She asked me how I was doing and I told her about the letter we received in the mail last week. The one to Gene from the lovely disability benefits company saying we owe them over forty-five hundred dollars. The secretary was even nice enough to bold the numbers with a comma assuring our attention.
Forget the fact that Gene has lost his job due to three 6 plus hour surgeries forever fusing not only nuts and bolts, but pain into his body. Forget the fact that he can't stand long or even sit through a whole church service. Or has trouble lifting more than our grand babies weigh. The surgeon released Gene to return to work because "it is my standard procedure for all patients 3 months post-op", not taking into consideration this patient has to have a toddler close to the ground help him put his shoes on or that he is unable to perform any of the duties at his job prior to April 2008 when this all began. Forget the fact that his work couldn't/didn't hold his position and he has no job to return to.
But last week after reading that letter from the disability people who have their jobs to go to everyday and who gets a paycheck every payday, I couldn't forget it because their kind letter informed us that the June check, the one to pay our mortgage, wouldn't be mailed to us. This letter came the day after Gene had gone on a job interview and had that knowing feeling he didn't get the job before he was even back in his truck. He was so down, which if you knew my husband, until all this back stuff started didn't have the word "depression" in his vocabulary. But as he told me the night before the letter arrived, "I just want to provide for my family and honey, I feel less than a man right now". And as if to confirm his lack of being able to bring home even a strip of bacon, the letter arrived.
So as I'm standing in the kitchen with this letter of doom in my hand, my heart is aching for my husband sitting at our kitchen table and my mind is trying to mentally go through our check book. And as I'm taking the grocery money and putting it toward mortgage, in my mind, I said, "Lord, we can't even feed our kids next week".
That's when God stepped into my heart and let me know, the disability people Lelia...NOT your provider.
My cell phone rang and I answered.
When Alivia was just 5 years old she started participating in what is called the "Pre-school Problem Solving Study". We had received some information from her school and it sounded interesting so when she was in kindergarten we began the adventure of going down to the university for a few hours twice a year for them to observe her doing different testing always in a game format. She loves it. Once in the spring and once in the fall we go down there as she plays games and I sit in the waiting room filling out enough paper work to wipe out a forest.
But this call to set up this year's spring testing was different.
It came during the attempted entrance of fear into my heart as I stood staring into the empty fridge worried about my kids. "But!" the chipper college girl on the other end of the line said in her voice that revealed no worries of how she was going to feed the hungry, "We have to do the study in 2 days this time instead of just one. Can you come in on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week?"
"Yes", I said, with tears in my eyes, "We'll be there".
So yesterday, Alivia and I went to the study and today we go back. And as we drove to the University I explained to her how God was using her and how way back in the day when she was young, He set this up because "for such a time as this" He knew we would need this study in our lives. "Cool!" was her response with such a beautiful smile splashed across her soft brown cheeks.
See, every time we go in, after the testing is complete, the college girl lets Alivia pick out a prize of her choice and hands me a gift card to Wal-Mart. Usually it's fifty bucks. This time though, for such a time as letting one worried Mom know Who her One and Only Provider is...it's one hundred dollars .
$100.00 of grocery money at Wal-Mart.
Thank You Jesus is all I could barely whisper as I closed my refrigerator door and put the letter on the counter. I felt as if He were giving me the tightest bear hug ever. In my kitchen in the middle of Lincoln, Nebraska.
Thank You Jesus.
As I'm sharing this with Charlene last night, the tears came down her beautiful face. As we held hands, I said, "In the world's eyes, neither one of our families or marriages should have survived what we both have gone through over these last 2 years. I know though if I didn't have Jesus, our marriage wouldn't have survived any of this". She nodded in agreement, but what she said to me next about God was a statement that forced my tired self to lie wide awake in the dark last night next to my unemployed, somewhat disabled husband in complete peace.
"It's a good thing that He has us.
We don't have Him, HE has us.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
He has me.
Today. Tomorrow. Tonight.
As long as I let Him, He has me.
No matter what, I want to let Him.
I need Him and desire Him.
Not because He gave me a Wal-Mart gift card, but because I've done life without Him and I don't want to go back to that. Ever again.
Does He need me? Not at all, but He has me.
He has me and I pray He has you too.
And the fact that never wavers that I cannot forget is that God...
He is bigger than all of this earthly mess. And so worth any part of being uncomfortable, unemployed but never unloved or unnoticed.
This morning I read Lysa T's blog post titled Because He asks me to that put my husband and I both in tears. You have to read it, you just have to.
Click here and go...