This is the county road which our lane turns off of, onto the gravel leading to our home. Believe it or not, once you get past the forest, there are farms with animals and corn and soybeans and...you know...all that "farm stuff".
As I mentioned before, it is hard to believe it was almost a year ago when we moved in our little house at the edge of the woods. After we finally realized my husband could hold a full time job again (and had to go on Social Security Disability), I wasn't sure I'd ever have a home of my own again. We had to use all of the equity in our last house to live on when he was out of work for so long. There were a couple of years we had no income at all...none. However, God is an amazing provider (and reminds us what really is necessity and what isn't).
God taught me a lesson in getting this wonderful, little house. It came about because we could not pay a utility bill so we had to go to the County for help. When you receive help from the County, they require you to receive financial advice from a lady at the Salvation Army. Well...I was quite upset over this. It was obvious why we were having to ask for help and we really DID know how to handle money. Sheesh... (Um...is pride a problem here...ya' think?)
As it turned out, the lady we talked to was quite a sweety and when we told her that my husband had been put on Social Security Disability, she handed us information about USDA loans for low income people. You see, it was still hard for me to consider myself to be a low income person...forever? What happened to all those years my husband studied in college to receive a Master's degree? What happened to the years he was an engineer? Why had God allowed him to progress to this point physically (and the illness affects him emotionally, psychologically...every which way)? However...yes...we were low income.
What I didn't realize at the time was how she changed my life by handing me that brochure about the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). You see, when we checked into the information, we did qualify for the loan and we did move into our house just a few months later. I talked about that process earlier when I talked about "Laying my Isaac down"...click here. God is still in the miracle business and I do have a house of my own again. Not only a house, but one I truly love.
I have to remember that when times are difficult. He does provide me a lovely life in so many ways. If you have read my blog long enough, you know the remarkable items He has brought my way at a fraction of what I'd pay full price (through Goodwill, garage sales, book sales, friends, family, etc.). There are days that do contain a struggle, this was one of those. I was already tense over a family situation, one whose genesis comes from my husband's health situation, how it affects every area of my family life. Then tonight I was doing some "blog hopping" while I had access to the computer and I came across a beautiful (and actually delightful) blog but the blogger's post for today was about people using food stamps.
I have to admit, it brought back all the pain of the past few years. These years of unexpected poverty and humiliation. For there are many who have never walked this path do not understand what it is like to go through it. To not have one penny in your possession to call your own. To nearly die because you do not have insulin. To have a constant toothache because there is no dentist. To walk into the grocery store, seeing all the lovely and delicious food but only having money for a half gallon of milk (and quite thankful to be able to purchase that). The good natured jesting we receive by friends about our car (which literally is holding together with duct tape...honest!). Thank God it runs, though.
As I ponder all of this, I realize the path God has had me on is why He calls me to write. For everyone on this planet is walking in a fallen world. For us, it is the death of a dream that started back when we were working to get my husband through his Master's Degree. Then the realization that the hoped for healing would probably happen the other side of Eternity.
But sometimes...Grace has broken through. It did a year ago, during the Advent Season, when we received THE CALL. The house was ours... The God who has said we must walk the road He has chosen for us has also given us a lovely little place to live this side of Heaven. We had a wonderful steak dinner as a Christmas present this week. I had the money I needed to lunch with friends this week, even if it meant doing without something else. I was able to purchase the much needed calendar, an early Christmas present from my husband. My son took me out with HIS birthday money. I was able to spend time with the King of the Universe...wow. When you stop to think of it, we're all just passing through. We can make it...with Him...with each other.