sew, get orders out and take care of 4 "well mannered" children. She's never very happy when I have to fly or travel. It's been really bad since we watched the episode of Grey's Anatomy where Derek died. Now every time I buy a pane ticket or leave to drive down the mountain I'm sent off with the words, "Don't go" or "Derek Died you know." It's especially fun when I text her that I'm about to board the plane and the only text I get back is, "Derek Died."
This last trip was the last straw so to speak. Struggling to pay our small amount of bills by having to fly back and forth is just not cutting it. So we came up with a plan to sell everything and leave for Washington on the 1st of March whether we find a house or not. Our plan was to stay in a hotel down the street from the tattoo shop until we found a house. Meanwhile we kept calling and emailing people about houses that we found listed on craigslist and other websites.
On Tuesday, I gave official notice to our Landlord.
Wednesday night, I wrote out an email to the owner's of a house we found in Poulsbo. "Hi, My name is Jake Wells I work at Thor’s Hammer and Needle Tattoo on Front St in Poulsbo. My wife and I have 4 small children. We have been living in California since July. I have been flying back and forth since. We came down here while my wife's sister was having a baby. But it's time to come home, plus, I'm tired of traveling. I am moving my family back up on the 3rd of March. We are interested in your house and would like to apply for it. What is the deposit amount and total move in cost. Thank you,
We didn't receive a response. Thursday, Jacie said to send it using her email address because sometimes my email's end up in people's junk folder. She got a reply that said the owner's had received an overwhelming interest in the house and were trying to reply to everyone. On Friday night I got a call from the owner who asked some standard questions. I told him about our cat; Ronald, about our kids and about where I worked. He said thank you and that he was reviewing everyone who is interested and was going to make his decision when he finished. The next day I got another call from him about the yard and if a wire fence they had up would be a problem. I told him no, it shouldn't be a problem and he asked if we needed anything from them or had any questions. I could only think to ask for more pictures. Later that night he sent more pictures. At this point I wasn't too hopeful or worried I had already settled on the idea that we would have to stay in a hotel when we got there. I just needed to get back to work up there.
Of course I had prayed for the Lord to help us. The Bible says not to repeat your prayers so I try not to. But like most things the Bible says not to do I end up doing anyway. It's also hard for me to ask Jesus for stuff. I feel like that's all I am ever doing. It's either that or saying sorry for wanting to punch someone or yell at someone, over and over, anyway, you get the point. The Lord has done so much for us, but I was starting to think that maybe I messed up somewhere along the line. Maybe I didn't work hard enough, maybe I was being greedy by wanting to move back. Maybe, He really didn't want me tattooing and I was supposed to get a different job. Maybe, I was supposed to stay home and help Jacie grow her sewing business "Lumber Gypsy". Maybe, maybe, maybe, like I said, I just didn't know. But I still had peace. I wasn't freaking out. I knew deep down that if we stayed in California we would have to borrow more money from my parents and I just couldn't do that anymore. Little insight, Jacie doesn't stress about this kinda stuff. She has faith the Lord is gonna take care of us and put us where He wants us. She does however stress about orders that need to get to the mail box.
Saturday morning, I was late to leave for work. I was printing shipping labels and packaging orders so that I could get to the post office before it closed at 12 when my phone rang. It was the owner of the house. Being the the super positive pessimist I am I figured he was calling to tell me they had decided to rent it to someone else. He asked me if I was still interested in the house. I told him that yes I was. He said, "Well I need to be honest with you. My wife and I saw that you had a lot of kids and we didn't want kids in there tearing up the house. So you're email was at the bottom of our list. Plus, we saw that you're a tattoo artist, so basically it was bound for the trash. Then you said that you don't have the best credit and that you have a cat so you pretty much became our last choice." I couldn't help but laugh out loud.
Then he said, "We have so many people applying for the house, one guy has a perfect credit score, another has tons of money in his bank account. We didn't know who we were going to choose. Being Christians we prayed about who we were supposed to rent this house to." I was trying to figure out when he was just going to say goodbye and get off the phone. Then he said "Funny thing is, your name sounded familiar but I couldn't figure out why. Then I remembered a few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast by the name of Reconnect and you were being interviewed." My heart started thumping as I listened. He continued," I listened to you and your story and went home and told my wife all about it. This was weeks ago, we had no idea that it was you that had sent the email for the house until I recognized your name." This is crazy I thought! He told me that his wife had recently miscarried and had even read Emunah's story and that it helped and had comforted her." My jaw dropped further. The owner of the house then said," So the house is yours if you want it." The Lord had us covered, just like He promises He'll do.
But then I got to thinking. Can you imagine the faith this man and woman have in Jesus? I have a hard time sharing food with my kids! This couple recognized what Jesus was doing and chose to share their home with a dirt bag tattooer and his family over a person with a perfect credit score.
Even when I'm at my worst in serving Jesus, I mean let’s face it, lately I haven’t been a very good Christian. Even so, He still made an elaborate plan to find my family a home. I can't tell you how much I love Jesus. I just can't.