“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:30-31
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A rainbow of cotton wraps around my feet, warming my toes and reminding me of friendship. A sign hangs above my kitchen window, telling me to “Abide in Him.” My boys sleep soundly in bunk beds made from wine barrel wood and I give thanks to God. All around this house, there is proof that Christ’s body is alive and active, caring for those who love him.
With pain and sorrow, we left a community skilled in caring for their own. The life was, at times, suffocating. The goal was that no one go without. The ideal was sweet and motivating. The reality, however, was not always so.
When we left, the voice whispered to me that my security was gone. He would have me believe that I could not survive in this new found freedom. “We are homeless and broke,” I wrote to a friend. Beloved was now unemployed since his employer was the leader of the group we left. Our future was not only uncertain; it was completely unknown and unimaginable. Standing on the ledge of a dark cliff, I only knew that the landing was in the hands of God. I was not afraid.
“They that wait upon the Lord . . . shall mount up with wings as eagles.” Isaiah 40:31
In Christ, you are always home. In his kingdom, there is always work to do. Completely dependent on him, we learned to trust and gained peace that passes understanding.
Our plan was to stay at my in-law’s home until they returned from camp. Then we would camp in our trailer, something we had been unable to do for two years. We hoped that we would have steady income before the weather turned cold, so that we could find a proper place to rent.
We soon realized that camping indefinitely was not going to work. Even after one week, we were quickly running out of money. The rain poured for two days and everyone was stuck inside, where I was nursing a migraine. Living in a campground quickly lost its luster. Beloved’s parents graciously allowed us to stay with them for the duration.
What a blessing it was, to be with this godly couple during the most difficult time of our lives. The five of us were cramped in one bedroom. The kitchen and laundry were shared by too many bodies. The bathroom was never clean. We desired to be a blessing rather than a hindrance, but I think we often failed. Nevertheless, we managed to get along without any major breakdowns. More importantly, we made some very special memories.
God continued to provide for us in surprising ways. Most of his gifts came from people we had never met. They had heard of our story and were compelled to help. Groceries were provided, as well as food from local farmers and gardeners. When the weather began to turn cold, people donated warmer clothes for the children. We received gifts of money and gift cards from people as far away as Texas and New Mexico. The moment my friend handed me a jar of coins and bills from strangers, I broke down in tears. I was overwhelmed by God’s love and faithfulness.
We were never alone. We were secure in Christ.
After seven weeks, Beloved still did not have a job. Our money had run out. He only had one bite out of hundreds of resumes he sent out. He went to the interview, but nothing came of it. We all knew that this was not an easy time to find employment. We began to pray about me finding a job. Perhaps, it would be better for me to work part time so that he could still dedicate his time to finding a full-time job. Just when I was about to start pounding the pavement, someone who saw Beloved at a funeral referred him for a position at the Humane’s Society. By the end of the week, the job was his.
The only thing we lacked now was a home. That was to come much later. God still had work to do and, as inconvenient as it was, close to family was the best place to be.
As I give thanks this week, I look back on the gifts mentioned above.
Praise God for his family which spands across borders,
Praise him for friends that need no introduction,
For providence and faithfulness,
For wrapping his love around his people in very tangible ways.
Praise God for the body of Christ!
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