Monday, January 12, 2009

This week is off to a great start......

YAY! Last week was the first week in a long time that I just couldn't wait to come to a close. It was just one of those odd weeks where nothing goes as expected and you end up at the mercy of others, to some degree. I had big plans to get the house entirely in order, to begin the process of elimination on unnecessary clothes and toys, and to play with Soph and Bella as much as possible. In the midst of my plans, though, my neighbor, Shon, was dealing with a dead car and she needed help getting her son, Qui, to his physician appointments, so we immediately planned to help. She is a single mom who is doing the absolute best she can and has very little in the form of family or finances to help her. Her son endured a double lung transplant at the age of two last spring and needs constant care and attention. Over a period of three days I drove as she would manage one appointment after the next, all the while saying that she was excited about getting back to work once her son was cleared to go to daycare. At the end of each day I came home with the vast awareness, again, of the many blessings I have been bestowed and each time was quick to give a nod to the heavens with great appreciation. By the end of the week, Shon was overwhelmed, the day of her last appointment I drove her to Children's hospital and noticed, on the way, that she was much quieter than normal. I told her that I hoped 2009 was going to be a better year for her and that God has great plans for her and told her one of my favorite scriptures Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," ... "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - She smiled and thanked me and half-heartedly agreed as she stepped out of the car with her son. I told her to call when they were done and wondered on my way home, what, beyond the obvious, could be troubling her so badly, while saying constant prayers for the two en route.

Shortly after arriving home Shon's troubles were revealed to me. There was a knock on my door and another neighbor explained that he knew I knew Shon and thought I should know what was happening. I stepped out of my home to see two sheriff's and a truckload of men carrying Shon's things off. I had no way of getting in touch with her because her cell phone had, earlier in the week, been turned off so I inquired and the officers explained that they were doing an eviction. My heart sank and I didn't know what to say. I spoke with the man in charge of her items and he told me they would go into a storage facility that she would have to pay for to get them out. He knew Shon and felt badly about what he had to do...it was not his property, he just handled the landscape, and was just doing what he was told. There was definite sadness in his eyes. I worked it out between he and the sheriffs that they would bring over the baby's medicine, oxygen tanks, machines, clothes, food, etc...Before I knew it our foyer and dining room was riddled with 18 oxygen tanks, loads of medicine and enough clothes and shoes to make my head spin. I spoke with Shon once, when she called, during the process and hated to tell her what was happening. She was heartbroken, of course, but also told me that they were admitting her son because of concern of pneumonia. At that time, I just didn't have the right words.

Later I told our girls what was happening, as they saw the situation unfold. They were so sad at the thought that Shon and Qui were out of a home and that this is happening to people in many ways around us and all over the country. It really brought home to Bella the depth of losing a home and not being able to pay bills. She spoke of Shon and Qui throughout the day.

Over the next two days I spoke with Shon alot, her son, Qui endured minor surgery and treatments, our furnace died, twice, and, to boot, I deleted by mistake, several Internet accounts, including the admin account for this blog. It was an exhausting week. Knowing full well, mine was nothing like Shon's!

Today as I brought Shon to our home from the hospital to get some of her things...I was thankful. Thankful for hope, among many things. What a gift it is. As Shon and I spoke, we talked about God's plans and I reminded her that it's easy to feel that when it's raining the hardest, God has forgotten us, but that the truth is sometimes he allows things to happen in our life so that He can turn it into something beautiful. Just like the process of the butterfly, it's not an easy task to change oneself from a small, peculiar looking creature to something so magnificent, but it happens and we boast about the miracle in the transformation. Well, what rings true for the little Caterpillar rings true for us too. God plans to make us something beautiful...to take all of our pain and sin and transform them for His glory. He has given us a guarantee, the rain always stops, always.

When I returned her to the hospital, she grabbed her things and headed in. As I maneuvered to pull out I noticed she was running to my side of the car, I put down my window and she asked me to step out. No sooner then I did were her arms wrapped around my neck. Shon is a woman who hates to cry, doesn't often ask for help and hates to appear weak, but in that moment with tears dripping down her cheeks I saw someone else and it was such a blessing to see. As she stepped back she told me that she felt great, that she was certain God had a better place for her and that she couldn't wait to find out more, that she knew she was going to be alright!!! I agreed emphatically! She shook my arms and repeated several times that she knows God placed our family next to hers for a purpose and with one more hug and a waive, rushed off!

I smiled the entire drive home. And as I listened to Soph change her mind multiple times about lunch, I thanked God again, for giving me the opportunity to be there, for putting my family and I in this place, and I even thanked Him for the rainy seasons - God bless the rainy seasons!

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