A month ago, a dear friend told me she had something for me. I soon received this beautiful frame with a note that made me cry. She was shopping, saw this frame, and God told her to buy this for me! So she did.
As our home became more and more empty, this lone frame remained on our fireplace mantel. The message rung true over and over again. God has provided for us in such extravagant ways, it's almost become laughable! And this frame, it has confirmed time and again that truly, God has guided us to leave it all behind and head to Africa! That's why He's been providing so greatly for us.
It's hard to put into words what we've been through in the past few months, let alone the past week. If you've been through a move, you understand the stress and exhaustion. But the many decisions that must be made to purge 75% of our material possessions, ending a career with retirement, daily saying goodbye to friends and family, moving to the other side of the world, going to live in 600 square feet with 5 people and 1 bathroom on a SHIP... it's pushing us over the edge!
My grand plan was to sleep in our empty home on our mattresses on the floor until the day we drove away. Well, once I came to my senses and realized that I would be left alone to dispose of 5 mattresses, we decided that we'd have to sleep elsewhere the last few nights. 2 days before Roger was about to fly out to Texas, we were left with our couch, TV, 3 mattresses (Waste Management took 2 away that morning), 2 boxsprings and 2 barstools in the house.
Thursday night, 8:30pm, I see Roger outside my kitchen window with a man I've never seen before. Roger popped his head into the kitchen and said, "This guy is taking our lawnmower and I think he's going to take the BBQ too!" It was a great relief as Roger was panicking as to how he was going to get rid of all these large items after we'd listed to sell them and that was proving to be more of a hassle than it was worth!
About 10 minutes later I heard crying. Loud crying. I went into the laundry room to find Roger sobbing. When I asked him what was the matter, he said, "That man is God's provision for us. God is so good to us. That man is coming back tomorrow at 7am to take all the mattresses and boxsprings!"
That man, Elder, pulled up to our home Thursday night with his truck loaded with fertilizer, asking if he could fertilize our lawn in an effort to drum up business as a gardener. Roger explained that we were moving and didn't need his services at this time, but offered him our lawnmower. He happily said yes, and Roger went on to offer him our BBQ. The gentleman saw the boxsprings on the front porch and when he asked about them, Roger quickly asked him if he wanted our twin mattresses. He said he be back in the morning at 7am to get them.
Elder and William arrived at 7am sharp and when they came into our home, we were holding back the tears. Roger whispered to me "I'm going to ask them if they want our couch too."
"Would you guys like our couch too?"
With wide eyes they said "sure!!" They ended up leaving with everything we had left.
Elder told Roger that he had 3 children without beds. Guess how many mattresses we had left to give him...3!
As their truck was loaded, I thanked them and told them that they were God's provision for us. We didn't know how we were going to get rid of all that heavy stuff before Roger flew out Sunday morning, but God provided them to come help us. They were a little confused and instead thanked us for all the free stuff!! I asked for a photo and they happily agreed.
When telling my neighbor this story the next day, she told me that they didn't stop at her house Thursday night offering to fertilize her lawn.
Of course they didn't!
They were sent from God just for us!
I think I might have to change the photo in the frame to this one! Proof that where God guides, He provides!
Here are some other extravagant ways God has provided
for us over the past week:
1. At Roger's retirement party I told our dear friends that I'd come to my senses and we weren't going to stay in the house until we drove away, but would be booking a hotel. She said "No you're not," and proceeded to take her house key off her key ring and hand it to me! They were going to be out of town and gave us their home for as long as we needed it! Thanks Dave and Nancy for your incredible generosity and hospitality!
2. A Chicago family out visiting their Pepperdine daughter came to our church last weekend when we were being commissioned by our church. We showed a short video about Mercy Ships and our Missions Director announced that we were 90% funded and urged the congregation to close the gap for us! After the service, that family from Chicago that we've never met, was moved by the Holy Spirit to write us a check to finish off our financial support for 2 years!
3. The amount of trash that we've taken out of our home this past week is unbelievable. Have we been living in a dumpster for the past 12 years?? After filling our cans multiple times and those of our neighbors, we were still left with bags lining the side of our house. A friend came by to pick up our bedding to donate to James Storehouse and assumed the other bags were going too. We told him those were trash and he said that he had 2 dumpsters at his complex and loaded up all our trash in his truck and hauled it away! He even came back the next day to do it again! Thanks Reese!
4. Our sweet neighbors and best friends made us dinner Friday night, invited us to dinner Saturday night which was supposed to be our last night as a family of 5 and then ordered us all sushi Sunday night too! Thanks Z's for feeding us well and keeping us sane!
5. Roger's flight got canceled Saturday night! Which meant I got a whole extra, unexpected day with him to help finish off boxing up random items and packing for Africa. I never could have done all that myself and God knew it! Thanks God for loving me so much and canceling that flight!
This list could go on and on! This was just from the last week, but trust me, God has been providing for us since the moment He said "go"!