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This Is My Story


June 10, 2005
LIZ GARIBELLE

APPROVED

I take in a deep breath as I pick up the phone to make a call that could change everything.After a series of automated prompts, I finally hear a real person’s voice on the other end. We quickly exchange pleasantries and then it’s down to business, the real nature of my call. “Yes Ma’am, “I begin, “I’m calling in regards to a home equity loan that my husband and I requested. Could you tell me if a decision has been made yet?” A long pause, several identification questions and then the answer, “No Ma’am, I am sorry,” the lovely voice starts. “No, it hasn’t been approved or no a decision has not been made yet?” I interrupt. “No, a decision has not been made yet, but if you call back in the morning, I am certain we should have an answer by then.” Whew! We exchange pleasantries once more and then I hang up the phone.

I turn to my husband, who has been listening and I shrug. “Oh well! Not yet.” We both have so much invested into this loan. We searched our records for the countless required forms, took time from our day for a face to face interview, and spent far too much time calculating the amount we wanted to borrow. All said, we were asking the bank to loan us 23,000 dollars, of which we would pay off all our debt, repair the Florida room of our home, buy new equipment for the business, and use a small portion to buy a newer vehicle (by trading our present one in as a partial credit).

I sit next to my husband and say, “We need to pray about this.” He assures me that he has, many times.But something doesn’t feel right for me.“I think we need to pray again, right now, and I think we need to take a minute to prepare ourselves for a denial. I mean, we need to put it in God’s hands and accept his perfect will, whatever it may be.If we don’t get approved for this loan, there must be a reason and we need to take the time right now to acknowledge that.”My husband shakes his head and takes my hand in his. “Father,” he begins, and for the next several minutes we pray together for God’s will, not our own.

The next morning I fearlessly grab the phone and once again start the whole process.I ask my big question, while images of my new van fleet through my head.There is a long pause, several identification questions and then the answer, “No Ma’am. I am sorry, but you were denied.”“What? Say again. Are you sure?”All of these responses run through my mind, but all I can speak out is, “Do you know why?”She tells me about ratios, my husband’s income, percentages and the like and still I am lost.“What else is available for us?” I ask in desperation.She kindly informs me of signature loans, credit cards and suggests that perhaps I ask for a home equity loan of a lesser amount. Aha! “Thank you!” I chirp as I hang up the phone. My husband, after being filled in, goes directly to the bank to see about this lesser amount.The phone rings.It’s my husband. He’s at the bank and it seems I was misinformed, or maybe, in the lady’s defense, I had misunderstood.The only option we have is a signature loan at a much higher interest rate. I take a deep breath and tell him to make the decision, that I trust his judgment, and that it will work out.

As I hang up the phone, a stunning conviction overwhelms me – Just hours earlier I had made the same statement to my Lord in prayer.It had seemed so easy to hand the reigns to God when I felt that he was going to work this one out my way.I mean, we had it all figured out, right?Surely God wanted us to just try a little harder or maybe he wasn’t in this one at all.I was taking the reigns back and handing them to my husband.No offense to my husband, I mean he is wonderful, but I must admit this was very stupid on my part.I pushed the guilt aside and tried not to think about it.Then, my husband calls me back.“Well?” I eagerly ask.“I decided not to take the loan.”His voice is firm but surprisingly not sad.“Why?” I softly ask.“Honey, there must be a reason.Remember? If it’s not God’s will then we don’t want it.”I listen and my heart both cries and rejoices at the same time.He has to get back to work, so we end with that and decide to talk about it later.

I hurry about my day, taking the kids to the grocery store, paying bills, and cleaning house.While driving in my car, my mind races through the situation.I think about all the things we won’t be getting and doing when it strikes me like lightning.My spirit cries in disappointment of my rebellious mind.It convicts me of my offenses, reminding me of my loving, gracious, merciful father and asks my heart a simple question, when has God even let me down?

I know the answer immediately; never! I drop the reigns right then and there and pray for forgiveness.I suddenly feel so foolish, so guilty and so sad.But God in all his mercy and kindness gives me peace.Then, as a bonus, he gently reminds me of the many times He processed my requests in prayer.“Lord,” I once asked, “please give me a loving husband to share my life with,” Approved. “Lord, please let this baby live, I’ve already lost his twin and the doctor has advised me to abort,” Approved. “Lord, please guide my Mother through this operation. I’m not ready to lose her yet,” Approved.So many times, so many requests, though I have nothing to offer you Lord, no collateral, you’ve approved me.Though I fall so short of the glory of heaven, and my offenses are many, you, in your ever loving mercy have approved me for eternal life, by giving me your Son as the blood security, the only security that really matters. Thank you!

Suddenly, I don’t care about fixing up that room or buying a new car.My eyes have been opened and I realize that I have everything I ever wanted and far more than I ever needed.Looks like God knew where He was going all along.

posted 06/27/05




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