Several years ago, I was a married, stay-at-home Mom with a wonderful four-year-old daughter. One day, my husband of 14 years made the decision to pursue another relationship and left our home. That’s when I learned to depend on God as never before…
Brokenhearted, no job, a distraught child needing and depending on me, shattered dreams… the list of upheaval to our lives was long. It often left me questioning “how did I get here”?
For about six months, I was a substitute teacher while trying to secure full-time employment. Substitute teaching is sporadic, so some weeks provided no income for our home. I remember juggling overdue bills and not being able to purchase meat or drinks when buying groceries. We ate canned items and only drank water. I also remember being so thankful just to purchase toilet paper. There is SO much that many of us take for granted on a daily basis.
Even as I type this, I know that I have little concept right now of striving for basic needs. What was a short-lived season in my life is a long-term reality for many. This is why I am very grateful to work for Desire Street Ministries…a ministry that is dedicated to helping people in these situations.
One Sunday during this season of my life, I remember fretting on the way to church over how I would purchase gas and groceries that week. I had just enough gas to get back home from church that day and no money for groceries. I attended church with some of my family at that time, and on this particular Sunday, my Aunt placed $25 in my hand when I arrived at church. I was so thankful for this blessing and was already calculating how I could divide it to cover needed groceries and gas for the week.
Then something unexpected happened. When it came time for the offering to be given during service, I felt God directing me to give the $25. I struggled inside knowing that this $25 was mine and my daughter’s only money for food and gas (and for toilet paper!) But no matter how hard I tried reasoning internally, I placed the $25 in the offering. I remember my Aunt looking at me with a questioning look… I shrugged and said that I felt God wanted me to place it in the offering.
Later that day, my soon to be ex-husband brought our daughter home from visitation. When I opened the door for them to come in, he promptly walked to the kitchen counter and slapped down some folded up bills and walked out. When I unfolded the money, I counted $100! It was four times the amount I had given in the offering that morning. We had more than enough for food and gas that week! What a blessing from an unexpected source! You truly never know how God will work.
I would like to be able to say that through that experience I now have super-faith on a daily basis, but I don’t. One of my biggest struggles is fear, but when I remember the many times that God has been faithful, it helps to build my faith and trust in Him. Sometimes in the hardest times of life, we know the presence of God the most.
I remember how precious His closeness was to me during what was one of the hardest times in my life. The below verse became dear to my heart and I pray it often for others now when they are going through a difficult season.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
By Michelle Simmons
Photo credit to Matthew Wiebe/Unsplash.com