This has been one of the BEST years of my life. And no, best is not an exaggeration.
Have you ever woken up, before your 2 year-old asks for nuggets, and your 1 year-old begs for attention, and thought, “I need to google homeless shelters before this week ends..”???
Well I have.
And it’s hard. It pokes at your heart like a rusty engine tool, or someone squeezing it with no remorse, while you try to think thoughts of positivity. You feel like your whole world is being taken away on a specific date, and you can do nothing about it. But get ready, and wait. I was being evicted. And all I could think about was, of course, my daughters. They are young. Full of hope and adventure, and I suppose, my only moment of anxiety came when I realistically considered sleeping at the park with them. I figured, I would be the lookout, and they would have their favorite soft, plush pink blanket, and their mother right next to them. They would be okay. They would chalk it up as an adventure. A getaway.
I never thought I would be in this position. I was just working hard, dropping them off at their sitter…their sitter. I lost my babysitter. And because I was in a new town, with no one to look to, I had to watch them myself. But, that also meant, I would lose everything, while gaining time with my girls.
I was homeless this year you guys.
Not like live at a friend’s for a bit, or sleep on your parents couch and pay the electric bill. Real life home-less.
The girls and I had nowhere to go. My parents offered their help, but I wanted to stay where I knew God wanted me to be. I didn’t want to move back home. I knew my opportunity was here, and that going back home meant another burden, and another L.
The day I left my apartment with the girls, I had no car, (it was taken a couple weeks prior) so with Amiya on my hip, Melody next to me, a duffel bag, two large satchel purses, and their diaper bag, I slowly started walking down the road, very slowly, toward the park. Within my first steps I wanted to break down and cry from the weight of it all on me. Then I thought of Jesus, walking down the road with His cross, and I knew I could do it. He carried this weight before I did, and His strength began to fuel my insides. “Mel!! Don’t let go of my hand!” She couldn’t seem to walk in a straight line away from the road without me. But projecting my frustration would make her feel exactly what I was fighting against. That something was wrong. Finally, first stop. We made it. I unloaded our things on the bench and exhaled. It was hot, and we needed SOMEWHERE to go that night…or we would be..at the park.
But, I was prepared, and I had hope.
I prayed. I thanked God in advance for keeping us and making a way. I did NOT know what we were going to do, because all the places I had called were full. Then God directed me to a number. I called. There was an opening. The security guard at my apartment complex gave the girls and I 10 dollars when she saw me walking, and juice for the girls. First sign of provision. It was my gas money to get to the shelter. The rest is history.
Going to the shelter allowed me to ENTIRELY depend on God for EVERYTHING. And though I was sometimes surrounded by people who felt things were hopeless, I had hope. I had a key. A life hack. I had the Bright and Morning Star on my side!!! Each day had endless opportunities. Each day posed a question of who could I help? Who could I serve? Where would this little light of mine shine for the day? My perspective was not dependent on my situation.
I knew it wasn’t our last stop. God has shown me a number of visions, so I knew I was created for more. So why be down? Why be scared? Nervous? Afraid? The Creator had my back and was already preparing a place for me that would knock my socks off. But I had to pass the test. I had to endure. With the right attitude.
This generation prides itself on SELF RELIANCE! But, this experience, greater than any has taught me to not rely on my own capabilities, but to keep my faith in God. That what I hold inside exceeds anything I could ever own or buy. It further confirmed that my greatest joy is when I’m helping someone else shine. When I know I was a light.
A lady who worked at the shelter came and followed up at our new place a couple months ago and told me that I was a light. That I encouraged people, that I was a walking bible that some would never read. She was watching me. DO YOU GUYS KNOW WHAT THAT MEANT TO ME?!
ME, little old me. I had picked others up when I was down myself. When I had absolutely nothing, I still had everything. More than those around me. And now, I know, so much deeper, and will never forget where my value lies. I am not ashamed of my testimony because if only one person pushes on because of it, IT WAS WORTH IT.
I put fear aside and put myself and work out there, for the first time, during that time at the shelter, and I’ve gained key connections, and still gaining. The girls and I have a crib with a ceiling so high I could climb a latter in the living room and stand on top and not touch it. We have a lake view. And the list goes. I’m not quitting until I see His vision come to fruition in my life! I worked hard and in a month’s time gained everything back and so much more! But with a new perspective. Rather high, or low, I have learned to be grateful, humble, and content, in every circumstance. And still growing.
This Thanksgiving, definitely took on a meaning far beyond words.
The picture below was taken at the shelter. 6 months ago. My princess Mel. I still sang to them in our time space. I still played peek-a-boo, and tickled them to no sound came from their mouths. We went for walk, caught the bus, and frequented the shelter playground. The girls helped me to never miss a beat with living every day. It wasn’t going to wait for me to be happy. I had to choose life.
“I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose–I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]”
PHILIPPIANS 4:12-13 AMP
Keep going, a step at a time, keep your head up, live, and know that what you believe is what you will achieve. You are strong enough. Even if it doesn’t look like it right now. Receive the process, and look forward, because the best is always yet to come.