Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Do We Hear Their Cries?

(my story that explains yesterday's post - Womanhood - The Fine Line)

The challenge in this writing is for my heart to be heard and not just the facts.  I, in no way, want to bring dishonor to anyone or sound judgemental or tell a tale of self-pity.  So to say it is "raw" will probably be an understatement.

I do believe that we all minister out of our trials more than we minister out of our successes.  I have always wanted to be a tool in my Master's hand, and in so desiring that, I believe He has allowed me to walk through valleys that would produce the compassion He desired in my life....one that would hear the cries of others.  To hear someone's unspoken word is a desire of my heart.  To hear their cry before the first tear wells up in their eyes, is what my heart desires.  To not stop at the acknowledgement of their trial...but to hold them, pray for them and then put my hands and feet to work on a solution, is my heart's pounding wish.

Maybe that is why the Lord knew I would need to walk the path I have been stumbling down these last five years.

Five years ago, this July, we walked away from our beautiful home to start the journey of recovering from the loss of our home and business... and lifestyle.  We believed that we were going to be digging out from the failure, yet the hole just continued to grow deeper.  We were a cash-only-basis family, with one small loan on a used car, when we entered into the world we believed would bring financial recovery.  We began to rent and started over at the bottom of the economical salary base.

In the past seven months my husband has experienced four months of unemployment.  To this day he is still unemployed, yet trying to sell a product on 100% commission.  I entered the workforce, taking on different part-time jobs while continuing to home school our last child.  Through the first round of unemployment, God would surprise us through loving friends of decades ago, helping us make our bills.  To walk out to the grocery store on faith and find a check in the mail to pay for the food, was humbling and amazing.

His second round of unemployment began at the end of February.  We had entered February completely caught up with all bills...nothing behind or due.  February brought a cut in his hours and the final month of his contract work.  We started to feel the pressure as he started to look for another job.

March came in with needs.  We began to scramble and go before the Lord. I was offered a two-day job at Benjamin's school and picked up more hours at different jobs.  My small income was all that was going into the bank.  My husband put out his first attempt at "help" from the source we had always learned would help in a time of real need.  He received silence.   Later, money management classes were offered...now don't you have to have money to be able to manage it?  The heart of the matter was....go find some charity to help, our church now outsources these things... a very eye-opening experience.

March brought the reality of needing government assistance to survive.  Bill filled out papers...we were denied due to my small income.  Other papers were filled out....the process was begun...no immediate help. He continued to apply for jobs and tried to sell for the commission job.

April came...........................we were lost!  Every source we knew to go to had denied us.  We stood at the eye-opening realization that without supernatural intervention we would be homeless and without the only car we had in working condition.

Tuesday, April 16th, I fell into deep despair over the thought of being homeless and ripping my children from their lives.  I couldn't handle any of it anymore.  My faith seemed to have evaporated.  I had already broken down in front of a precious young lady...I didn't have anything left.  I grabbed my phone to listen to music while tying on my tennis shoes to go pound the pavement.  I briskly walked, crying out to God in total unbelief and frustration. What if I couldn't do this?  What if I couldn't hold up?  What if????????????

I called my right-hand support and we started to talk and walk it all through.  What could be done? How to do it?  She offered her help...which would later be the ball that started everything rolling.

I returned home determined to do all I could to see us not out on the street. I put our only car up for sell...it was going to be repossessed within days if there wasn't a payment.  This is an 11-year-old-car...180K miles...not something fancy.  I started to grab things to put into a garage sale. I started to plan on selling all I could...I grabbed out the last of my "real" jewelry, gifts from my husband years ago, when things were financially more sound.

I posted our garage sale on the home-school loop that I am a part of, because I teach at the school where Benjamin also attends.  I posted that I was going to be resourceful and it was time to sell!!!!!!!!!!  In my post, I said only that the money from the sale would be applied to rent.

Last Friday I went on to school to teach, leaving Bill to man the garage sale.  This day will always be etched in our memory as the day that God came and parted the sea for us, His undeserving servants.  An altar has been built in our hearts in honor of this life-changing day.

They came to the garage sale.... and they came... and came... and kept coming.  They bought pieces of furniture or art and handed them back to Bill to return to our home.  They bought books...it was time for these to go..and paid double or triple the amount I had asked.  Then one man stayed for over an hour and visited with my husband.  What a joy it was for my husband to visit with him. They shared many interests and passions. Before he left,  he reached into his jacket pocket and handed my husband a envelope saying, "this is for you and your family from an unnamed source. I am only the messenger."  Bill hugged him and thanked him for such an encouraging visit... without looking in the envelope. After he left, my husband opened the envelope and unveiled a thick stack of cash... enough cash to pay our rent...two months rent!!

Meanwhile, I was teaching at school.  As I prepared to leave for the day, women started to stop me.  They handed me envelopes....each was filled with money.  I left crying my eyes out and amazed.

I couldn't wait to show my husband.  He couldn't wait to tell me what God had done.

We stood in amazement, crying and crying.  We walked into our house and both started to pour the cash on the table..................................enough for our family to live for a  month or two!!!

My furniture was there in my home...one of my favorite pictures was standing there on the floor.  Two 50- plus-year old servants of the most high God stood in the den of lions and saw God close the mouth of the lions!!!

My husband later shared his heart.  The vision he had while we were going through this was about a method of execution in the Middle Ages.  Four men would take a man and stretch him out on his back on a table in a X-form, binding his hands and feet at the table's corners. They would lift a heavy a stone and put it on his chest while he was stretched out.  They would then step back and watch the person slowly suffocate to death, due to the torturous pressure  That is what he felt was happening to him.  Different ones were standing back and watching him suffocate, by their lack of compassion ...then God showed up through these amazing, wonderful families and they removed the stone off his chest.  He is now breathing.

I don't know where God is going with us.......................I know where I will be ministering...I just can't wait!!!

Thanks for all of your seeds of prayer.  Please continue as God makes a way for a job for my hubby.  The story is still being written. I am humbled and amazed.  May we be faithful with the lesson our God is teaching my husband and me.  May He use us to take the stone off of someone else so they can breath.

Special thanks to all the women who heard the voice of God and appealed to their husbands to help our family.  Some of you I know...I will thank you personally, and to others, I may never know who you are...but God knows.

19 Joining in with more words:

Dianne said...

Oh wow! what an amazing testimony to the compassion of our Savior.

Praising God with you and giving glory where glory is due.

Thank you for your encouraging comment on my blog this morning.

Love you,

Farm Girl said...

Wow Janette!!! I am sitting here crying my eyes out. That is the most amazing story. I am sooo thankful God heard your prayers and answered in such a huge way. I think my favorite part was your garage sale. Oh my gosh, that is the most incredible story. You were willing to give up every thing and God didn't take it but gave you what you needed. I am so happy for you all. I will continue to pray and thank you so much for sharing. I know that it will bless so many people. It has blessed me.

Sonja said...

Ever since yesterday's email with my request of a sneak preview of this, I am still amazed and blessed at what God is doing in your lives. I shouldn't be! It's part of what we should expect as His children, and yet...
Janette, this is a ministry being built into your lives at a whole new level, just think of what you already love to do, which is to encourage and bless, and now your own experiences will let those you are directed to, understand that you get it, and it will give them hope. Besides that, I am convinced that God is going to provide your family with the right jobs and income. In the meantime, the miracles to this point are already blessing so many.

I love you, and I am praying... expectantly!! :)

Lea Culp said...

Oh, that I would be this same blessing to someone one day. What a testimony to our great God. I pray that the light is just beginning to shine through for you and your family and that very soon your Hubby will have employment. What a tough, tough journey but your light has continually shone throughout the journey. Thanks for sharing this with us. You are such a blessing!

Vee said...

Through tears...

This has been such an incredible time for you of learning and leaning. I know that God will provide and provide and provide. Praying for your sweet husband to find a good job that more than meets the need.

And, you, my dear, can write. Keep telling your story.

Debbie said...

Oh Janette I am just in tears over here! What an incredible testimony to our loving God. How I love hearing that as you let go of something, He gave it right back to you. I am still praying and just wait to hear what blessings God still has in store for you. This story just made my whole day! HUGS

Theresa said...

Praising God with you Janette, for His provision! Our God is so good!

Sandy said...

Crying my eyes out here, too. Oh, our Lord is so good and His compassion never fails. We sometimes think He isn't going to come through for us but He always does. Even if it's the eleventh hour, He comes. I am rejoicing with you and your family!! And more good things are in store for all of you!!
Love you, Janette!

Sharon said...

I really am speechless - silenced in amazement at the compassion and power of a God WHO CARES!

Janette - as my tears flow, and my heart is deeply touched, I am once again stilled by the sturdy testimony of you and your husband. I know you have had *moments* - but you have stood firm in your *faith shoes* on the solid Rock.

I am so blessed by this story - thank you for sharing it with us.

GOD BLESS! (And He will!!)

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

God is doing mighty works. Hallelujah. Thanks be to His Holy name. blessings ~ tanna

Maryann said...

Oh Janette what an incredible testimony of God's care...wow! I have to agree with Sonja, there is a ministry being built into your lives.Wow, Praise God for his provision...wow, thank you so much for sharing this. will continue to pray for you and your family expecting good things...wow

Cindy said...

Smiling through tears all over again. God is glorified!

Rebecca said...

Wow! "He is able--more than able--to accomplish what concerns me today...to do much more than I could ever dream...."♥

Sue Anne McKinney said...

ohh, wow. I just agree with 'Cindy'. God is so glorified in this story of your life. LOVE you!!! Praying for Him to write each chapter ...This is heart wrenching. I just think back on this past year or two...whoa. I can just SEE that garage sale and those precious women pressing envelopes into your hands at school.

Christine said...

Some of us have walked the same road.
You and your family have such a deep faith. You are touching lives through your testimony.

Just remember to take it a day at a time. I am over joyed with hope and prayers.

Please know that we all care so much.

Debbie said...

I already knew the story and I cried all over again anyway.

Jill Jones said...

WOW!!! This is so amazing. God is so good. Rejoicing with you.:) This was written beautifully and thank you for be open and real and allowing us the blessing of being reminded just how much we are blessed and how we can bless others if we listen to what God wants us to do. I am sure I often miss a blessing by helping others because I have not taken the time to ask God to show me what I need to do. I love you dear friend, please know I am lifting you up in prayer and will come before the throne of God daily on behalf of your husband's job needs. Hugs-what a blessing-what a great reminder to start my day. :) Love you

Nikki (Sarah) said...

I read this whole post....all of it. At first my heart broke...I didn't know what you guys were living through...and then as you beautifully put it...God parted the sea....

Janette...I don't understand why He lets us get to the edge where we're almost falling off..maybe to test our faith in Him....but it worked.

It's morning here...kids are home for the day....and there are things I worry about...but now...after reading this....my heart is singing....for you....for your family....for me....for my family....for all of us who love HIm....b/c He truly cares....He truly provides....

One more note....I think you're an amazing writer. You can make money from writing you know....freelancing. Just a thought. You write in a way that makes me sit up and listen. Tons of hugs to you. And thank you sooo much for sharing your journey.....Nikki

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

Janette, God is never late, but sometimes He sure lets us sweat, doesn't He? I am so proud of you and your husband -- and of the people in your lives. It's much easier to look the other way and think "someone else" will help, but sometimes we're supposed to be the "someone else," and your dear friends and neighbors realized that. I know they were blessed by blessing you. ...And so we wait to see what God has in store. He is doing a mighty work in your family, and I'm certain you will not let it be in vain. Singing His praises with you, sweet friend!

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