Saying Goodbye to Our Miracle House

July 1, 2019

We arrived at our beautiful new rental house on the evening of April 10th. We were greeted by a juicy black widow spider under our kitchen table with a red hourglass on her belly. We quickly set to work on clearing away spider webs, sweeping out the dust and cleaning the bathroom. It wasn’t long before we settled into a comfortable routine of laundry, cooking, work and rest.

I guess, depending on your perspective, you could say it was an uncomfortable routine. We made the decision not to invest in furniture or an air conditioning until we were sure this house would work out. So, all we had were the two tables and the hard wood chair that was already here. I joked that the toilet was my comfy chair. For the first few weeks we were sleeping in the car. The closest big city is 6 hours away, so we waited until we were really motivated to drive up there to buy cots and mattress pads. Even the health food store is 2.5 hours away. But we didn’t care. The joy of having a home and running water and a shower and a big refrigerator was enough for us.

We were already dreaming of getting chickens and putting in a garden. We spent the evenings watching Justin Rhode’s permaculture videos and talking about what vegetables we might grow and what animals we might raise. Then we would go on long walks up the dirt road next to our house. The views were beautiful. We often witnessed the beauty of the sun going to sleep behind the mountains as we turned around to walk back home. Oh! How we needed that stability and rest!

Just over two weeks after we moved in, the sweetest Boxer you ever met arrived on our property. Skin and bones and affectionate as all get out, she was clearly starved for both food and attention. Ramona, our Cavalier, is usually very uncomfortable around other dogs, but she took to this Boxer right away.

I fed her some of Ramona’s food before Brett could remind me that she might have owners. We found out from talking to a neighbor that she did indeed have owners but they didn’t necessarily feed her or look after her. Realizing that I had fallen in love too quickly, I prayed that God would help me not to covet and resolved to march her right back to her owner’s house the next morning. We stopped feeding her and didn’t let her into the house, but she was determined to stay.

We called our neighbor the next morning to ask for the owner’s name and number but she told us she didn’t have his number. She said the owner probably wouldn’t come looking for her and wouldn’t care if we fed her. She didn’t think taking the dog back and insisting they take care of her would change the situation. “They’re not going to feed her if they know others will do it for them.”

So, we let her in the house, fed her, and bought her a bed. Beverly Cleary fans can probably guess that we named her Beezus. She made herself at home immediately and we all fell in love with her! Even Ramona has been noticeably happier since Beezus arrived. Eventually, the owner did come back to take her away but after some friendly discussion, it was agreed that Beezus is officially our dog.

It was really fun to watch her come alive as she started to gain some weight. It wasn’t long before she had the energy to run and spin around playfully on our walks. She’s a sociable and well-behaved dog who is eager to please. She‘s clearly never lived in a house before but is so obedient that we only had to tell her twice not to put her paws up on the table. She never tried it again.

I was in doggy heaven and the future was looking really hopeful. I told Brett on one of our walks that I thought I was the healthiest I’d ever been. I was keeping up with daily hand-washing, cooking, walking and even able to work-out on top of it all. I was free from pain, fatigue, brain fog, depression and anxiety. I was reading books and bursting with new ideas. My dreams were alive and kicking. My thoughts were again wandering towards having a baby.

Pretty soon, I’d have the mental bandwidth to reorganize my blog and start writing more consistently. Pretty soon I’d have the emotional energy to call all my friends and finally reconnect with them one by one. We now have a landline and I was excited to use it. (When we were staying in hotels, I discovered that phone calls on a landline aren’t nearly so draining for me as phone calls that happen over cell phone radiation.) I did call my best friend from grade school and found that I felt like my old self again. I could talk freely with no anxiety or brain fog.

Unfortunately, only two months after we moved into the house that was supposed to provide us with long term stability, a buyer showed up. This house and the two other buildings on the property have been on the market for 10 years… and two months after we arrive, a buyer shows up?! The landlord had agreed to give us the right of first refusal but we weren’t expecting to have to make a decision so soon. It all seemed so fishy. So much pressure! We didn’t know what to do.

Then, only a few days later, while we were taking a peaceful family walk, Beezus got into a fight with a wild boar. Some hunters say that wild boars are more dangerous than bears. This story deserves it’s own blog post, so all I will say here is that it ended with Brett sprinting a mile back home to get the car and me shaking and screaming “Jesus! Help!” as I tried desperately to stop the blood gushing out of Beezus’ neck. It was more blood than Brett or I had ever seen in our lives.

She survived the night only because we took turns staying up to hold pressure on the puncture wounds. We had no first aid supplies and the closest veterinarian was 2.5 hours away. Suddenly, our beautiful desert home began to feel unfriendly and dangerous.

We got her to the vet the next morning but it was several days before we knew for sure that she would make it. It almost broke my spirit. After four nights at the vet, we were able to bring her home with a well-bandaged head and an e-collar.

That was the day the buyer came to look at our house. After receiving wise counsel from family and friends we decided we would bow out. It just wasn’t a good time for us to be buying a house, even a great 124 year old adobe house. It was too soon to be making a commitment and the financial strain would be too much. Our hope was that the buyer would change his mind after seeing how remote the location is and how old the buildings are.

Silly us. It turns out this man is a photographer who loves old buildings and has always dreamed of living in this remote desert wilderness. He’s very excited about buying the property. He doesn’t care that it’s so overpriced it hasn’t sold in 10 years. His heart is set. He’s buying it!

Two days later, he came to stay in the building next door, and being accustomed to certain creature comforts, turned on the ancient air-conditioning units. It only took a few hours for this to make the entire property uninhabitable for me. As other mold sensitive people can attest, when air conditioners go moldy, they can be a real problem! But it was over 100 degrees, could you really blame him?

Suddenly, we were homeless again. How could this happen? We spent the next two weeks tent camping and are finally home now that he’s gone. Everything is back to normal and the air feels great again. But we just found out he’s coming back in two weeks. So, we literally have two weeks to move out. And go where? Wasn’t this house a miraculous answer to prayer?

I wish I could find some way to spin this into a hopeful tale of faith and perseverance but I really don’t understand why this is happening. I feel like we just had the rug pulled out from under our feet.

I might despair if it wasn’t for an email we received from one of Brett’s writing students. She was completely unaware of what was going on when she wrote this.

“I hope y’all are doing well! God laid you both on my heart the other day and I just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you!

As I was reading Joshua recently, I came across verse ‪21:45‬: “Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.” For some reason, I thought of you. While the context is different, I love how this verse describes the character of God as always fulfilling His Word and being faithful to His promises. If He said it, He will do it, even if it’s not in the way or time we think. Praying this verse would be true for you both….that God would bring all good things that He’s promised you, in His Word and in your lives, to pass.  

Anyway, I just wanted y’all to know that you’re often thought of and prayed for!”

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  • Betty Ryan

    God has something better for you. I just feel it.

    July 1, 2019 at 4:30 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      I sure hope so. 🙂

      July 1, 2019 at 5:58 pm Reply
  • Margaret

    Oh,:man, this is hard. I know the goodness of God. Praying.

    July 1, 2019 at 4:36 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you for your prayers Margaret.

      July 1, 2019 at 5:58 pm Reply
  • Ellen Lewis

    Ana, sending positive energy to you and Brett. Curious to see where the Lord lands you. Good luck!❤

    July 1, 2019 at 4:41 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you very much Ellen! ❤️

      July 1, 2019 at 5:59 pm Reply
  • Inna

    So sorry! Have you guys considered a go fund me account to help you building a home? I can only imagine how hard living “homeless” must be 🙁 will keep you in my prayers!

    July 1, 2019 at 4:59 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… Thank you Inna! I’m actually pretty confident we’ll be able to find another rental somewhere. It just might take some effort.

      July 2, 2019 at 6:16 am Reply
  • Lee

    Praying that you have a place to call home very soon. God has a good plan for you!

    July 1, 2019 at 5:04 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you for your prayers Lee!

      July 2, 2019 at 6:17 am Reply
  • Chris Barratt

    Ana! We’ve been praying for you and concerned about you both! This whole post made me so very sad! I just don’t understand it all either!! It doesn’t make sense. It’s probably very hard to constantly keep believing that God has something better in mind. Being human I’d feel that way! I guess we need to continually trust Him and set our hearts and minds on Him! And like this scripture from Joshua, nothing can pass to us except through Him. And everything in His word will come to pass. When Sara first mentioned all that was going on with your house, I said “I wish our house in Michigan wouldn’t make them sick, cause they could come and live here. ” Our house is your house! Please let us know if you need anything! And, we will continue to pray!! His provision is better than ours!!! Love you guys!! ❤❤

    July 1, 2019 at 5:59 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much for these kind words Chris. It is hard to make sense of it all. You and your girls are so kind and I am so grateful for your prayers and support.

      July 3, 2019 at 4:23 pm Reply
  • Kristi Palmer

    Ana, I don’t know you, but somehpw found your blog awhile back. am so sorry for the struggles you’ve been through and that they continue. In reading this, I wondered if you know about EcoNest, a company that builds truly healthy homes. Paula Baker-Laporte was sick from her house and I am sure you’d find parts of her story familiar. She wrote the book Prescriptions for a Healthy Home, and she and her husband Robert Laporte have built several healthy homes – many in New Mexico. They also hold workshops on building an EcoNest. Maybe they could be a helpful resource. I hope so.

    July 1, 2019 at 10:26 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much Kristi! I hadn’t heard about EcoNest. It sounds really interesting. I will look them up. 🙂

      July 3, 2019 at 4:24 pm Reply
  • Kristi Witmer

    I’m so sorry you have to walk through this disappointment. Thanks for being courageous in sharing, even with the questions and uncertainty! Praying that even in all this you will know and feel God’s goodness (Psalm 27:13).

    July 1, 2019 at 11:47 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much Kristi. That is definitely what we need. <3

      July 3, 2019 at 4:26 pm Reply
  • Ann

    Hey Ana! This is really random, but have you considered moving to Israel?

    That’s where God is calling me. Israel by January 2020. Because the whole United States will be saturated with 5G by 2020. Israel is the only nation that did complete safety testing, discovered 5G is very dangerous, and made it illegal.

    4G cell towers already make me very sick. I don’t think I’ll survive 5G. So I’m planning to move to Israel!

    Even distant locations will still be impacted by 5G, because they’re launching thousands of satellites to bounce the signal to remote locations.

    July 2, 2019 at 8:39 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      I’m so sorry about how the 5G is disrupting your life. I hope Isreal ends up being a really healing place for you. I don’t think I’ll be considering Isreal since our friends had a lot of issues with outdoor mold toxins there. I certainly don’t like cell towers at all but for me, other toxicity issues are a bigger deal.

      July 3, 2019 at 4:28 pm Reply
  • Jill Harriott

    I’m sorry you’re feeling like having the rug pulled from beneath your feet! I have used that same phrase in the past few years during very different, but nonetheless confusing and crushing circumstances. As I read your words that feeling swelled up in me and prayers for you are flowing from my heart!
    You may or may not relate to some of the feelings I’ve experienced, but I hope to encourage you by sharing my experience of God’s love amidst circumstances that were never “tied up with a pretty bow” and that still make no sense.
    Soon after my father died 4 years ago, I remember being near despair and begging God, “please, please show me a glimpse of your purpose! I can’t see the way forward and feel like I’m floating beyond the reach of hope!” (I had been been reading in Hebrews 6, but hope didn’t feel like an anchor at the time.)
    It was a long time that I questioned my ability to hear God’s voice and trust that He sees me and cares for me. I struggled to grip onto a new perspective, striving to make sense of the circumstances that sent my heart flailing away from where I thought it had been firmly anchored. I became angry and even felt betrayed by God …and was just so weary.
    Mercifully a friend reminded me that even those feelings were okay to take to God. ..He could take it! He wanted my heart. So finally one day I let Him have it! I screamed and yelled in a tearful, raging fury, pouring out all my disappointments, anger and ways I’d felt disillusioned by the series of painful disappointments that made no sense and challenged my faith. “Why won’t you show me how this is for good!” I demanded in anger.
    As upside down as it sounds,that furious prayer opened me up to receive comfort that I desperately needed, but hadn’t been able to accept in my quest to understand. I STILL don’t understand the things that have happened. And I don’t yet see a grand purpose for good in them. But in His utterly confounding grace, I’ve found renewed assurance of Gods love and presence by giving Him the ugly feelings. He didn’t reject me! His comfort has been tangible ever since. And that has been enough to set my heart at rest. I may still have moments where I “let Him have it”…But how comforting to know that He wants me to bring it all to Him.
    I imagine weariness, disappointment, and maybe even disillusionment want to be regular companions on your journey. (And, Girl, what a long journey you’ve been on!)
    As I pray for you, I want to encourage you to pour out your heart to God in this confusing and disappointing time. Really let Him have it! He is after your heart. He is for you. He sees you. He hears you. He has a place for you. May you find comfort in His presence that carries you through and sets your heart at rest in His care. Praying all this for you and for your next home to be a better than you can imagine! ❤️

    Much love,

    July 2, 2019 at 2:01 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Jill! Thank you for this kind and vulnerable comment. It really encouraged me. I can definitely relate to the things you shared. I’m so glad God can take our questions and disappointments and still love us. <3

      July 3, 2019 at 4:30 pm Reply
  • Bella D.

    Oh dear! This made me sad. I was so hoping this would be your house! Maybe God has bigger plans. Still praying for you all, and love reading updates when you post them!

    July 3, 2019 at 2:04 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you for your prayers Bella!

      July 3, 2019 at 4:31 pm Reply
  • Christa Upton

    Oh, Ana! I am so sorry. I know the feeling of extreme disappointment and perplexing circumstances. But I also know you guys are so grounded, and of course God will continue to lead you. Doesn’t make it easy, though. 🙁

    July 3, 2019 at 5:14 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you so much Christa! I know you, of all people, understands what this is like. ❤️❤️❤️

      July 4, 2019 at 7:07 pm Reply
  • Juliet Artman

    Praying for you! God still has you in his big loving hands don’t despair!

    July 5, 2019 at 4:10 am Reply
  • HM

    Between this experience and Julie Rehmyers, it sounds like adobe homes are the way to go!

    July 28, 2019 at 1:31 pm Reply
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