Monday, June 09, 2008
The rest of the story
A lot of amazing things have happened over the years but the events surrounding our move from Muskegon to "home" still have us shaking our heads. For you see, we had reached a time we had to move. Just as in leaving Detroit, the house we were living in would no longer be available so we had no choice but to leave. Unlike when we left Detroit, we knew God was calling us back "home". We faced a move with no income and little money.
We were able to get together enough money to rent a U-Haul (which held half our stuff) and a storage unit to hold our belongings here at home. We drove that load (along with our car packed with stuff) to the storage unit and returned back to Michigan... a very long drive. We arrived home to pack the remainder of our belongs into the U-Haul (leaving behind many items we could not fit into the U-Haul) over the next day or two and then made way for home and to the storage unit.
Now, there were a few challenges along the way. First, we didn't have any money to stop for food on the way and this was a long drive. Second, uh... we didn't think we had enough gas to get the U-Haul all the way there. However, we knew this is what we were to do and the circumstances forced us to make that trip.
As we were getting ready to back out of the driveway, our neighbor came running and knocked on the car window. As Christopher told it, he was a "Harley driving, long haired, biker dude". We liked him, we had shared with him how God had been so faithful that year (his sister was a Christian... he wasn't). However, he had no idea that we were penniless. Imagine our surprise when he gave us a $100.00 bill because "something" told him he should do it. Money needed for gasoline and food... provision from a rather unusual looking angel (whom I still pray for).
It also so happened that our Jewish friends were on vacation someplace in the world for the next week, I think that may have been the year they went to South America. So after unloading our "stuff" with just a couple minutes to spare before the storage unit would close, and not much longer before the U-Haul would cost us more money which we did not have... we got everything unloaded, dropped the U-Haul off, and stayed the night at our friend's house. Actually, we stayed there the rest of the week.
From there we had just enough money come in for the three of us to rent a hotel room... one week at a time. Christopher stayed a lot that summer with our friends, until their boys started school. We watched God provide time after time, including the day we were a half an hour from having to leave the hotel room when money arrived from an aunt in California. A gift she "thought we could use".
That particular saga ended when my husband found a job at Lowe's and we found out we had received a small inheritance from another aunt who had passed away months earlier. That was when we moved into the townhouse and we were there for a couple of years before God opened the way for us to purchase our lovely little house in the country. (Oh, that townhouse... I cried when we moved in because the neighborhood was so terrible and it looked awful on the outside but we made it warm and cozy on the inside and God used us to share with many, many people those two years... in that neighborhood.)
It was while living in the townhouse that we realized the time had come for my husband to apply for Social Security Disability. We were told you rarely receive it the first time you apply. His medical background was so obvious that he did get put on Disability right away. Getting the monthly checks to begin was another matter but it eventually worked out.
That, my friends, is the "rest of the story", and the saga Christopher chose to share as he spoke to his fellow graduates and their families. His message... that God will provide in their years ahead even when times look bleak. As one graduate's father told us later, "The lessons he learned went deep and will stay with him forever".
Now, I can't say it was easy for now we can look back and see how everything fell together. It was a very difficult time in our lives. When we were living through it, one day at a time, we were in the midst of the heavy fog of the unknown and it was there we learned to hold onto God's character, even if we did not understand His Will in our lives.
That is why I believe we are to do our best to prepare for hard times but I have no fear for what is ahead. He is still in the miracle working business. :)