Monday, May 10, 2010
I hear this song as though God is singing it to me. As though He is begging me to have just a little bit of faith in Him. He's been loving me all of this time, expecting nothing in return, just for me to have a little faith in Him. While I questioned Him last week, when my road was very dark, I still clung to my faith, weakly. I would love to say "I knew all along that God would provide," but I can't, because I didn't. I felt despair and anger and a sense of loss, and my emotions took over my faith, eclipsing all of the times in the past He has provided for me. I was blind to His love for me, only seeing what my current reality was. I wasn't seeing the big picture, in which He is my Father and my provider. But He knew that, and He brought that doubt to death in me, through His perfect ways.
I will start at the beginning, because this story deserves to have every morsel told ~ it completely glorifies God and my hope is that it will encourage others to just have a little faith, please!
As of one week ago yesterday, I had $13 in my bank account, my oil tank was empty, my gas tank empty, my electric was scheduled to be shut off, my car was uninspected, I had no insurance, my rent was late, I would owe my babysitter $200 for the week, and I had very little in the fridge to feed three mouths. The blessings began this very day, but I didn't even recognize them to be such. That day my Mom took me and filled up my car with gas. The next day she scheduled oil to be delivered to my home. She is our angel that walks right next to us, wings free and flowing! But I had been too ashamed to let her know my electric was going to be shut off, so thank you for the oil, but I won't have hot water either way. Our electric was then shut off Tuesday, and Wednesday when we woke up, I knew that we had to leave. The food in the refrigerator was already going bad, we had no hot water to bathe in, and the night before had proved a bit scary with no power.
I called out of work that morning because honestly I just didn't have it in me to put on a face that everything was ok, like I had for so long. I slept for most of the day, only waking here and there to try to talk to God, knowing He was where I needed to turn. But the lump in my throat kept catching me up, and prevented any real speaking. I was so overwhelmed by despair that I couldn't conjure the words. But God had known of this day long ago. And I had been praying for months now that He would provide. He knew, and I was too defeated to repeat myself. I finally mustered up the strength to call my cousin, in tears, and ask if we could stay at her house, for at least a few days. She welcomed us with open arms, but that did not take away the sting when I asked the kids to pack their bags, letting them know we had to go for a few days. When they asked, through tears of their own, for how long, I could only whisper, "I'm just not sure, but we'll be ok because we have each other and God loves us." Even though at that moment the doubt overwhelmed. How could He love us but let us struggle in this way? Why? Again? It wasn't long ago that we were being evicted from our home, or that we moved 5 times in 7 months, living out of bags until the last stop. It wasn't long ago that we had left their father, my husband. It was still too fresh, to alive in our memories. And it wasn't fair. We had started over and created a home of our own, a home that we didn't want to leave. We have taken so many steps toward God to walk away from our old ways. But yet, here we were, leaving. My chest burned with tears in my heart.
And another day came, oblivious to the fact that we were suffering and hurting. And with this day came the flood. It was Thursday and I couldn't stop crying. I sat at my desk and I cried. I cried for me, I cried for my children, I cried for what has been lost, and I cried out to my Father, wanting to know why He had foresaken me and mine. My mind maintained that there was a reason for His allowing this, but man my heart was wounded. I think what hurt the most was that I was full of doubt. I doubted His love for me in this moment and I doubted his provision for me. I doubted my faith...and that pained in a way I didn't know to be possible.
Yet, I knew that I needed to reach out, and I needed to be honest. So I ate a very, very large piece of humble pie and I wrote about what was going on. Angrily, I wrote. Saddened, I wrote. Humbly, I e-mailed, begging for prayers that would lift my family, that would give me the strength to endure when I felt I couldn't go on. I then went on, to my Elijah House class, still full of tears and grief. The leader took me aside and she helped me find some clarity and reminded me that my Father is my provider, infusing a super-natural strngth into me that I had missed so much. Ahhhh, there was the love. To be loved and then feel that love is lost...I had felt empty and lost. I knew at this point that no matter what, God loves me and He loves my children. I knew that we would be ok and we would get through this, stronger yet.
Several people in my class had read my e-mail and blog, and offered encouragement, also reminding me that my Daddy will provide. And provide He did, in ways that I still struggle to comprehend. One woman in my class presented me with a gift that will forever remind me of this night. It is a beautiful bracelet that speaks of His love for me, of His children's goodness, and will forever bring me back to this night when He showed me He will always provide, abundantly and overflowing. The leader of the class then stepped in front of the group and she gently explained to my peers what I was going through. Her words fell around me and I sobbed, not because I was ashamed. I knew that not one of these beautiful people would judge. I sobbed because I didn't want to be the person she spoke of. But then we prayed, and I knew that what was happening was in fact for my good, and again that it would be ok.
Her words inspired and people gave. They gave love, they gave strength, and they gave money. By the end of the night, when the offerings were counted, all we could do was stare at each other in amazement. Not only does God love me...He REALLY wants to bless me. Through his children, He gave me over $2000....this is where the words fail me. Did that really happen? Yes, yes it did! And I did a dance of joy, and I hugged, and I cried tears of joy. And I was humbled. Beautifully, completely, absolutely humbled. In just the way He desired. I knew at that moment that I would never question Him again as my provider. What an awesomely incredible moment. But He didn't stop there because He is a Father who loves to give!
Friday morning afforded me the precious gift of sharing with my children what God had done for us, and I knew in that moment that they would never again question God as their provider ~ let the magnitude of that sink in for a minute, because it still has me in awe! Their faith is set and to see this as their mother was completely glorious! Then as I came to work, I was overwhelmed with e-mails from people wanting to help and give and lift and strengthen. This spoke volumes to me, and reinforced that, although I had stumbled, my Father loves me so much and will not let me fall ~ in fact, He's giving me wings to fly!!!
All told, since the darkness lifted and light is surrounding, the following has occurred:
~ Love was given, and received! Many witnessed our Lord's power!
~ My electric bill was paid, and power restored to my home ~ my children and I will never again take being home for granted!
~ I have a stunning bracelet that is physically on my wrist but truly resides in my heart!
~ My children and I woke up in our home on Mother's Day and we celebrated each other, knowing we are loved by the one who created us!
~ An hour long conversation between the three of us ensued, diving into the depths of God's love!
~ A conversation was had with my husband that softened my heart and his!
~ I will meet this week with some of God's people who can help me with my finances, hopefully preventing this from ever happening again!
~ My best friend sent words that reminded me of how far I've come and how far God is taking me!
~ My car will be getting inspected this week!
~ I will have insurance as of this week!
~ My children will have bunk beds by this weekend!
~ My cats will be neutered and given shots this week!
~ I have money in the bank and can get caught up on my bills!
~ My refrigerator is full of people's love that will nourish our bodies and our hearts!
~ I have spoken to, met, and been encouraged and prayed over by people who God is so strongly placing in my life that I cannot question the divinity of it!
~ I will give back, in many ways, in any way I am capable!
~ I have learned what it means to ask and to receive!
~ My faith in God has been strengthened even further...
I want to thank each and every person who has reached out to me and my children in any way shape or form! Your love has been felt and I can't tell you how much you are loved in return! I thank you all for being obedient to our Father and for lifting up his broken daughter. Healing is rampant these days and so much of that is due to my angels who walk beside me. You are helping me and my children go heavenward & that my friends, is a truly beautiful thing! My love abounds and will help many because of what has been given here. Thank you my lovelies ~ blessings, blessings, blessings upon each of you!