My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Friday, August 7, 2009

if Britney Spears could turn her life around, anyone can!

The past year has been amazing. Incredible. Unbelieveable. A Dickens-like "best of times and worst of times" roller coaster ride. Such heartbreaking disappointment. So many stories of how God has picked me up, dusted me off and set me back on my feet. And another one of those picking up/dusting off experiences is happening for me again.

I've been operating from a deficit for so long... truly, I don't think there's been a single day since I left Jacksonville (and before then, even) that I haven't had some financial disaster looming over me. For every crisis, God has been faithful. He has given me my daily bread. I haven't missed a meal. The lights have never been cut off. We aren't homeless.

People talk about "being broke" and I know... that for most of them... they don't really know what it's like to have no money in savings. Or retirement. To have no credit cards to fall back on. When there's no money in your checking account and the cash in your pocket is dwindling and the piggy bank has been shaken dry. To mentally plan out the remaining meals you can make from what's left in your pantry and to be sure to not waste an extra mile in your car to make sure you have gas to go to work. This is not a "poor me" paragraph. It's just what's it's like some days.

But... wow... how many times have I been there and found manna from Heaven? Michael's generousity when I moved here in taking care of the deposit and first month's rent (and pet deposit *snicker*) ... and numerous - NUMEROUS times that a childhood friend has bailed me out and made sure we had what we needed and stood in the gap for me... money from a stranger via UPS... a very unexpected gift from my grandmother... On paper, there is no way I could have kept the wheels on this little wagon over the past year but yet... here I am. The pantry is full (the fridge needs a little restocking but... that's for tomorrow)... the lights are on... the car is still in the driveway... I have a job and have been able to get up and go to work every day. God is good.

Yet. It is a juggling act. With the loss of child support over the last three months and the additional costs due to the wisdom teeth and the bronchitis, CT scan, extra meds... And Austin REALLY in need of clothes, shoes, school supplies... it wasn't looking good for me to keep things going through the month of August. I wasn't SCARED. I wasn't DEPRESSED. I was completely calm and at peace. And I asked for help.

And once again, God came through. Bigger than ever. My rent, car payment and power bills are all being paid this month. I have been given the gift of a cleaning service to help get my house in order... there is help buying clothes for Austin. The gift of financial counseling from an older couple in my church that I love and trust. Hope. It's hope.

And I share this not to brag on how loved I am... for surely, there are people who struggle every single day who do not find the same blessings and I don't know why God continues to bless me. Of all people. I certainly don't know that I deserve any more than anyone else. But wow... what an amazing feeling to have nothing. Nothing. And yet have the complete confidence that God will provide everything I need. And. He. Does.

God places in my path - almost daily now - people who are hurt. And discouraged. And scared. And who are facing their worse thing. And like I always say - my worst thing might be financial struggles. Someone else's might be illness. Or loneliness. Or loss of a loved one. Or... their kid not making the cheerleading squad. I've learned not to compare. It's all relative. You can only know what you know. I find myself in a place to have compassion for these worst things, regardless of where they fit in relation to my worst. And they come to me... for advice. Me. The girl who was out of hope.

The lesson I have learned and what matters most is that God is enough. Whatever the need - He can meet it. And this is what I tell them. And God keeps adding to my testimony. These great needs exist and they get met. Inspite of myself. If I never had a problem, I would never know that God could solve them.

I guess most people would rather not had the problem in the first place.

But if I had to go back to the crossroads moments in my life and remake the crucial decisions that propelled me on this fateful journey... there's no way that I would give up the things I know now that I wouldn't have known. Despite what it seems to have cost me.

In the last year I have cheated death. I have chased butterflies with my niece on a warm fall day. I watched the same little girl score her first soccer goal. I painted faces at her birthday party. I sang the Backyardigans theme song with her. I have been to Babyland General and spent hours holding baby dolls. I have watched my son fall in love both with a town and a girl. I have watched him learn the books of the Bible and gain an understanding of God that he never had before. I have made friends. I have been hugged. I discovered Beth Moore. I have finally been able to become part of a church and had the opportunity to worship. I have had good health insurance and good health care. I have watched the sunrise behind the mountains on my way to work and watched the sunset behind the mountains on my way home. I have breathed the freshest air and eaten the freshest vegetables. I shared thanksgiving dinner with a class of kindergarteners. I got to watch my niece enjoy the redneck water slide on Field Day. I got to help my niece dress for her baptism and I got to dry the baptismal waters off of her precious little freckled face. I have had glitter three inches deep and a busted watermelon in my backseat. I have had countless lunches at La Cabana and North Georgia BBQ in Helen. I have spent beautiful sundrenched lunch hours reading my bible in the parking lot of the Walmart in Cornelia. I lost a laptop. I gained a laptop. I have laughed. I have cried. I have had a life that just one year ago I could never have believed possible.

Yes. There are days that I'm lonely. There are days that I feel sorry for myself. There are days that I mourn for the people I've lost and the time that I've lost and the life that I thought I had and didn't. I want to be well. I want to have a savings account and a retirement fund and security. I want to be thinner and not have this stupid cough. I want my boys closer and my house cleaner.

The point is... if Britney Spears could turn her life around.... and if I could find happiness after unhappily ever after... well, there's always hope. And i want to point out that I haven't found happiness in another man. Or liquid courage. Or in having a perfect life. Or the perfect job. I haven't found happiness in wealth. I found happiness because every single day for the past year, every time I thought hope was gone. It wasn't.


sober white women said...

I often tell people that I don't hate my ex. He actually did me a favor. If he not treated me so crappy then I would not know I a good man. That is how and you look at life. If we had not had it so bad, then we would not be able to see the good times.
For the record. I have a little in savings and no retiremnet. I still have no paid for Ambers book, for her college class.....

Anonymous said...

Amen . . . to have hope is one of the best gifts the Lord could ever bless anyone with . . .

stasha said...

oh wow Aunt Heather. I. love. YOU. You are seriously the strongest woman I know! You are such an encouragement to me!

mawmaw said...

God is good, always good. I love you

mawmaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
moshell's lilbit of space said...

The only thing perfect in this life is the Love of Christ.

We are to just strive and have FAITH. Things happen for His reason, within His will, in His time.

Love you Heather......