Sarah Moran answers the question:

What is the nicest thing a non-family member has ever done for you?


The nicest thing is selling me the house that I'm in right now. It's hard to explain or put into words exactly what that means to me, what it means to me to be in this space, but I will do my best. I'll also say that I am a very sensitive, empathic person, very much a feeler, and so I'm very affected by my space and what's around me, my environments. So that comes into play in this story. 

The first time that I walked by this house, it was in the same neighborhood basically that I used to live in. But the first time that I walked by, I felt like it was a magical piece of property, and that has to do with all the big trees and the beautiful nature, and I just felt really, really drawn to the space.

One day I ended up meeting, it was an older couple who were outside tending to the plants named Florence and Jim, and I ended up meeting them just walking by. Then I loved this neighborhood so much with all its big trees that I would walk by or run by quite a lot. So every time they were outside, we would say hi and sometimes we would chat more. I knew that they were very strong in their faith — that was a big part of who they are — and I had struggled a lot with health issues. 

One day I was really feeling really low about that, and I saw them and I asked... Jim was outside... and I asked him if he would pray for me about my health issues and he said... "Oh yes, come sit down." He sat me right down on the porch and grabbed his wife Florence, from inside, "Come on out. Sarah’s here. We need to pray for her." I certainly wasn't expecting this on-the-spot thing, but they sat me down in this chair and they both kind of put their hands on me, and went through this really lovely prayer for me. Of course I was crying and I was so touched by everything that they said. So it was a really sweet moment. 

But anyhow, the years continued to go by, and I had told them how much I loved the property and all the nature and had said, "If you're ever going to sell the house, please let me know." It truly was like a dream house. I felt this strong connection in my heart, like very, very drawn to it.

One day she finally called me and said that they were going to be selling the house, and I was over-the-moon excited. However, it was way beyond what we could afford, and I was then devastated to find what the asking price was. But I kept praying about it and kind of kept in touch about it. Ultimately, what happened was we did put in an offer and it was quite a bit less than what they had asked, but I just felt like my whole body was saying “yes” about this house. I also really needed a change from the house and the location that I was in at the time. So this was like just... It felt so perfect. 

So we put in our best offer that we could, and we knew that they also had another offer that was higher than our offer and it was a cash offer. We had a contingency that we had to sell our current house and couldn't offer as much, certainly not nearly the asking price, and we had to finance the house as well. But Jim and Florence told me later that they were praying a lot about the house, they were praying about God's timing, they were praying about... that the house would go to whoever it belonged to according to God's will. They were kind of listening and tuning into that. Meanwhile, I was of course praying very much about it because I just felt so strongly that it was going to be a great fit for me and my family. 

Ultimately, they did give us the house despite the much stronger other offer and they said they felt like the house belonged to me and my family, and that was God's will for the house. Oh, that has meant so, so much to me, and we moved into the house not quite a year ago. Actually, I think it was a year ago today, I'm just realizing that we had our offer acceptance. So that's a fun coincidence that just occurred to me. 

Then I learned two things from Florence and Jim that I think really contribute to why this has been a house that I wake up every day, just so grateful. Every time I step outside, I'm so grateful for the trees and just the peaceful feeling in the house. What I've learned was that every day that they were in the house, they prayed together for an hour and they prayed for the peace of the Lord to be in the house and on the property. I can really feel that, especially being a sensitive, empathic person, I can feel the result of their 30-some years of prayer over this house. 

Then the other thing is that Florence early on thought... she had this vision about just surrounding the property in evergreens. So she planted all these beautiful evergreens around the entire perimeter of the yard, and then also all kinds of beautiful plants. She thought, Oh, wouldn't it be so pretty in the winter to look out and see the snow falling on these evergreens? So she had that vision and planted the evergreens really early on, and now they're these huge, giant, tall trees that I get to enjoy, and my husband and my kids are 10 and seven, and they just absolutely love the property, the trees and all the plants and everything else. So these things that they did decades ago or did for decades, I love thinking about how much that enriches my life. 

Then, after we moved into the house, I'm now very happy to say that my health problems have cleared up and I'm feeling really well. I’m sure that being in this peaceful, healing space and this beautiful nature-filled environment has quite a lot to do with that. I've also been very intentional and happy to continue their tradition of praying for the peace of the Lord to be in the house and to be in the property, and it just is impossible for me to really describe what a difference it makes for me to be here. So I feel eternally indebted to Florence and Jim for everything that they did over those years and for their intentionality and being attuned to God and praying about selling us the house.

Sarah and her family

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This article appears in: 2020 Catalyst, Issue 18: Readers Write