Monday, November 21, 2011
Helplessness is a terrifying thing to most of us. We resist it, deny it, and hide it at any cost, somehow it seems it is a sign of weakness of fallibility. And very few find they can endure its grip. The 'cliche God helps those who help themselves is frankly a bunch of hog wash! Well I guess if their were no God that statement would be true, then we could work up all the self confidence and self sufficiency possible and try to mange as best we could. But, since He does exist, and this "cult' of self sufficiency, the world or the media or how ever you want to word it, has tragically mislead us into believing, has ultimately lead us down a dead end street, and hasn't even given us the benefit or the option to say their might be a better way, another way. We weren't created to be self reliant, to be alone, in my own life the most miraculous things happened when I could do nothing for myself. I was helpless. No amount of self-sufficiency or self-confidence or self improvement classes or woo hoo dance could help me, I was completely helpless. I was terrified, I was weak and I was ashamed for my weakness. And I felt like a failure, especially as a Mother! I go back to December 2010. Just one more very difficult time for me as a parent, as I felt my anxiety began to grow as soon as Halloween was over, because I knew the 2nd week of November I would begin the decorating for Christmas. I had learned alot of lessons along this road and I had seen alot of ways God had provided for us, but I just had not arrived yet, but I don't think we ever really do or we would stop needing Him. I had read a scripture in Psalms that said, When I was hemmed in, Thou hast freed me often (an ole King James wording just simply and beautifully saying that when I was captive, entirely helpless, You have always freed me). I had learned over the past, previous year that when life "hemmed" me in was God's most loving, and I must say "creative", way of teaching me -- HE is adequate for my problem. Well, I went to the basement to get my Christmas things out and as I unpacked, I put Christmas music on and I sang and I skipped a lil, I even said thank you Jesus a few times, but in my heart, I was so angry and bitter and ugly inside. I had bumped into a Mom I had met at the kids school and she was telling about the special live tree she had ordered, and her kids list she had over half filled already because they were going skiing the week after Christmas and on and on and on. I was there buying toilet paper and paper towels and barely had enough to do that. I kept my composure but inside I felt like I had been crushed. My chest was tight and my breathing was shallow, like the air was thick. What is so funny, if you can call it funny, was that this person has everything, extremely wealthy, I'd say rich, but the one thing I had she didn't was an old 79 bronco, well low and behold she tells me she told her husband she wants a stinkin "vintage" 1979 bronco for Christmas! Are you kidding me!! Can I keep a little bit of my dignity, keep something that is just mine! I have been stripped of everything! I have nothing left. Or so I think. She had a $70,000.00 SUV and a $80,0000.00 car, geezeeeee! So I was not in the best frame of mind to be getting our decorations out. But just as angry and bitter as I was feeling I was feeling just as anxious and worried about what in the world we were going to do for Christmas. It seemed as though these mountains had opened up and swallowed us and we had been spinning powerless to do anything about it. Kenny had still found no work, outside of complete miraculous events, it was not even possible that we had been able to sustain our family without employment, still we had a roof over our head and food to eat. It still made no logical sense. That is a post in itself! Yet, when you are in the midst of these things it's hard to see the big picture, now looking back it is easy to say, oh I see the hand of God and how this worked out and that worked out, but at the moment it was just so, so very difficult. We were lucky to buy toiletries and gas, how on earth would we buy presents. Why even bother with the decorating. Why even bother with the tree and give the children false hope, our auto insurance was soon to be terminated and our cell was also to be turned off, which a phone in these parts of the mountains is a necessity. I kept telling myself, Angie dare to trust God, keep unpacking, faith is acting before the act not after. Ok, God I will proceed with decorating this ole' farmhouse as if I have all my shopping done and my tree is packed with presents. One little problem, we need a tree. So I went about decorating, getting my Christmas dishes changed out, the bathroom accessories set up and about that time the kids came bouncing in, faces lit up like they had seen Santa himself! Mom everything looks great! Thank you sooo much! You're the best! Let's have hot chocolate by the fire tonight! I thought ugh, I don't wanna sit and chat about anything I am too consumed with my own self pity, self absorbed, to think of anything, that is besides my feelings, my own family, and especially my own kids being without. The farmhouse we were renting had a hugh fireplace which was also the only source of heat for a very large 3 story dwelling. Well, we had no chain saw and no monies to buy wood. So to have hot chocolate by the fire was a luxury as much as a necessity. So everytime we had a fire that also bore on my mind as I would see our only source of heat dwindle down, which made our little time around the fire loose it's enjoyment. Another one of those lost moments, because I was too consumed with the "what ifs" to enjoy the now!!!. I was just a mess, mentally I was deteriorating more and more, as I would face another crisis I could feel my senses slip away a little more each time. It was a very odd thing, I could sense it happening but didn't know what to do about it, it was very frightening, and I didn't know quite how to tell Kenny. I would try to tell him and he would just seem to falter as to what to say or do, he was lost in his own dark corner. I am sure he knew, but was also frightened himself for me and felt helpless himself on what to do, so I just stop telling him. So we had our chocolate and the kids dreamed of the presents they would get and we went to bed. Kenny got a call the next day to do some work for a gentlemen, that honestly they didn't need, it was just to help us out. They wanted him to clear some trees out and maybe cut some down. When he got there, they said they would just borrow their sons saw, after some conversation and reconsidering, and I know now, God intervening, the husband said, Kenny we have given it some thought , I want you to go to Lowe's with my wife and help her pick out a saw, anyone you like! And you are welcome to keep it and use it anytime you like! So God had met our need for our wood situation, that very moment! I don't think we bought one piece of wood that entire winter. And our Jesse Cole, we call Coleman was in heaven, he got to spend an entire winter cutting and chopping wood with his Dad. I don't know how much fun it was for Kenny, but I know that boy loved it! It made my heart swell with joy, I would be in my kitchen baking looking out at them, Wyatt carrying wood, which was so good for him to be out, our home warm and safe, and again I thought God had I not been hemmed in, backed into a corner, I would not have seen you free us once again. God why had I not had enough faith to believe you would not let my family have enough heat for the winter? Why didn't I just ask for a chainsaw? I realized everyday I live by acts of faith with none, or very little, proof at all that these things are true, I believe in something and I accept it. I felt so ashamed as I stood there rolling my pie crust out, I felt tears form as I asked God, to forgive me, I said, God, I believe the kids Pediatrician to give them the right medicines, blind faith, I believe the pharmacist to fill the prescription accurately, blind faith, (one slip could be deadly in that case). Blind faith! I don't know that the pharmacist isn't a drug user, that she hasn't been up all night with a sick baby, God if I insist on proof first, my daily life would be chaos. So really our daily life among men is based on faith, so is it SO odd to live our lives around faith in the ONE WHO designed the universe. I came to this truth in a very hard and painful way when I left my child and they were hurt at school. I put my faith in that 4th grade teacher, that principle of the school, that superintendent, that school board, State legislator, Governor, Cabinet member,..... and my child was wounded and changed for life. At school. Blind faith in a system we all trust. A 9yr old that will never be the same. I was changed, I will never be the same, the pain over that child and what happen to him. I still don't know if I can, as of yet, sit down and put it into words, I am just to weak. I had faith that the teachers would protect my child, the principle would oversee the teachers and so on, and it still came out bad. You just can't insist on proof first, or you would drive yourself insane, where would it ever really end. I found myself at that dead end street with Emma, in her early teens, I shared how God healed me of the fear I felt when she left the house, daily, I went over every possible scenario that could happen to her, until I was in complete despair and panic, I couldn't sleep or eat, it was all consuming so it came back to the simple truth, Angie dare to trust me. Once again, Emma was out of my control, I had no control and He came to my rescue, He freed me once again. But, only in my helplessness did I need freeing. So as I pounded that pie shell harder and harder and the tears came harder and harder, I thought I want to put my faith in something I know is worth banking on, that has stood the test of time, not only through history, but in my own life as well. The same kind of faith as I saw in my poor, poverty ridden Grandmothers life. God, today I take heart, as imperfect as I am, I need You. So, I finished my pie, went to the Dollar General bought dollar gift bags stuffed them with tissue paper and put each of the kids names on them. Got various sizes of boxes and wrapped and labeled them with every ones names on them and piled them in the corner. Ok God, faith before proof!! Everyday the kids would run in from school gather all their gifts and one pile and just sit and talk and dream and guess what each box or bag might have in them. And I just played along, like they were full of everything they named! Day by day I would wear a smile and play along when in my heart I would cry out God, You are our only hope, You are our only source, I am completely and utterly helpless to help fill those packages, I need You. God You provided the warmth for this house I know You can provide the Christmas. Not only did that couple allow us to cut wood for our fire place but guess what we found? The biggest most beautiful pine on the property! When we yelled for Kenny to come see the tree we had found, he kinda stopped and looked at me, not knowing really how to respond, mind you, this tree was probably 40' tall. And it was perfect!!! It took all of us to drag it to the trailer and top it off and load it and we still had to trim it some more and Kenny had to actually nail it to the floor due to it's size. I would sit on my couch and stare up at that beautiful tree touching the ceiling of that massive barn we called home and marveled at how good and how big God was, and how little and small we were, yet how important and how He sought us out, the Bible says He searches for us, He searches for the broken in spirit, SEARCHES! I love that, to think, He searches after me, when I am broken in spirit, and, trust me, my spirit was broken. So one more night I lay down seeing God perform one more miracle in our families life. I get a call from the children's school the next day that I have a package at the front desk. That was odd, the kids had been there now going on their second year and I had never gotten a package before, I couldn't image what it could be. I had become very good friends with so many of the staff at the kids school, they had extended themselves to our family in so many ways, too many to even go into for sake of time. The guidance counselor was a particularly good friend of mine and she is the one who had called me. When she met me at the front desk she was kinda choked up and I could feel she was moved in a spiritual kind of way. She went to her office and came out with a huge gift basket and handed it to me. I stood there, still not knowing or understanding. She said the staff wanted to give this to you guys. I said, Oh, oh, ok,.. thank you, thank you so much and went to the car. I handed the basket to Coleman and suddenly Bella came running out and she had gifts they had also given each one of the kids. As Coleman and Bella began to look through the basket it was full of expensive chocolate, teas, cookies, bath salts, fabrics throws for each one of us and gifts cards for Walmart and grocery stores totalling over 200.00! I turned and looked and tears are rolling down Colemans face, he says, "Dad, why would a school do this for our family? I don't understand. They're not a church? They're not our church? I just don't understand?" You see we had been going to a church faithfully for over a year, and it seems we had become more important to our children's school than to our church. It so saddened me that my son, at 10 yrs old, knew enough to know that if charity came from anywhere it should come from the people who represent God. We drove away in silence, me thankful in my heart that God had showed up yet again, and in the silence Isabella says, "God, always provides don't He Coleman?" Yeah he does Bella, just when we need him. The next week we got a get gift card from a family member and the very next day a check from a parishioner we had in our church over 6 years ago! So I was able to fill everyone of those empty packages I had under the tree.
Posted by Angela Marie at 8:15 AM