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Would Her Prayer for a New Home Be Answered?

She searched for a kitchen window view, and looked to God to guide her.

The painting that hangs in Betty Meisner's kitchen; Photo credit: Betty Meisner

Six years after becoming a widow, I decided it was time to leave the home in Wisconsin where I’d lived with my husband for 22 years and move back to Illinois to be closer to my daughter, Laura, and my son, Steve. It was a hard decision, and I sometimes second-guessed myself. At least Steve would be helping me search for just the right place. He remodeled houses in Illinois and knew what to look for.

The night I put my house on the market, I said a quick prayer. God, I trust that you are able to guide me to the right home. Then I added a secret request. One that has a window over the kitchen sink with a pretty view, if it is your will.

That was something I loved about my home in Wisconsin. The kitchen walls were covered in a dark blue wallpaper dotted with white, and just above the sink there was a window where I could look out on grass, sun and sky while I did the dishes. It gave me such peace. That’s why I prayed that the house for me would have the same kind of window and view. Then I’d know.

The next day, I drove to Illinois to begin looking for a new place, while my real estate agent did showings of my old house.

“This one looked good in pictures,” Steve said as we entered the first prospective home.

I poked my head into the kitchen. No window over the sink. This isn’t the one, I thought.

“Uh-oh,” Steve called from the family room. “Look at this floor.”

I checked for myself. Sure enough, the wood was warped. “And it reeks of cigarette smoke,” I said. My initial impression had been confirmed. This place was a no.

We continued our search. One condo was in a lovely neighborhood, but its furnace filter had to be changed from the outside. “I’m concerned that I’d have to come out here in the winter,” I said as Steve and I examined it. “I can too easily imagine myself slipping on those icy steps.” Besides, I added to myself, this one doesn’t have a window over the kitchen sink either.

The next condo we toured got too much hot western sun and had not a tree in sight for shade. “And the association fee is way too high,” Steve said as we left. Especially for a house with no kitchen window.

We planned to look at more houses over the next few days, but then I got a call from my real estate agent in Wisconsin. “You’ve got an offer on your house,” she said. “If you sign now, you can close in six weeks.”

I drove back to Wisconsin to sign the papers and arrange a moving van. Steve continued looking at places online and sending me listings. One evening, he sent me some pictures of an incredible condo. “Windows on three sides, fireplace, screened-in porch,” he wrote. He’d toured it in person. “I really think you’d like it, Mom,” he said. There were no pictures of the kitchen, and of course Steve didn’t know to look for a window over the kitchen sink. Still, I trusted his judgment. I made an offer sight unseen, and it was accepted.

My daughter, Laura, traveled to Wisconsin to help me pack. When we were done, we drove back to Illinois together. I walked into my new home for the first time on move-in day. I poked my head into the kitchen. At first I was confused, and a little disappointed—no window, no answer to my prayer. Then I noticed something. The previous owners had left behind a single framed painting, right over the kitchen sink: a watercolor of a window, which framed a view of plowed fields under a blue sky, a cozy cottage in the distance. I smiled. Was this the window God had meant for me all along? In the house where he wanted me?

I got my answer when I took a closer look. There, in the gap between the edge of the painting and the mat, the framer had used a dark blue border with white dots. The same pattern of the wallpaper that had covered the walls around the kitchen window in my old house.

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