When I was a young girl, we lived at the top of a mountain in West Virginia. We were far away from city lights or street lamps. In fact the only light at night was this big security lamp my great grandmother (who lived next door to us) had mounted on a pole. For fun, the family would sit outside and watch an owl swoop down after his prey, exciting, I know! When that bright light was turned off, you had an amazing display of stars but on nights that were overcast, where you couldn't see the stars , the night was so dark that you could almost reach out and touch the darkness. They say that you can only truly appreciate the light after you've experienced this kind of palpable darkness. I can attest to the truth of this.
I left our story off at the darkest of dark times in our lives. I had reached the very bottom of my soul and put out a fleece before God. "Prove yourself to me. I don't care how but do something that I know only you can do." This was almost four years after we moved to Virginia. In the next six months things went from worse to desperate. We could not afford the house we lived in the suburbs so we moved into a sketchy part of Richmond (something I swore I would never do), I was working and running the kids to all their different schools and daycare centers. We stayed away from home as much as possible. The school the kids were in was so poor that they didn't even have books. We had lived less than fifteen miles away, for four years, and every student had a laptop provided by the school but here the kids didn't even have books. It was a very eye opening experience, to see first hand the inequity of our education system.
After we had been there about four months, the kids got a 24 hour bug. They all bounced back quickly except for Sam. He just got sicker and sicker. I was bringing him to the doctor every other day. He was sent to the ER twice and then admitted to the hospital. They couldn't figure out why he was so sick. His oxygen levels kept dropping. The second night he was in the hospital the machines all started beeping, I shook him and couldn't wake him up. The nurses came running in with a crash cart. I was praying and trying frantically to get him to wake up. Finally, after the doctor and nurses worked on him for a while, Sam woke up. The next day they discovered Sam had pneumonia, two ear infections and his globulin E levels were off the charts. The doctor advised us to move away from Richmond. Sam had a severe allergy to mold and mildew which is everywhere in Richmond, which was originally a swamp that was drained to build the city. This allergy caused him to develop asthma.
A week after Sam was released from the hospital, I came home to find out the landlords had lost the house to the bank. We had to move out with 60 days. That very same day Usarian came home with an announcement, his employer had "promoted" him to a salaried position. That sounds amazing but in truth it was a $15,000 pay cut because much of his pay was based on overtime. We were already not making it, we could not take a pay cut. Within two weeks we found ourselves in the position of needing a new job, with a child who needed us to move from the area and soon to be homeless. Talk about stress!!
Usarian put in his resume everywhere. He had companies expressing interest from Washington state to Washington DC. He did interview after interview, and even flew down to Houston for an interview (the job itself was in Dallas). They assured him the job was his so he put in his two weeks notice at work. We rented a little U-Haul trailer and determined to take whatever would fit. As we were packing, he heard back from the company, they had hired someone else. Now we had to make a choice. We had already put money down on a house to rent in TX but now we had no job waiting for us. Should we go in faith, leaning on the word God had spoken to my heart years ago, 1,300 miles from any family or friends? Should we stay, move in with my parents and try to find something in the area, where we had family support? It was an agonizing decision to make. After much prayer, we decided to go.
We left with almost nothing. We brought a washer and dryer, one bed, our kitchen table (no chairs, we couldn't fit them), the kids toys, clothes, a TV, our family pictures, and some of the most important kitchen items. That was all we could take. We drove for three days and had to stay in a hotel for the first few days after we arrived, waiting for the house. I remember when I walked into the house for the first time, I cried. It was beautiful and perfect for our family; 2,700 square feet, four bedrooms, in a wonderful neighborhood. I prayed the day we moved in "God, we have enough money to get through two weeks. Usarian needs a job by Monday." Two days after my prayer, his recruiter called him with an interview on Thursday, at a private bank. The recruiter warned him that they were slow to make up their minds, so he probably wouldn't hear from them for a while. Friday evening, ten minutes before five, he received a call, telling him he was hired. He would start Monday, at three times the salary he made in Virginia!!
We went from nearly destitute and homeless to a huge house, in a wonderful neighborhood, making well above any salary we had dared to dream of, in one step. That doesn't just happen. That was God.
God had heard my desperate cry and proved himself above and beyond anything I had ever imagined. Every time I soak in the huge garden tub, in our master bedroom, I am reminded about our journey here, a journey fraught with heartache and peril, an amazing, miraculous journey, that took us halfway across the country, and I am so very grateful.
My friend, I don't know if you are at a place of total desperation, where there looks to be no way out of a hopeless situation. I don't know if you are at a place where you desperately need a break through, where nothing short of a miracle will make a difference. I do know that if you cry out to God, if you lay yourself bare before Him in all your brokenness, pain and anger, He WILL be faithful to answer you. It may not be when or how you expect it, it was six months after my prayer that I saw God move, but He WILL move. Take heart, He has not abandoned or forsaken you.