“So Mom, are we going to be street people?” questioned my eight year old son.
He was astute for a third grader. Blonde hair, curious mind, industrious and thoughtful would best describe him. Fidgeting with something in his hands, always something in his hands, he waited expectantly for my response.
What could I say that would be true? This new reality was shaking me at my foundations, yet I needed to reach out in comfort to these dear children who could not comprehend how their father’s departure would rock their secure little world.
I searched my mind for ideas. What were we going to do? We all knew that this house belonged to the church for the next minister to live in, so with their dad resigning as pastor of the church and leaving us to “pursue his own life”, we knew we could not live their indefinitely.
Four months earlier, my parents left as full-time missionaries to the Republic of South Africa. They were at work at a college there. My sister, Diana, and brother-in-law, Don, loved about an hour away and had their own two little ones to raise in a cozy farm house, nestled in citrus groves. There were five of us who needed a new home. So, where would we go next?
I looked at Nathan and gave him a hug. I love to ruffle up his hair and then smooth it out again. Such a sweet face looking up my way. Lord, help me through this moment and give me the grace to stay calm and trust you.
“Look at the birds of the air and see how God has given them beautiful feathers to fly. He keeps them warm, protects them, and there is plenty all around in nature for them to eat. Nathan, do you think God loves you more than a little bird?”
“Yes, I know he does,” he nodded. His eyebrows remained bent quizzically.
“Then don’t you think he already knows where we will go next? Do you think that he is getting a place ready for us even now?”
“Yes, but Mom, you don’t have a job! If you get one, then you will have to leave us all alone! What are we going to do?”
“First of all, I am going to get quiet and pray so that I can hear what God says to me about this. Then we will carefully wait in faith and see what doors open up. This way, we will know God is taking care of our needs.”
I usually like to pray about things, but I had to think on my feet for this one. I needed some time to figure many things out for myself. Who should I go to? Where would we live? How could I afford to care for these beautiful children the way they deserved?
I wanted to be at home and be the one caring for their needs. I could not help but get angry about leaving my precious charges to babysitters. Children need stability, love, and kindness. At the ages of two, six, eight, and ten, they were young and impressionable. They needed a solid foundation to stand the test of time.
My mind swirled round and round. I was transported from a simple life full of family, chores, cooking, and happiness to problems too complex for my troubled mind to solve. My heart raced, as fear chased to imprison me.
I called to get my haircut by a woman who worked out of her home and she told me how she and her husband were moving from their four bedroom rental home, just two blocks from the Rio Hondo schools. She suggested I call their landlord. So I did. After he heard my story and plans for college, he lowered the rent and only charged me $200 a month. That was the hand of God. That I could afford.
The children were elated to have God provide such a large house right in town for us to live in. Believe me, I was as grateful as they were to have this opportunity fall into my lap. I knew Nathan was relieved, but as an adult, I was as well. So thankful my heavenly Father took care of us all.
But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit. So look me in the eye and show kindness, give your servant the strength to go on, save your dear, dear, child! Make a show of how much you love me so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed, As you, God, gently and powerfully put me back on my feet. Psalm 86:11b (MSG)