The Time I Didn’t Win A Dream House

As we walked through, my husband must have seen it on my face because he barely asked if I wanted to buy a ticket. I told him to buy the winning ticket.

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Every year in the city I live in, several contractors in the area support St. Jude by building a dream home. Raffle tickets are sold for a chance to win the home and several other really great prizes. All proceeds go directly to St. Jude. It’s really an amazing fundraiser.

In the past, my husband and I have gone to the house and bought a raffle ticket to support the cause. We always laugh about how fun it would be to win and then forget about it. It’s always more about the cause than the house itself. Last year, we made a little date out of going to the house. We ate out and then went to walk through it.

My husband and I have been praying about getting out of debt. We have big dreams, and having no debt would allow us to live those dreams. For weeks before we walked through the house, I was feeling like we would never get out of debt. We have a plan and are slowly making progress—it just isn’t fast enough for me. I was starting to feel trapped by our debt and the slow process of paying it off.

The day we walked into the dream house, I fell in love. It’s hard to explain, but I felt at home. It wasn’t our style or color scheme, but I could see us in it. I could hear our children running around in the halls. I could see myself cooking in the kitchen. All of my dreams… I saw them in that house. Then I felt like God whispered to my heart, “I’m creative.”

As we walked through, my husband must have seen it on my face because he barely asked if I wanted to buy a ticket. I told him to buy the winning ticket. We bought one, and as we walked out… I believed we had bought the winning ticket.

As we drove away, my husband started to do the math in his head. We realized winning that house would open so many doors in our finances. It’s that moment that I figured out what God meant by His whisper to my heart. I realized that sometimes the way we think our dreams come true isn’t the plan God has in store for us. Proverbs 16:9 says this in the Passion Translation:

Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.

In my mind, the only way to pay off our debt is to stick to the plan we have created, but the reality is God isn’t limited to what we see in the natural. He could use a dream house to reset the course of our lives.

Now, let’s be real together. I totally believed I could win a dream house, but I felt silly telling my friends. It felt selfish and silly to pray that God would bless us with a 2,600 square foot house for free. However, all throughout the Bible, God shows us that He is a God of abundance—not just enough but more than we can imagine. It’s not selfish to ask God for big things, and it’s not silly to believe He will do it. I love what John 10:10 says in the Passion Translation:

A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!

I don’t think it is unbiblical to believe that God wants us to have a full and abundant life. He is a good God that wants us to live rich full lives. This doesn’t mean we should live beyond our means; in fact, we should be wise with our finances. However, it’s not selfish to ask God for more. It’s not selfish to pray that God provides big. John 10:10 says “Everything in abundance, more than you expect…” Honestly, I feel like God isn’t offended by our big prayers, He is offended when we don’t ask. The Bible says faith of a mustard seed can move mountains… why aren’t we asking for more mountains to move?

After walking through the house, we had about 6 weeks to wait. During those six weeks, my husband and I dreamed about where we would put our furniture. We talked about how nice it would be to have a 3-car garage again. My inlaws visited, and we walked through the house together. As we walked, I prayed over every room. 

One night as we dreamed about what could happen in that house, I realized how much joy I have lost in my wait. My husband and I have desired to be parents for a very long time. I want to be pregnant so badly; however, it wasn’t until we were dreaming about this house that I realized that pregnancy has lost its joy for me. I am so worried about getting pregnant that I have forgotten about dreaming about what life will be like when we have children.

I know not everyone who is reading this article is dreaming of having children, but I am sure there is something you desire. Something you are waiting on God for. I want to encourage you not to get so lost in wishing for the thing that you forget to dream about having it. When we are waiting with God, we do not have to be miserable in the wait. Dreaming with God is fun!

As I am sure you can guess from the title of this article, we didn’t win the house (or any of the other cool prizes). Honestly, I was devastated. But after I took a minute, I realized the lessons that God taught me haven’t changed. God is still creative. He said no to this dream house, but He hasn’t said no to being debt-free. I do not regret walking in big faith or dreaming big.

I believe faith is like a muscle. When we practice using it during the fun times (like believing God for a dream house), it’s easier to practice big faith in hard times (like unexpected storms). God is still a God of abundance. He said no this dream house, but it isn’t because He wants me to walk in lack. Finally, God is fun. Waiting with Him doesn’t have to be miserable.

Don’t forget what Proverbs 16:9 says in the Passion Translation:

Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.

Today I want to encourage you, as you make plans for your future, continue to dream big. Continue to pray big prayers. God is a good and abundant God. He hears every prayer you are praying, and He hasn’t forgotten you. Keep using your faith “muscles”—your faith will not put you to shame.



This is an updated edition of a post originally published on

Featured Image by Joshua Coleman

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About the Author

Melissa Forster lives in Missouri with her husband, Dan, and their adorable gray cat named Leo. She loves Jesus with her whole heart and loves following Him to a place where her faith is without borders. She collects llamas, t-rexs and grand adventures. Her favorite place to be is tucked in at home with copious amounts of coffee and a great book. Melissa and Dan have been struggling with delayed fertility for ten years and have two precious babies in heaven. Melissa writes from her heart about her (slightly dramatic) near death experiences, grief, joy and who Jesus is in the midst of all of it.