Stories of Hope: Pam Zeigler2
Hope Weekly - July 30, 2012
STORIES OF HOPE: PAM ZEIGLER
Four years ago I had a well paying job and a home that I loved in Nevada. God had led me to a career in real estate in 2004. I was going through a divorce and had two teenagers still living at home. With the real estate boom I would be able to support them alone since their father was out of the picture. I started off as a junior agent working for a new home builder. That means I got paid less but plenty for us to live on.
I bought a house from that same builder from the proceeds of the sale of my other house, that we sold as part of the divorce agreement. I bought a small house, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. I had prayed and God helped me choose one that was within my means. I put more than 20% down and had extra going to principal each month in order to pay it off sooner. I decorated it as I wanted to for the first time in my life. I used bolder colors than my ex-husband would have allowed. I found things I really liked that I had never even explored before. I felt so comfortable in that home. “I loved it”, would probably be an understatement.
Then the real estate market took a dive. I was a full agent by now but we had very few sales. I was in a rural community and now people weren’t sure they wanted to live so far away from employment opportunities and hospitals. The once booming little town came to an abrupt halt.
During that time I pretty much exhausted my savings. Then the company I worked for put us on a draw. Yeah! We would continue to get a borrowed salary basically and when we had sales our commission went toward paying off the borrowed money. Everyone thought this was just a temporary, short lived, slow down. Except, it wasn’t. It went on and on. People started to panic. The company I worked for started laying people off. First it was construction and maintenance personnel, then administrative, then sales and management. I survived some of the lay-offs but I knew it was coming. I was a relatively new agent competing with ones that had 25 years experience in tough markets.
I had some decisions to make. I was going to be laid off in a rural community over 60 miles from civilization and with a mountain between us. I would have no means of employment; no way to make my house payment and no way to support myself where I was. By now my kids had left home so it was only me I had to worry about. I went to God in prayer. He let me know I was to move to Arizona to be near my mother. I would be in place when she needed me. She is getting up in years but she and my step-dad were active and well. This didn’t make a whole lot of sense but I had no particular ties since my children were scattered across the country so off to Arizona.
I tried selling my house-yeah right!! (I ended up short selling it after I moved to Arizona) I got rid of most of my furniture and decorations before moving here since I would be moving into a small apartment. That was difficult-all these things I had just found out I liked so well, but I had to do it.
Once here I found an apartment I really liked. It was small but comfortable enough and most of my remaining belongings fit in.
I started working in an entirely different field that God led me to. I make about ¼ what I used to and have no benefits but it is the most rewarding work I have ever done. So life is good but oh so different.
Well, remember God wanted me here in place when my mother needed me? Within a few months of getting settled in, my step dad passed away and my mother asked if I would consider moving in with her. I felt this was why God told me to come so I said okay. I still had a few months left on my lease but my mother was calling almost everyday with some problem so I decided to go ahead and move immediately.
I asked her which furnishings of mine she would like so we could integrate our households. She told me she liked everything just as it was including the bedroom I would be using. So I prayed some more and God said “Trust me”. I had been praying regularly for more faith (be careful what you pray for may apply here) so I got rid of all my possessions, all my “things”, except for my clothes, photographs and my dining room table since my mom’s was in need of repair.
This was one of the most difficult things for me to do. It was like I was giving my life away. I had nothing left. I had nothing to show for myself or my existence here on this earth. I already had problems with self worth and could just hear what my dad, who had passed away half a lifetime ago, would say.
But something else was happening too. My focus was changing. I felt God’s presence more than I ever had. I went to work and the special needs kids I worked with were so loving and their parents kept affirming how talented I was in helping their children. I was being loved and encouraged at every turn. I had no stress and found I had more to offer. And even though my earthly father may have been disappointed in me I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my heavenly father was there with me and proud of me.
Since January 2009, when God first led me to Arizona, I have grown into a much more intimate, joy filled life with my savior. I’ve had to rely on Him and those he’s put in my path. Over and over I’ve seen God bring just what I need into my life just when I need it. My faith and trust in God have grown tremendously. When you don’t have the distractions of this world to cloud your vision it’s so much easier to see God all around you. So I thank God for the blessing of losing my home, job, life, everything I knew and for giving me so much more.
And as a footnote, I’m not destitute. The home I live in is beautiful but it’s my mother’s. It allows me to keep focused on what’s important.