From Homeless to Hopeful-My testimony
I can’t remember too much about the months leading up to that day. But I DO remember that specific day. I can remember sitting in my car and crying “God why would you let us fall this low, so low that we now need (heavy sigh)… food stamps? Is this what you really want for us?” As I wipe the tears away, sucked up what little was left of my pride, and decided okay then, you’re going to lead us through this. I’m choosing you right now, I’m choosing faith.
In that moment all I could think was I’m scared God, but I’m trusting in you. I decided that I was going to be brave, not because I really was, but because my family needed me to be. There in that car, I had no idea that what I surely thought was the last devastating step for us, was just the first down the road to homelessness.
To accurately finish this story I’ve got to start all the way back at the beginning. My husband (then boyfriend) and I were together and living the married life for about three years. Completely outside of God’s will, we tried to build our own foundation upon our own sandy ground. We loved God, but we didn’t need to do things His way (or so we thought). So we didn’t. We got a home together, and we stretched ourselves to be first in each other’s lives for so long we ended up wearing each other out.
We separated and I was devastated. Then I started praying. I began asking God into my life in a deeper way. I closed that chapter and I didn’t look back (again, or so I thought). For the first time in my life I had finally put God first.
Well as it goes, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). We reconnected and fell into that old trap and tried to rebuild our lives on our own. Oh, but this time was different, we would do everything exactly the same, but this time we would invite God along. So foolish we were. Then came our son, shortly after we finally married. Looking back, I can see that long before all of the struggle of trying to be each others first, God set something in motion; something that unfortunately, we tried to take out of his hands and do for ourselves. We always knew we would marry, but we forced it out of order. However, God was going to see His plan through. And oh, how I’m grateful for that!
Shortly after having our son and getting married, we both lost our jobs due to the market crash. We held on for a bit, going on public assistance and trying desperately to make money come in. But then the inevitable, we had to give up our home and for a few months we hopped around, staying with family members. Times were tough for everyone then, and we felt that we were becoming a burden. It was finally time to release and let go.
Another day I’ll never forget, the day when our full and deep relationship with God was about to begin. This was it…time to go. So we got in the car and start driving. Only problem, there was finally nowhere to run to. My last ditch effort was to call a shelter. When I did, I heard “sorry, we’re completely filled up, there’s no room for your husband”… BUT GOD! I refused to accept what I was told. I declared to God “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know you won’t separate this family”. So we just drove. I couldn’t have known, but at that same moment something was happening behind the scenes. I don’t know the details, I just know that we pulled up to that shelter and there was room for all of us. From that moment, we declared our trust in faith every time devastation tried to present itself to us. Though the battle remained, we knew we would make it, we knew we were walking in our future testimony.
Rebuilding on solid ground
From the moment we stepped in that shelter we could see God everywhere we turned. Doors opening, love flowing, grace extending, His favor was everywhere! After leaving the homeless shelter we spent a few years linking up from one service to another as we regained our footing.
I never had a doubt that God was leading us, I was just scared of every little step, and of not knowing how far down this road God would have us go. However, that fear of the unknown is what God was trying to rid me of. He wanted me to understand that He was in control and opening the doors. There was nothing we had to do but trust.
Through all of this, we’ve realized we had it all wrong from the very beginning. God had to shake and ruin the sandy mounds that we tried to build our house upon, because He needed to be the foundation of our lives. We had to let God write our story and be brave enough to embrace our journey instead of fighting it. We went from scared, embarrassed, and confused to trusting, sure, and confident
Before our journey I was just a girl who knew of God. After, I’m a woman in love with Him.
Friends, if you would LOVE to hear more amazing and encouraging ways that God has showed up in situations that seemed hopeless, you’ve gotta check out what Sarah is doing over at Hill of Zion (oh and check out the magazine, your’s truly was invited to write the above post for the Fall 2017 “A Season to Rise” issue).