God’s Christmas gift to us last year was a new house in the town we wanted to move to. It had tons of potential and a unique blueprint perfect for our family. There was only one catch: like we requested, it was a fixer-upper, so it was affordable.

So we buckled up and prepared for a few months and moolah of repairs.

We should have prepared for, well, many more months and moolah than originally anticipated.

But God has been working some miracles behind the scenes to “coincidentally” make things happen in our favor. As His people, we are called to be His witnesses and to testify to His goodness. So I will tell you about the best tornado ever and you can choose whether or not to believe these shenanigans are true, but I assure you this is non-fiction.

We have been paying double mortgage for months now. First world problem, but it hurts. We whined and begged for God to sell our old house. I wished I could take back what I’d originally prayed for: that God would sell our house to the right people at the right time. Oops. Hey God, let me revise that. Please sell it to any nasty troll right now.

The actual cost of the foundation repairs was triple the estimate. That big tree in the back yard was probably dead and needed removal. We needed a privacy fence along the back after the new neighbors called the police on us for a ludicrous reason (the police agreed). The grading of the house was sending water under it to stagnate. My hobo garden made of emptied cardboard moving boxes and last year’s seeds was consumed by an invasion of massive snails (we went to war and slew at least 200 of them on a single day). The floor started popping up nails in the kitchen and cracking under our feet. And it felt like we would fall through. Literally.

We learned that the majority of the subfloor and support joists throughout the house were rotted and needed replacement or repair. Oh, and the foundation still wasn’t good.

“My grace is sufficient for you,” I felt Him tell me. And I said, “Yes, it is,” and fixed my attitude right quick.

Because the reality was, somehow, we were okay. We grew accustomed to spending less, and to trusting that the accruing debts would be resolved in His timing.

Then the tornado hit.

We had less than 5 minutes of warning. Standing at the center of our house, only a few feet away from the area of subfloor that was literally plywood dust, we watched the wind go sideways with white rain so thick we couldn’t see beyond the backyard.

But we did see that tree had been blown over and crashed into the alleyway behind our house, destroying our back fence. My daughter was screaming in terror, and internally, I was wondering if our damaged foundation would just finish crumbling and blow away.

I noticed something strange. Nothing on our porch had moved at all. About 10 feet away from the felled tree, my daughter’s scooter and our patio chairs weren’t even skittering in the sideways wind.

The storm subsided, and I thought, “Maybe the alley created a wind tunnel, so it blew the tree down without touching our back porch.” But our other neighbors on the side had their trampoline picked up, thrown, and mangled.

We realized that we would no longer have to pay for tree removal. Because the tree had fallen into the alleyway, which was city property, men from the city came to remove it within days after the storm at no cost to us. And because it had destroyed our back fence, insurance will help us pay for the new privacy fence that we wanted.

What an interesting coinky dink.

We joined a new small group in our new city through church and met an awesome guy who works in construction. Someone we can trust to take care of our floors, sub floors, and ensure the foundation is properly fixed. He gave us a good quote, but we are going to have to move out of our new house for a few weeks as much of the subfloor and supports are demolished and reconstructed or reinforced or repaired. As I write this, today is moving day.

Good thing our old house didn’t sell, so we can move back into it for a month.

Good thing our old house didn’t sell, because we’d left many of our biggest pieces of furniture at the old house for staging. We would have had to move everything back out so the floor underneath could be repaired.

Good thing our old house didn’t sell, because we would not have known how much money we needed to take out of equity and would have had to go into debt to pay for the repairs.

There are so many other things that God did for us that I just forgot to write down or took for granted because they happen so often. Like three people from different parts of our lives randomly asking if we needed very specific things at very specific times when we hadn’t even asked for them.

We aren’t out of the woods yet. But I’m starting to feel comfortable in these woods.

If you need peace in your life, if you crave real freedom and true joy, ask me about Jesus Christ, who gave His life to save mankind. You can also have a heavenly Father who takes care of you in every way and lovingly reprimands you when you’re being a brat. And maybe even turn a bad situation into an adventure.

*PS – No one was hurt or injured that I’m aware of in the tornado that hit us—only trees, fences, buildings, and power infrastructure (our power was out for about 5 hours). But about 100 miles away in the Houston area, later that night and the next day, the storm caused massive damage and claimed at least 7 lives. Please pray for all those affected!