Maybe She Has Issues?

The other day at the dinner table, my mother-in-law told us the latest developments in the happenings of their business, Zook Properties. After initially captivated by it, I probably didn’t even take a bite until she had told the full story. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It is amazing to me how God worked in this story.  And that’s exactly the thing. God moved in magnificent ways. All it took was a simple act of obedience after being prompted by the Holy Spirit. Below is the story that she told us that day

.  .  .

Sometimes you think you have made a mistake, when all along, it is exactly what God had planned. My husband Dave and I are real estate investors. For a long time, we would buy homes at auction or largely discounted prices, renovate them, and then either sell them, rent them out, or come to a “rent to own” agreement with the tenant. Having renovated many, many homes, we were starting to become weary of the extreme fixing. A program on Facebook caught our eye, through which we would be able to buy homes with little money out of our pockets. We jumped. We paid. We joined!

Intently calling “For Sale by Owners” and excited about the new program we were starting, I contacted an owner who had seven acres in Maryville, TN, on which stood an old farm house. It was in bad condition, but if a flipper didn’t want it, we figured that we could renovate it ourselves as last resort. Meeting with the owner, it was decided we would try to sell it for him, and we would get a good price. We thought we had hit the jackpot and got such a deal. Seven acres in Maryville would have been great for this price!

Advertising the house on Facebook caught a lot of attention, but we got a lot of negative feedback. We went back to the seller and told him that we were opting out of the contract. Then he asked if we wanted to buy it, and he gave us a deal we could not refuse! He had dropped the initial price by $75,000. If we couldn’t sell it at that price, we could fix it up ourselves.

Before embarking on a huge renovation ourselves, we figured we still might be able to sell it to a flipper. The floor plan of the farm house was certainly not the greatest. I thought if I took the curtains down and sweep out the bugs, a flipper would want it. After four hours of sweeping and pulling down drapes in ninety degree humid weather, I sauntered wearily to my car.

“Hi!” I cheerily waved to the neighbor coming towards me. I figured I would be friendly to my new neighbor. Responding in a totally different tone than I had expected, the neighbor began to let me have it in terms of blocking her driveway. The shared driveway was close to her home, and she was claiming I was way “over the line” as far as the property boundary was concerned. My thoughts after the exchange were, “Well, welcome to the neighborhood!” I got into my red Pruis and drove away discouraged. Dave also got scolded, as she believed he was driving too quickly past her home. The gardener we hired also got an ear full.

“Maybe she has issues?” I thought. But also, I remembered that people who respond that way may have something in their life that is hurting them. I told this to Dave, and he decided it would be good for us to go together and knock on her door to let her know about the work we would be doing. Carefully opening the gate to her home, fearing we would get yelled at again, we rang the doorbell. We expected the worst. She answered the door, and we had a nice chat. She miraculously apologized and told us about some deep hurt she was currently experiencing with multiple family members passing. She asked for forgiveness and started to cry. I gave her a hug, tried to encourage her, and we went our way.

Dave started demolition on the house because as it turned out, the house was beyond repair with termite damage and bad foundation – our fault for not checking! Lesson learned. With yet another setback in selling the property, I felt compelled to pray. “God, what is it that you want us to do with this property?” I heard Him tell me that I needed to be a witness to the neighbor. I thought about it for a few days and it kept poking me again and again… “Come on it won’t be hard…”

Baking is one of my favorite ways to show love toward people, so I baked some delicious chocolate chip cookies. I wrote the neighbor a letter telling her how I believed that God was calling me to “rescue her.” I printed off the lyrics to the Lauren Daigle song “I Will Rescue You”. Such an amazing and powerful song! I told her to email me if she wanted…

She did! She told me how she had been crying all day. The cookies and note had truly touched her heart. Unsure if she would want to meet, I responded by offering to get coffee with her, and also offered an invitation for her to come to my Bible study group with me. Both invitations were accepted with a resounding “Yes!” She also mentioned, “You saved my life and my marriage.” I told her that God did. He called me to call her and she obeyed.

Long story short, she goes to our Bible Study now, and her whole countenance has changed for the better. She also has reached out to the other neighbor who is planning to come to our Bible study as well! Isn’t it amazing how the Lord can work such amazing things through our simple act of obedience to the Holy Spirit’s promptings? All it took for me was cookies and a note.

You are probably questioning, “What about the land?” Well, that is another story entirely, but God brought along a man to do some work at our other neighbor’s property. After talking to him, he prayed and told us maybe we should do a lot split. As a result of this split, both neighbors got more land, we got some money for it, and everyone seemed to be satisfied with the new boundaries.  We also got rid of the old house, and now have six acres of beautiful land to sell. We’re still waiting on God to direct what to do with the land, but He will lead.

Our mistake turned into His purpose.

 

“I Will Rescue You”
Lauren Daigle

You are not hidden
There’s never been a moment
You were forgotten
You are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen

I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army
To find you in the middle of the darkest night
It’s true
I will rescue you

There is no distance
That can not be covered
Over and over
You’re not defenseless
I’ll be your shelter
I’ll be your armor

I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army
To find you in the middle of the darkest night
It’s true
I will rescue you
I will never stop marching
To reach you in the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true
I will rescue you

I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear you whisper you have nothing left

.  .  .

Robin Zook, along with her husband, David, are the founders of Zook Properties, LLC.

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