Life has never been easy for me. When it has , it never lasted long. Then I feel as if somehow it is MY fault, like I really blew it, that God gave me all that I wanted and the human side of me just squandered it and well I deserve where we are at in life this very moment. I am not saying that for a pity party, it is simply how I feel. I struggle with that....daily. The what ifs , the if I could go backs.
Just three years ago we lived in a lovely home that we owned 100% and it was decorated to the hilt with Christmas decor and filled with holiday joy and cheer. We had many friends that stopped in, sent cards , and made "Happy Holidays" calls. We had food to spare, and our table was abundantly clear of that. Life was good. But somehow, for some reason we could not see that.
Two years ago, we were back in our home state. Had taken a leap of faith and gave up a lot of security to get back to California , buy a home I had swooned over for months on the internet. A lovely gray cottage with white trim, and complete with a front porch. It was smaller, but it was our dream space and we would during the time of living there work on it to make it ours. It felt like home. Oh sure there was drawbacks and it took a lot of money to fix things up, but we truly felt blessed to be able to have this home and be back in the state we loved.
Last year, well we had lost our home. We had lost everything. But we had faith that God would provide and we rented an apartment and we made it feel as much like a home as we could. We embraced the new life....well tried our best to. Enjoyed the new area of town we lived in and took advantage of the ease of not having fix it chores. We made the best of the smaller Christmas celebration we were having, the gifts under the tree were not many, but it was things we bought and revived with love. We looked forward and had faith that the year ahead was to be a better one. One where we could get back on our feet , regroup. Instead it was a struggle, more than ever, living pay check to pay check and cutting back on things we loved to do and have in our lives, but we made it, God seemed to provide , be it through my husbands pay check or help from friends and family. Then it seemed that life was to finally turn around. Sure it had taken a real toll on my health , but I was dealing as I always do, with preserverance and determination. My husband had found a job with a salary plus commissions , not just commissions. Surely things would be better. That lasted a month.
This Christmas ,well if you have been reading, despite the better job , things are worse than ever. We had our identity stolen, our bank account cleared out. It would seem from the investigation that the bank is not going to find in our favor. I still hope the email they sent was a basic one and they do not tell you for sure, the letter is due to arrive any day now with the findings. It has been a slow couple of months at my husbands work. He has barely brought in much over his base salary. But we kept praying for God to provide, tried best we humanly could to keep the faith. God came through. Friends and family stepped up. My husbands work gave us a gift card for Thanksgiving and with the 25.00 we were able to get quite a bit of food , combined with cutting down to just basics as well as going to the Dollar Store, we were able to buy food, pay bills and pay the rent with just enough left over for a cup of coffee out and a treat to go with it. But we are thankful to God and those that he moved the hearts of , that we were able to do all that. It helped strengthen our faith in the good of people, and in God.
Yesterday, we had an appointment with a local church. I had contacted Salvation Army for help, but had gotten turned down. We needed to be basically getting shut off notices and we were not ready to let that happen. So I email the pastor of a church within walking distance of our apartment. He passed our letter to the Compassion Ministries. There was a hopeful email sent to me that they could help pay our utilities when they came up due again, perhaps even help me find dental care for free . My faith soared. I was humbled as we had always been the ones to give , to do these things for others when we were part of a church family..it was hard to ask and even harder to accept receiving, but I figured God was providing , it was pay back in a way for all the things we had done for others in our lives. We walked to the church with tears in our eyes, but hope in our hearts. It was especially hard for my husband, he is a proud man, he has had to humble himself many times this past couple of years and it has taken a lot out of him. His hands shook as he filled out the papers. His face fell some when we sat in the office of the woman who was to "interview" us. Tears filled his eyes, and his voice choked as we shared what was going on, our past good doings and continued faith that it would all come back around. The woman, very polite, but seemingly all business like flatly told us there was no money to pay utilities. We sat dazed, as this was not the same person we had made the appointment with I could not even say " well you said there was in your email" . She then said , we can give you a box of food if you like. The air went out of us. Mind you we are grateful for the food. We will use it and even though there is a few things ( always are) that we would not , we will pass that on. It will fill the basics for making sandwiches and a few side dishes...it is items we might not have bought on our own past the peanut butter and jelly, but we are grateful all the same. I must say while we walked home our faith meter took a bit of a dip. We felt let down. I had been feeling led to this church, guided by God to reach out. To not ignore the door that was open to us. But walking home with the box of food and a prayer to send us on our way, I was not feeling faithful, but simply numb.
This morning however, I made a point of thanking God for what He had provided, thanked him for the beautiful morning. Thankful for the few dollars I had on me to buy a hot coffee and be able to sit outside and people watch in the warm sun of the crisp Autumn day. I thanked him for making it so for now we have food in the cabinets, even if not our favorite, for the ability of paying the rent and the bills for now, and for all the wonderful people online that have supported us with prayer and good will. I promised him my faith would continue, even if right now it is a bit low. For keeping the faith, even if the size of a mustard seed , is the only thing that is keeping me going right at the moment.
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there" and it will move.