“I'm sorry Miss, but we only offer assistance to people who are saved,” said the Secretary of the First Episcopal Church. I'll never forget that humiliation. It was bad enough that I had to beg for help, but to reject me because I wasn't saved only added to my grief. Out of pure despair, I debated whether or not to tell her that I was saved, just to receive assistance. There is no way that I could have convinced her that I was saved because my anger toward her was so fierce. “Forget it!” I decided to leave.
“They wouldn't help us!” I weeped as I explained to my husband what just happened. He cursed and yelled at me. “Why didn't you just tell the !@#$% that you were saved! It's all your fault, you stupid !@#$%!.” My son started crying. We were having such a difficult time. My husband refused to find a real job. He picked up odd jobs here and there. He considered himself to be a self-employed handy-man. I had recently quit my job as a customer service representative because my stress level was very high. I often felt like giving up. Needless to say, our marriage was unstable. It didn't take much for him to push and shove me around. He hit me every time he got angry. Because of that, I left him several times.
In the mean time, our mortgage payment got behind, all of our utilities were shut off and it was the beginning of Winter. My husband demanded, “Go to a pay phone and call your Grandmother. Ask her if you can borrow $400.” My Grandmother raised me from the age of two, she had done enough for me already. I had never asked her for such a huge favor. It ripped my heart out to ask her for money. Not only that, I also had to call her collect. I knew she loved me like she loved her own children. Without any hesitation, she wired money to me that day. But it wasn't enough to cover our huge debt.
In the next few weeks, my husband made me go to the Salvation Army, the First Baptist Church & the United Methodist Church. Each place sent small payments directly to our utility companies. They also provided us with several bags of food. In the beginning of our financial woe's, I applied for Food Stamps, but the office had strict rules regarding homeownership. If your purchasing a home, you don't qualify for any kind of benefits.
I recall a day when I was sitting in my bathroom; mending a new wound. It reeked of pure waste because the water had been shut off. My eyes stung from pouring a whole bottle of bleach into the toilet. “I've had it!” I griped, as I drove to the nearest gas station to fill a cooler with water. I used half of it to flush the toilet and the other half to take a cold bath It was hard to hold back the tears of self-pity. I felt as low as low could go. I constantly questioned God. “Why me?” “Why does my life have to be so awful?” I hated my life. I wished that I was dead.
Even though life was horrible and it seemed like there was no hope at all. God ultimately had a huge plan for me. Although I only cried for him in the midst of a battle; and I forgot what I even asked him for; He still heard my cry. It took loosing every material thing that I owned; including my house. It took thousands of dollars of past due utilities. It took being abused almost to the point of death for God to deliver me. From that moment on God intervened in my life. He became my refuge and my strength. He saved me from disaster and death.
Ten years later, I value each new day that I'm given. I thank God for my new husband, my children, my home, my job and my church. I'm grateful that his plan was for me to volunteer and speak at a shelter. I'm honored that he saw me fit to lead a women's ministry. Praise God, I am content! Now, I know why I had to go through those valley's.
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