Name: Joanne Coley
- The closest I felt to God in my life was….(finish the sentence)
I felt the closest to God in my life was when I decided to start going to church last year. I always prayed and things like that, but it wasn’t until I started going to church that I started hearing him and getting answers to the questions that I always prayed about.
- If you could thank God for just one incident in your life what would it be and why?
One incident I could thank God in my life would be buying a house. For about 6 years I tried to buy a house. And year after year something would block me from buying a house. I started to believe that I was never going to be a homeowner because everything was always against me. One Sunday, I decided to go look at model homes even though I thought it was something I couldn’t afford. I felt like it was good to dream. Buying a house also tested my faith and my belief in God. I never believed in a million years that I would be able to buy a brand new house and not just a brand new house, but build it from the ground up with everything that I wanted. All the circumstances around me showed that it was no way I would be able to afford a brand new built house. In this incident God showed me that I should never be concerned about what my circumstances looked like. As long as I had faith in Him I would be okay. This incident also showed me patience. Though those 6 years of me waiting God was setting everything up for me. And now I am finally a homeowner and couldn’t be happier!
- If you could name a turning point in your life with your relationship with God what would it be and why?
A turning point in my life would be when I turned 30 (I’m only 31 now. LOL!) I realized that I was missing something. I wanted to do something different. I grew up in the church and somewhere in life I left the church and always wanted to go back. Now don’t get me wrong I’m still a work in progress, but age and maturity would have to be the turning point in which I decided to build a better relationship with God.
- What have you learned through your testimony?
Through my testimony I learned faith and patience. Without faith or patience I would have given up a long time ago.
- Did you face any mental barriers? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?
Some mental barriers I faced was some days I had a negative mentality. Going through the process I would keep thinking to myself, “oh I’m going to get denied for the house” or “let me not go through the process because I don’t feel like being rejected.” I overcame this by simply praying asking God to give me the strength to keep going and to just give me the faith that I needed.
- What specific bible verse helped you through?
Psalm 46:5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
- If there was one thing you would tell yourself 10 years ago what would it be?
Honestly, I would tell myself as long as you believe in yourself and have faith in God you’ll go places and do things that you would have never dreamed of.
- Is there anything else you would like to share?
One thing that I forgot to mention was that even though it took my six years to get a house the process only took a week. Which shows that God can turn things around in an instant.
My [Test]imony, from beginning to end
About 6 years ago I began the venture of becoming a first-time homeowner. I figured it would be an easy task. I was young didn’t have any major debt (other than student loans) so this would be an easy task. Little did I know times had change for buying a house it became one of the most challenging things I would encounter.
Year after year something would block me from buying a house. I started to believe that maybe being a homeowner wasn’t in my deck of cards. Everything was against me, so there’s no way this would happen.
I would get frustrating looking on Redfin or Zillow looking at homes just itching to have one of my own. Fast forward to 2018 my sister saw these townhomes being built and told me to go and take a look at them. I told her “no” its nothing I can afford so why waste my time looking at something I know I can’t have. Fast forward again to the end of August 2019 I finally decided to take a look at the townhomes ( this was around the same time I started attending church regularly; something I wanted to get back in the habit of doing). My sister stepped into one townhome and said, “This is it! This is your house Jo.” I said, “No way it cost too much.” And she insisted that it was mine.
I decided to step out on faith and contact the sales woman for the townhomes. She told me that it was one more house left that I was interested in. I’m not going to lie I just knew this wasn’t going to end up good, but after a week of talking to the sales woman I got approved to build a home! I was excited but I still had a long road ahead.
Now that I was finally able to build a home. I was not paying attention to the bills and what it would take to afford a home. I knew that God didn’t bring me this far to just make me fail, so I just held my faith.
At the end of 2019 I was looking to leave my current job because I knew I had to make more money to afford my new home and save for my downpayment. I was offered another position at a company and was going take it, but my current job ended up not only changing my job title, but also giving me a raise! I’m like okay now I think I can afford it, but how in the world am I going to be able to save all this money for a downpayment.
I was supposed to close on the house at the end of March. In the beginning of March one night as I was praying I started to cry because my settlement on the house was coming up and I still didn’t have all the money I needed. I asked the Lord to please help me find a way. In the next few weeks the world would be hit with COVID-19. For some it has been a curse and for others a blessing in disguise. Because of COVID-19 not only did my settlement date get pushed back, but I was able to save more money and I got a little help from the gov’t [wink face].
God’s favor didn’t stop there. A few days before my settlement I got notified that the builder would increase their help in closing costs bringing down my downpayment for the house. But wait there’s more! On the day of my settlement I was told that instead of my mom being on as a co-signer they would take her name off and then I was offered the first-time homebuyers incentive. But wait there’s more! As I was in settlement I received a check back because I overpaid on my downpayment!
God showed me that if I just had faith and believed in Him that he would open doors and give me what my heart truly desired. He showed me that something that took me 6 years to try and get he turned it around in a few months. Through it all I kept reminding myself, “If God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at the break of day.” Psalm 46:5.