I picked up my Hope key at Willow Creek Church on Mothers Day 2015.
At the time, I had recently sold my house because as a single mom, I couldn't afford it anymore. I hadn't found a house for my kids and I to move into following closing on the old house, so we had to live with my parents. Two months after we moved in, I was still looking for somewhere and was beginning to feel pretty hopeless that I would find anything in time to get them back into the schools they had been in prior to the move. I picked up that key, hopeful that at least it would remind me to keep Hope about my situation.
Shortly after I got the key, I found a house that I loved, could afford the rent and the kids could go to the schools they wanted to be at. I wanted to be in the house so badly, but I was so worried that I wouldn't get it. I took the key off, held it in my hand, prayed over it and hung the key on the front door.
The next day, I got a phone call from the broker to set up a showing and when we saw the house, the key had been moved from outside to inside the front door. I told the owner the story behind the key and when he asked if I wanted it back, I told him that I'd take it if it was meant to be for me to be in the house. If it wasn't meant to be, the key would go to the new renters. Two days later, I was signing the lease agreement and we were moving in a week later.
It's now late April 2016. The landlord decided to raise the rent $300/month and this house is now out of my budget. Back on the hunt, I found a cute house that is much less expensive and will fit my budget. The morning that I was taking my background check to the new landlord and letting her meet my dog, I felt like I needed to take the Hope necklace with me and give it to the new landlord.
I told her the story about the key and I was talking, the tears began to roll down her face. She told me that she had bought this house following her divorce when her son (who is now grown) was young and she was feeling so overwhelmed by everything, but was hopeful that this house would help her turn everything around. To her, the house meant hope. So not only was she crying, but her boyfriend and I are now crying.
She decided that she was going to give the key to the current tenants who are moving out. They are moving because they are youth pastors (with 2 little ones under the age of 3) and their church is merging with another church, they are moving to a different location and their housing stipend was being reduced. She thought it would be meaningful and helpful to them. I was so happy that she already had a new home for the key and left feeling uplifted.
I left from the meeting and went to church where I was serving. I told my team the story because they knew the history of the key. My co-leader was just staring at me through the whole story, not saying a word. (This is really not like her at all) She reached into her pocket and told me that she had been cleaning out her office at the church and found another Hope key necklace and thought she should give it to me! Too much coincidence for me, so I put my new Hope necklace on and started telling the story again. But, the story doesn’t end there….
Later that day, I called my new landlord to tell her the story. She told me that she had met up with the current tenants and told the wife the story about the meaning of the key, the history of the key and why I had given it to her and that she wanted to give this to the current tenant. At this point, the current tenant lifted the necklace out from underneath her shirt to show my landlord that she was wearing a Courage key!
So this is where we are in this story. There’s so much awesome coincidence, or fate twisted into this story. I am excited to see where the story leads. I was on the website and I saw the Let Go key and had to buy it. That is really much more appropriate for me right now, but I’m still wearing my Hope key. Just a gut feeling that it’s what I should be wearing right now. Thank you for your mission in making these keys.