I also feel like I had experienced a similar stroke like Charlene had. I had a financial stroke that would greatly affect Charlene. It was almost like the equivalent of her physical stroke for me.
Despite being a business major at USC, an entrepreneur, and a business owner for many years, I managed to lose our life savings and investments that we had acquired throughout the last 35 years. It was a devastating loss, almost as devastating as Charlene’s stroke was to her. Along with our life savings, we also lost our good credit rating.
Bill collectors were calling every day, demanding their money that we lost to the real estate and stock market meltdowns, which seemed to occur at the same time. In the past, if the stock market crashed, there was always real estate that was safe, and vice versa. But this time it all crashed together. Bad business decisions that caused us to be in the wrong investments at the wrong time resulted in us losing commercial properties that were in risk of foreclosure, along with all the equity that was in them. In the end, we were able to avoid foreclosures on them by negotiating with the banks to give them back for the amount of the mortgages.
If I had only heeded my wife’s intuition, I could have avoided the worst part of our loss. Charlene felt much earlier on than I did that the investment was bad and we should have cut our losses. I wanted to hang in there with the market. I don’t know why God gives women a sixth sense about things that we men simply do not possess.
I do have the pride to think that I am always right, and that I know more than my darling wife does. Thank God that He has finally delivered me from that kind of pride. Now, I always want to know what my wife thinks about any business decision, or any business individual’s moral character. Just learning that nugget of truth (to listen to her), has saved us more trouble than I can tell you. Charlene is not only a wonderful, intuitive woman, but has a very special connection with God, which I have learned the hard way.
If all this wasn’t bad enough, I broke the cardinal rule of never risking your primary residence on a business deal… no matter how sure it looks! As a result, my home’s line of credit that the banks gave out so easily in those days was lost in the commercial real estate meltdown. We now faced a foreclosure on our home to be sold on Christmas Eve (of all days). For 18 months we had attempted to modify the first and second mortgage on our home so that we could afford to stay there.
The last thing I wanted was for Charlene to lose another home. The first one she had lost to her stroke and the second one could very well be lost to my financial stroke. We prayed for another miracle, and God saw fit to bless Charlene’s need to stay in our home with a loan modification in the 11th hour.
That made it possible to stay in our home, and to have a joyous Christmas. We began making our new trial payments, which we were thankfully able to afford. We became one of the few homeowners who actually got approved for a permanent loan modification.
The whole foreclosure process really taught me a lot about my faith, just as Charlene’s stroke taught her a lot about her faith. First of all, was I really willing to trust God with every aspect of my life, and to give Him back everything that I was hanging onto in my life? Would I trust Him to do with my life and my stuff as
He saw fit?
I read in the Bible that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his precious son Isaac, whom Abraham had waited 25 years for. He was at the ripe old age of well over 100 years old. God wanted to see if Abraham loved Him more than his only precious son that he had waited so long for. We too are always being asked by God to prove our love to Him by being willing to give back all that He has given to us.
He wants to see where our hearts are really at and to see if we love Him above all else. Like Abraham and Isaac, God may change His mind at the last second, but many times He just wants to see if we are willing to give it up. I had to trust God that if He allowed us to lose our home due to my bad decisions, I would have to trust Him that He would still take care of us. If His provision was less than what we had before, then I would have to be fine with that. Personally, I could live anywhere, but it would be hard to watch Charlene have to go through that, since she has been through so much already. Thank God that in His great mercy, He chose for us to stay in our home.
This is just a another chapter of my book “One Arm One Leg 100 Words, Overcoming Unbelievable Hardships”. You can buy the book by clicking this link. And surely, you will not stop reading it from the beginning till the end of this book.