Thursday, April 02, 2009

Look What God has Done! Part 2

In the first portion of this blog, I shared about how God sent me my best friend and Sister in Christ to help me rebuild a lifetime of destruction....Now, as the late Paul Harvey would say...I bring you...."The rest of the story"

.....I tried working in hopes to get my mind off of the brokenness I was suffering and have an income to help pay the bills. It was a nightmare. I was unable to come out ahead after paying the sitter and gas. I couldn't find a good babysitter and there was always trouble. I could only work part-time and make minimum wage. I started on Welfare and medicaid. I was very dependent on others to help me in so many ways because I was unable to help myself. God provided.

When child support seemed to be coming in regularly, God opened the door for me to attend college full time. I received my associate's degree with honors in 2004. I began working part-time again because my kids still needed me at home. I also kept the house running full-time while running around to church activities, camps, soccer practices, play practices, basketball practices, PTA meetings, and so much more. All of this running around and involvement with my kids was possible because my best friend believed that my kids needed their mom and did everything she could to help.

I volunteered with a local abuse recovery program for almost 5 years and ended up with a few surprising public speaking engagements as a result. God used me so unexpectedly and has brought so many into my life who's shoes I have worn out myself in the past. I know their pain. I understand their struggle and what they need more than anything is for somebody to understand...and offer them hope. I can do that now.

After getting my first degree, I decided I wanted to explore some culture. When I was in school I began painting. It came so easy. I never knew I had it in me. Shortly after that I was getting paid to paint murals in a local school. I also became active in community theater, landing a couple of decent roles in musicals. All along, Sue had begun playing in the symphony and I had my first experience with that as a guest of the orchestra! I also ended up seated at the table with a state representative! Oh the pleasures I have been indulged with...the plunder...that my loving Father just gave me. It all belongs to Him!

With each passing year, God has chosen a particular area, a focus in my life to stretch and grow me and my framily. Through all of it He was also growing Sue by leaps and bounds as well (and I promise did not come easy)! There were so many dark times...times of utter hopelessness and despair. So many people with opinions tearing us down at every turn. But we continued to trudge through. Sue stuck with us through the worst of times....determined to see us grow.

In 2007, God called the kids and I on our first overseas mission trip. He provided for us to go and have the experience of a lifetime in Albania! I always knew I was called to missions...but my whole family? That in itself is another blog entirely! We got to minister in prisons and in neighborhoods; and ministries continue to grow from our time there. There are people and faces from that trip that I will never forget.

In the fall of 2007, I got my first full-time position and began going to school again. I was able to secure medical insurance and get off of government assistance. Shortly after I began working on my bachelor's degree, I fell into a great opportunity to do what I had always wanted to do. I began working as a ministry assistant in a local church. It was a step up from where I had been..towards the place where God is still taking me.

In 2008, My son graduated from High School, a strong Christian young man who received a standing ovation at his graduation for enlisting to serve our country. In December of 2008, he graduated Navy boot camp as the head of his division. His title: Recruit Petty Officer in Charge. There are no words to describe the pride and thankfulness that overwhelmed me in that moment!

My daughter is currently a lifeguard part-time. She has had the opportunity to save a life...and even rescue a few triathlon victims! Oh the stories she can tell! I am such a proud mom! She is a hard worker. She is an excellent college bound student getting excellent grades in advanced classes. This is all because of God's provision for both of my kids to attend a good Christian school...when it should not have been possible. He provided Sue, my church family, a job for me, and scholarships for my kids. It is a miracle that has taken place for 4 years now.

Read about the latest news in my nest and final post on what God has done.

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