Sunday, August 30, 2009

"God Has You Covered"

This is a story that I've wanted to share for a while now, but I was just waiting for the right time....and after this morning, I just feel that God's wanting me to tell it. It's very personal, and it comes from my heart. I just hope that maybe it can encourage someone who is feeling as if the world is closing in on them, as if they are losing the battle....

In 2007, Dan and I bought our first house. It was September actually, and we were so excited. We were expecting Jaden at this time; in fact, I was about 7 months pregnant when we signed the papers to close. I was working at our church's (a previous church we attended) Christian school at the time, and my husband had his computer shop in Mountain Grove. At the same time, we were desperately trying to get the house remodeled before Jaden came. The house was in pretty bad shape; the owners before had let animals in the house (and the animals had done "their thing" all over, it seemed); there were fleas and evidence of roaches and mice; it was, honestly, in nasty, filthy shape. We (Dan, Jacob, and myself) were building new cabinets, putting new trim in, painting all the rooms, remodeling the bathroom, scrubbing and cleaning every surface, putting in new flooring; putting in a new kitchen sink; you name it, we were working hard every single night and day so that we could move in. I remember people telling me I needed to go home and relax, put my feet up (since they were literally the size of grapefruit). We didn't stop, though; determination had set in.

This one particular night I was on my way home, and Dan had already gone on home with Jacob. I was going to go do some work, but for some reason, I went on home instead. This actually turned out to be a great blessing, because if I had gone and worked, I might not be here today. It was about 1am when the phone rang. We were all asleep; I could hear it ringing in my dreams, but I guess I just thought Dan would go get it; but he didn't, and it kept ringing. My first thoughts were that something had happened to someone in our family; at that time my nephew was getting ready to undergo major surgery to remove the tumor/s associated with his neuroblastoma. So, I finally dragged myself (and my big belly) out to the phone. I remember hearing a man's voice on the other end of the line, asking me if we owned an old Jeep Cherokee out on Top Road. I said yes we did, but I wondered why he was asking me. Had someone stolen it? We had it sitting at the new house. Then he gave me the news that just made me want to sink to my knees. Our house was on fire, and when I asked him how bad it was, he said it was pretty bad and that we needed to come as soon as possible.

Well, you can just imagine what happened then. I went and hurriedly woke Dan and Jaden up; all the while I was crying, almost hysterically. I was sure I'd go into labor early. Keep in mind this was November now. I just remember throwing some kind of clothes on and jumping in the car, and we sped to the church to give Jacob to our friends so that he wouldn't have to see the house. Then I remember driving to the house, and from the hilltop road we were driving on, I could see the red flames in the sky.....I just remember crying and asking God, "Why? Why?" Dan was in tears too, but he was holding out some kind of hope. As we approached the house, we could see that there was nothing left....all of our hopes and dreams and hard work was gone....just like that, gone. I remember sitting on the front step, just miserable and at a loss to say anything or to even move. One of the firefighters came up and got me and wanted me to move away from all the smoke because of the baby.

At this time, I looked over in the driveway, and I saw something that made me so angry....there was a gas can (not ours) laying in the driveway. Come to find out, the screen door (which was melted, but we still had the hinge from the top) had been propped open in such a way that you could tell someone had forced their way in.....whoever had done this knew what they were doing because they knew how to light that fire in such a location and way that it would burn quickly. We still, to this day, do not know who burned our house down, and we don't know why. We suspect it was meant for the previous owners, but we're just not sure. We also suspect that the investigation is a possible cover-up....but again, this is all suspicion.

I share this because over the past couple of years, I've had my angry moments. I've questioned God and wondered why this happened to us. It's been a major struggle for me. As our pastor talked about this morning, I was in the pit. I was in that valley....and it was something I was hanging on to. Now, though, (and my husband came to this realization a lot sooner than I did), I can see the hand of God in this, even this, such a terrible thing. Thank God that we weren't there; the firefighters told us that if we had been, we would most likely not have gotten out. I thank God too because His provision has been at work; He knew that we had bitten off more than we could chew in buying the house. If we had kept on, we might have lost that house; we couldn't have afforded those payments. Thank God. Thank God. This is what I say now. Thank God. Even though my character may not have initially passed that testing, I thank God now. I also thank God for my blessing that came 3 days after this fire, a little early, but healthy as could be. Our Jaden entered our world at a time when we thought hope was gone....but actually, he gave us hope.

I'll leave you with this. As our pastor said this morning, "Don't let Satan put a period where God put a comma." That period that I'd been letting Satan hold over me for the last couple of years is gone, and in its place is the comma that God has longed to put there. What is next? That is what I'm asking now because it can only get better. God is in control, no matter what you may be going through. He truly is; give that period up to Him, surrender it; and let Him place a comma in its place.....I'll end with another choir singing the song that we sang this morning in the choir; it brought tears to my eyes and a healing to my soul, and I hope that it inspires and encourages you as well.

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Penny August 31, 2009 at 7:22 AM  

Thanks for sharing this. I've been trying to make autism a comma for years now...

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