That Time We Moved House – And Then Got Burgled

This is not the “We Bought A House” post I had planned to write. That post was going to be about endless packing, and househunting headaches, my plans for a veggie garden, and why moving when pregnant is not such a brilliant idea. Maybe I will still get around to writing that post, but not today.

This is the “We Were Burgled After A Week” post I never imagined writing.

We moved into our new house on a Saturday. The following Friday, I returned home from a quick trip to Makro and noticed the gate was slightly open. I stepped out the car, and then saw the front security gate and door were open. We had only been out for 45 minutes.

“Why aren’t we going in?” the girls called from the back seat. I didn’t answer. I phoned my dad, then Jacques, then the police. My parents live 4km away, and I knew my dad would get here first. I didn’t go into the garden until he arrived, both pitbulls in tow.

The burglars had used a crowbar to break open the security gate, then pretty much ripped the lock out of the door. They didn’t take much – my jewellery box (mostly filled with cheapish stuff of sentimental value), my wedding and engagement rings, and two pairs of Jacques’ takkies.

That Time We Moved House - And Then Got Burgled
Goodbye, pretty ring. 🙁

The police were surprisingly quick to respond. “Oh, we were just down the road,” they said. “Yours is the third house this morning.”

The girls had no idea anything was wrong even though I wouldn’t let them in the house, Grampa had brought the dogs, and the police were here. It was only when I called Emmy inside for a nap that she saw the pieces of wood on the floor and asked, “What happened?”

Angie, once she understood what had occurred, was most concerned that I would forget I was married without my rings. I assured her that it was something I would remember, and she started asking questions. “Why do people steal?”

The simplest answer I could think of was, “Because they listen to the devil’s voice instead of God’s.”

“But why? Don’t they know God?”

“Maybe no one ever told them about Jesus.”

Her response blew me away. “Then we need to find them so we can tell them about Jesus.”

That was her reaction to the burglary. A desire to find the people who had broken into our home, stolen our things and left the house in a mess, and share the gospel with them.

I just looked at her for a moment, and as her words sunk in, I realised I was not angry that we’d been burgled. Sad for the loss of my rings, yes, but able to forgive the burglars, and even pray for them. And I know that was from God. In the midst of what could have been a really terrible day, he spoke to me through my daughter.

That Time We Moved House - And Then Got Burgled

Because, you see, as much as these burglars need Jesus, so do I.

The next night, Jacques’ car was broken into and a few CDs were stolen. As we waited for the police to arrive, it struck me that this wasn’t coincidence. God led us to buy this house for a reason; I believe he has a purpose for us in this neighbourhood – so of course the enemy is going to do whatever he can to attack us and distract us.

I was reminded of this verse: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” {2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)

I’ve been singing the Sunday school song based on that verse all week. Love for one another, power to overcome, overcome the enemy …

The other verse that resonated with me was the one I had picked for us to memorise this week – about a month ago when I was doing lesson planning. “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:20a ESV)

But what good came out of this?

As a result of the burglary, we’ve gotten to know a lot of our neighbours sooner than we would have otherwise. It’s not just the general “good morning” wave. It’s afternoon chats, and exchanged cell phone numbers, and the guy across the road checking on us when he knows Jacques is at work and we’re alone.

We’ve also decided to adopt a dog sooner than we had planned – and in the next week we’ll be welcoming Tyson into our family, a sweet black lab currently at the SPCA. Who knows how long he would have stayed there before being adopted, or if he would have ever been adopted, if we hadn’t felt prompted to find a dog?

And we prayed for the salvation of the people who robbed us. I don’t know if we’re the only ones who ever will, but those prayers would not have been spoken if they hadn’t stolen from us.

They meant evil against us, but God meant it for good.

Are you able to find the good in the bad things that happen?

PS I also had a checkup that week  – it’s a boy!

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