GOD’S PATH

Editor’s Note: Following is a page from my spiritual journal.

God can be subtle and slow in showing the way to follow His will. In my process, He has brought old friends and new into my life. Finding my Indiana condo is an example.

Trailing that unfocused thread, that led to finding my Indiana condo, I turned back the clock to 2010.

I had just finished the writing part of my first book, An Accidental Pilgrimage. The next task was to gather permissions to use stories and names of various characters. One I contacted was classmate Greg Wisler. As teens, he and I took turns driving to South Bend for allergy shots.

I mailed him a copy of the chapter where he appeared and a letter. “…Please read over this story and consider allowing me to use it in my book….” When I didn’t hear back in a few weeks, I called.

Always more of an action guy than reader, Greg admitted, “I haven’t read it yet.”

Always on the go, Greg was difficult to reach by email and cell phone. Before long, I was instead chatting with his upbeat wife, Ann. She acted as our go-between, and the story OKed.

The next trace of this thread was 2012 and Goshen High School’s Class of ‘62 Reunion.

The dinner/program country club room held more than a hundred classmates and spouses sitting at white cloth-covered tables. A video snapshot composite from high school days flashed on a high screen at the front. The room buzzed with conversation as I moved from table to table, saying hello. I found Greg and Ann sitting behind a table near an outside wall. I leaned over to greet them.

Ann and Greg Wisler

Ann and Greg Wisler

“Hi Greg!” Slender and blond, Greg personified the strong, silent type. He grinned. I turned to his wife. “You must be Ann! Nice to finally meet you–live and in person.”

Dark haired Ann showed a happy smile. “Good to meet you, too. It was nice e-mailing and chatting with you.”

The next time I pick up a piece of the path, the calendar is turned to November of 2014. That month, I rode Crossroads Tour’s “Amish Bus” north to Goshen to attend a luncheon friend Carol arranged for a dozen of my high school girl-pals.

After eating, we clustered around the table and exchanged news. Wearing a stylish blonde stripe in her short hair, girlfriend Tonya shared a recent event. “I’m buying a condo in Goshen.”

My interest perked. “Where? … Who are you working with?”

Answering both questions she said, “Off College Avenue. With Ann Wisler. She found me quite a deal.”

Ann Wisler? I know her!

Later during that trip, I called the realtor. “Hi Ann. It’s Fritzie! Tonya tells me you are helping her buy a condo. Can you look for me, too?”

Her reply had a cheery lilt. “I’d be happy to! What are you looking for?”

I knew what I wanted. “A condo with at least two bedrooms and two baths in the southeast part of Goshen.” I added a general price range.

After talking to Ann, I drove to Michigan where I spent ten days visiting my sons and sipping coffee with friends. During quiet hours, I searched the Internet and studied MLS for-sale listings Ann sent.

Toward the end of my time in Michigan, Ann called. I grinned when she said, “I have three condos to show you. When will you be back in Goshen?”

My Indiana schedule was tight. I had one afternoon free before climbing back on the Amish Bus and rolling to Florida.

Gray painted the skies. Temperatures hovered around 40 when I parked at the first address Ann had

given me. As she stepped out of her red Dodge Charger, snow fell lightly, dusting piles already plowed from the street.

A thrill ran through me when I toured the condo’s rooms. It’s perfect! Perfect! Except for the price.

Standing with Ann in the wood-floored living room, I asked, “Might the owner take less?”

Ann paused. “There’s already an offer on it–but I don’t know what that is. It’s a legal matter. I can’t know.” She paused, her brows knit in concentration. “You might be able to buy it if you make a full price offer–or higher.”

As Ann explained how the multiple offer system worked, I deflated like a party balloon that suddenly lost its helium. It’s almost twice what I hoped to pay. Did God bring me to this one? Should I go with the asking price? How can I ever swing the cost?

I shook my head and said to Ann, “I don’t know….”

She nodded. “You can think about it. We have two other places to see.”

The other condos paled beside the first one. After seeing them all I said, “I want that first one, but I just can’t afford it.”

Ann nodded. “It’s hard when you really want something. Let me know if you change your mind later. We can make an offer until midnight.”

I nodded, but reality’s heavy foot was squashing my dream house. I didn’t call Ann.

The next morning I boarded the bus for Florida. Riding to Florida I wondered, “Why God would show me exactly what I had in mind, when it was out of my reach?”

As God’s overall plan develops, it can be inscrutable.

Frances Fritzie

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