Today, Pastor Randy of Life Restoration Church sent me a Facebook message inviting me to church service this morning. I immediately replied that I couldn’t come because I was moving my store. His response? “If you come this morning, I will send a team of young men to help you move today. And you can come to church, and get filled up by the Holy Spirit, get a word from the Lord, and get some help at your store today.” I immediately replied, Deal! Not because I expected anyone to help, but I figured that if he was that willing to get me to church, then God obviously had a word for me that I needed to hear.
When our lives are falling apart, church should be the first place we run. Me? I am hard-headed to the core. I try micro-managing every thing by myself. I become a doer. I think that if I work hard enough I can fix it myself. Of course I never do, and everything continues to fall down around me until I finally have to hand it over to God. Which I should have done from the beginning.
Growing up, I had to be tough. I learned to be independent and strong. It has gotten me through a lot of trials, but it has also been one of my biggest flaws. I don’t know how to ask for help. I just do it myself. Now ask me if I do it quietly or without anger? Nope, my feelings get hurt because people I love don’t want to help me. My anger just pushes me forward until yes, the job is done, but I am one bitter person. Did I mention I can hold a grudge? Like, forever? It is another one of those flaws I am working on.
After church, Pastor Randy messaged me and said, “Hey! I got about 10 men ready here!! Where are you?” I explained that he really didn’t have to help, I came because I knew God had a word for me. And he said, “You HAVE to let God bless you!!” Isn’t it amazing how God wants to bless us, but we are the ones in His way stopping Him? He was right, and I knew it. God can’t bless me when I won’t let Him.
Why is it so hard to hand things over to Him? I wish I could tell all you that almost losing my boys brought me to a place of total trust and faith. I am and always will be a work in progress. Did I mention that the message today was about faith? One of the things Pastor Randy said was exactly what I needed to hear, “The harder the thing is that you have to go through, the more magnificent your testimony.” God knew I needed the reminder. I needed to hear the words. Immediately after the accident God told me that He had a plan and a purpose for this happening. I held on to that Word and it helped get me through one of the most difficult experiences of my life. I knew then that what our boys were going through was for His testimony.
Someone reminded me this week that God is using me for His purpose. My story and my voice has helped others, and continues to do so. It seems like my dream of Vintage is ending, but God has bigger plans in the works. And that when you use your voice to give God the praise, the devil comes in to try to steal it. I refuse to shut up. I have said it from the beginning, and I still say it. God has done too much for my family to not get the praise He deserves.
Not just 10 young guys come to help, it was more like 20. They had trucks and they were ready to work! I had spent 4 days packing and moving what I could in the back of my Tahoe, and barely made a dent. What would have taken myself and Heather (who has been so good to me and agreed to stay to help me until the very end) 2 weeks to do took them a few hours. They literally moved my entire store with me. I cannot begin to express my gratitude.
While I was watching them fellowship with one another and moving furniture, God reminded me that what I was witnessing was church. Church is belonging to a family that loves one another. Belonging to a family of believers that loves people that they don’t even know. These people didn’t have to spend their Sunday afternoon in the sweltering heat to help someone they have barely met move. Yet they did, full of love and with no questions asked. They loved on me and encouraged me the entire time. And God did I need it! At the end of the day, they prayed with my husband and I. This group of young men are what church is all about. If you don’t have a church family, I highly recommend Life Restoration Church.
As I showed them the car that the boys were in the accident in so that they could see why we were having to close my store and move furniture, God reminded me too. My heart aches because I had to give up my dream, but I must have faith and trust in God that this isn’t the end. Our journey isn’t over. We still have a long way to go. We have had to make many sacrifices as a family, and I am sure there will be more to make in the future.
Do I wish that our lives were back to “normal”? Absolutely. Would I love to be without all of the stress I have endured for the last 10 months? You bet I would! But I also would have missed out on all of the good things that has come from the accident: Hearing Jackson talk about his trip to heaven. Watching God work miracles time after time. Learning to let go and allowing Him to bless me. Hearing from people who’s lives have forever more been changed because of our boys story. And having a group of young men show up to not only help me move, but to love on me when I needed it the most and to remind me that I should have handed it over to God from the very beginning.
Love and blessings,