I have been sitting here staring at this blinking cursor trying to find the words to describe everything that has happened today. I have prayed that God’s words fill me so that He can be glorified in all of this. He has truly showed off, and I hope that I share it in a way that you can see His greatness.
We left Tennessee yesterday and drove down to Georgia, staying in a hotel in Stockbridge. We only brought an overnight bag into the hotel with us with pajamas, a change of clothes, and minimal toiletries. This morning, Mo went out to the car to get my tennis shoes. He noticed the handle to the driver’s side looked a little janky but didn’t notice anything askew inside the car. He thought that someone tried to break in, but they saw there was nothing inside to take and left. Then, he popped the truck and walked around the back of the car. As soon as he opened it, he realized how wrong he was! ALL of our suitcases were gone. Four large, overpacked suitcases filled with all of our clothes, 3 computers, and all of our Christmas gifts had been taken.
For reasons that can ONLY be described as God’s grace, Mo and I were immediately filled with peace. It felt as if God said, “It will be ok. It’s just stuff”. Unfortunately, and way too often, our initial response in situations like this is anger, but, this time, God filled us with peace. The girls, however, were distraught. They felt violated and were so sad that ALL of their Christmas presents were gone.
As Mo was taking care of all of the phone calls, reports, and responsibilities, my job was to comfort the girls. God really showed up here by giving me a peace that was not of me, and giving me the words to help calm their hearts. I told them,
“Just watch because you are about to witness God’s goodness”!
I just knew that God would take care of us and comfort us. Immediately, I felt everyone’s prayers surrounding us. Immediately, we started getting phone calls and comments on Facebook with people saying, “How can we help?”. Throughout the day, we continued to be in awe and amazement as He weaved people into our lives that would envelope us in His love.
We were in tears all day…not from sadness, but humility. I just want to share some of the ways that God showed off today! I want to shout this from the rooftops so that He can be glorified for all to see!
*He gave my family laughter! We had an incident in TN in which I ended up with only one boot. When it happened, I was so frustrated and annoyed, but had to just let it go. Well…the thieves now have that one boot in my suitcase. PLUS, they only took ONE of my tennis shoes out of the trunk. So, now, those idiots have one boot and one tennis shoe. Ha! Ha!
*When we stopped to use the restroom at a rest stop, I locked the car doors. Unfortunately, there is only ONE place that you can unlock the car…the door handle that was broken! We were now locked out of the car. We called Roadside Assistance but they never showed up. For two hours, person after person tried to help us break into our rental car. How ironic is that? Over twenty people couldn’t break into our car, but the thieves were in and out in a blink of an eye. (Special shoutout to Brian with GDOT who finally was able to get us into our car!)
*We met amazing people! At the rest stop, we met an older couple that stayed around to help us. They offered their cell phones, since ours were locked inside our car. When I went into the information center, the lady came in with me. She grabbed my hand and put money in it. When I refused the money, she said this,
“When I was young, I was very poor. Since then, I have always said that I wanted to help those that were in need. It’s not much but we want to help your family. My husband and I are retired. Each week, we help someone. We love what your family is doing as missionaries. Please, allow me to do this.”
I said, “But I don’t even know your name.”
To which she replied, “It’s Sherry but that’s not important.”
With tears in my eyes, all I could say was “Thank you”. My girls got to witness this! What a gift that God gave them through this sweet old lady!
*I spoke with my friend, Lisa, throughout the day. She kept saying, “You are so calm, and you are laughing. I would not be so calm.” I couldn’t be sad! God was shining through every person that came into contact with us. Soooo many people called or messaged us. Soooo many people donated money to help us replace all of our missing items. Sooo many people shared our post on Facebook to try to get help. How could I be sad about that? It was ONLY stuff! God was using everyone to show my daughters that those things were not important. It’s people…and it’s love…and it’s about community coming together to help those in need that are important. It’s about showing satan that he will NOT win!
What satan meant for evil, God used for good!
*Pastor Brady (our senior pastor) and Pastor Daniel (our missions’ pastor) both called us and said, “We are here to help with anything that you need.” Neither of them probably realize how much that meant us! So many people from our church messaged us asking to help. I just love my church family!
Tomorrow is our last day in the states. We were hoping to be able to rest and spend the day relaxing with Mo’s parents. Instead, we will be spending the day shopping and attempting to replace all of our missing items. Once again, I can’t be sad about this. Because of so many people’s goodness, we have money to help with this.
I want to end with this:
Matthew 6:25 states, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
Sometimes it feels like we don’t have enough. Sometimes relationships are hard. Sometimes life feels completely overwhelming. Sometimes we are overcome with depression and illness. Sometimes it feels like we are all alone and no one cares. I have spent so much of my life feeling like people were doing life AT me, but they weren’t. Everyone is fighting a hard battle of their own. We need to be gentle with each other and show compassion when possible.
I encourage each one of you to know that God promises that He will take care of His children. He showed us today that we need not worry, and we need to put all of our trust in Him. He will provide, whether it be spiritual, emotional, or physical needs. He wants to fill our hearts with His love so that we are filled to overflowing…because, when we are overflowing, that love pours out to all of those around us.