Sunday, April 10, 2011

Walking in Faith

Mr. Bill and I were engaged for 4 years. It took us one month to meet, fall in love, and promise to spend the rest of our lives together and 4 years for us to work through the issues that needed to be worked through before we made it to the altar. Well, if a table in a coffee shop in a county courthouse can be called an altar.

Now, it would be lovely if I could say that all of the issues were his, and that I was issue free. It would be lovely, but it would be untrue, and the truth is important to me!! Mr. Bill had what we referred to as the practice wives. 3 of them. I was the 4th Mrs. Bill! Mr. Bill was the first and ONLY Mr. Esther! We were in our late 40's when we met, so we had a  lot of miles between us, relationship wise, and those miles came with lots of baggage.Baggage that had to be opened and looked at and sorted through, with the detritus left behind us.

One of the things that is most surprising to me now, is the issue of independence. I was a very independent woman when we met. I had to learn to allow someone else take care of things. I had to learn that I could depend on someone. One of my major issues is that I do not ask for help. I have never been able to ask for help. I learned in my childhood that asking for help was unwise, and that there was no one I could depend on to help me. So, I grew up knowing that people were not to be depended on, not to be trusted. By the time I met my husband I was pretty much set in my ways.

So, Mr. Bill crossed the street, and we spent the next 11 plus years learning from and with each other. I learned to trust and depend on another human being. I learned that it was OK to allow someone to know me better than I knew myself. I learned to love and to be loved.

But, I am still learning to ask for help. I always think, right up to the last minute that I will come up with a solution. So, I put off asking for help until it's too late. I just know that God has a plan, and that I will hear from my Creator, telling me how to fix it. It has always worked that way.

I have always been blessed in my life. Even when times were tough, God has always provided for us. When my son was small, it seemed that we had miracle after miracle. I love to tell the stories of God's provision.

One of my favorite stories is the one we call "The toilet tissue story" We were down to our very last roll of toilet tissue. Now that seems like a really small worry in the grand scheme of things, but to a single mom raising a special needs child, sometimes its the small things that matter. We put the last roll of toilet tissue on the holder, and I knew that I did not have the money to buy a package of toilet tissue. I would  not have the money until the first of the month, and it was the 20th. 11 days from payday. So, as I placed that last roll of toilet tissue on the holder I just gave the problem to God. Every day for 11 days, I looked at that roll of toilet tissue, and every day for 11 days, that roll of toilet tissue appeared to remain the same size. Now I know that was not possible. I knew it wasn't possible while it was happening, but it never grew smaller. Until payday, when it seemed to go from full roll to empty roll in a matter of moments. I have shared our toilet tissue miracle many,many times over the years, and people look at me funny every time I share it. All, I know is that to this single mom, that roll of toilet tissue represented God's provision in an amazing way.

Another of my favorite stories from that time in our lives is the story of the Christmas Cards. As Christmas got closer and closer, I did not have the money to purchase gifts for my son. So, once again, I gave it up to God. The other moms at the bus stop would ask and I would tell them I was waiting for God to provide.Sometimes it is hard for people to understand that. When you choose to walk in faith, it often looks unrealistic to those around you. As the days of December counted down, I knew that they thought I was crazy. But, I just kept telling them that I was not worried, God would provide for my son to get what he had asked for.

 On December 23,  I walked to the bus stop to meet my son. It was December 23rd, and I still did not know how, but I knew that God would provide.On my way to the bus stop, I picked up my mail. There were 6 envelopes in the mail box that day. I carried them with to the bus stop at the end of the street, and as the other moms and I waited for the bus to come, I opened my mail. I opened a card without a return address, and in the card was $70 dollars in cash. The card was signed, A Friend. That was all. The other moms and I were so excited, as I showed them the card, and reminded them that I knew God would provide. Then I opened the next card, in the card was $70 dollars in cash. That card was signed simply With Love. I shook as I opened the last card. In the card $70 dollars in cash, signed Santa. Of course, I was crying tears of joy, and tears of amazement, as I was able to share with the other moms God's amazing provision.

So, here we are again, waiting for God to provide. I have had to overcome my issue of not being able to ask for help, a lesson that Creator has been trying to teach me for years. Mr. Bill tried to help me learn it, but he was killed before I got it. So, I am still working it out.

They turned off our gas yesterday, so we do not have hot water or heat right now. But the choice was between the gas bill and medication for my son, and to me the choice was obvious. I am a single mom again, a widow with a special needs child. My child is no longer small, but he is still my child, and we are still waiting on God's provision. Faith is a choice, not always an easy choice, but a choice nonetheless.  So, all that's left is for me to watch and see how long the roll of toilet tissue lasts this time, because I know that in God's time our needs will be met.

I'll let you know how it turns out!

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