Story: Tearing Down Fences

February 18, 2015

Below is a story that was shared by Debbi, a New Lifer. The staff was encouraged to hear how she’s loving more like Jesus. This is just great stuff.

Got your own story to share? [email-obfuscate email=”stories@newlife4me.com” link_title=”email us”].


FenceWe have a house in an older neighborhood and had new neighbors who moved in about 5 years ago.  I’ll try to make this story short.  The first time my husband and I ever talked to the husband next door was when they first moved in and we told him that we were going to be putting up a 6’ fence on that side of our yard and wanted to make them aware that it was going to be happening.  (We already put up a 6’ fence around the other three sides of our yard to keep the deer out but didn’t do that side because the neighbors and us, as well as our kids all got along.)  Jump forward about 6 months after putting our fence up and we receive a certified letter from our neighbors requesting several thousand dollars in damages because of the holes that the fence put in their yard.  We originally put the fence on the property line and because the husband raised such a stink we had them move it in several inches into our yard…..  Anyway, after several months of certified letters going back and forth between us they took us to court because they didn’t want to accept our options for remedying the situation.

As it should be, the court found no fault of ours other than asking that we pay for the cost of dirt to be put in the holes.  We did not talk to our neighbors for years.  It was not a nice situation.  There was a big freeze between us and our neighbors.  We had been attending New Life for a while and I kept having this niggling as Brett would say that I needed to forgive the neighbors.  This was not an easy thing.  However I had decided to do it.  Something had happened in our neighborhood and I took that as my opportunity to talk to the neighbor.

Since that time the wife and I have talked every so often and she has supported me financially for two of my charitable walks.  This fall her mother died suddenly.  Knowing how close I am to my Mom, I felt that I needed to do something over the holidays.  After the Christmas Eve mass I took over an assortment of candy that I had made up.  It wasn’t much.  When I got to the door she answered.  We talked and I looked at her and said that we needed to hug.  She held on tight.  I felt that I made a difference.  If not much, but brought a little light to her Christmas.

Last week, her husband saw me outside and came over to me (it is the first time I’ve talked to him since we put the fence up) and he wanted to thank me for the candy.  He said that it really meant a lot to his wife.  It is nice to see that I could do a little something for her.  What a very long way we’ve come since I finally decided to forgive and move past our early history.

I know this isn’t much but I wanted to share.  New Life is such a great place.  I’m happy that my daughter and I have found it.

-Debbi

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