I met her two weeks ago. Born and raised in Chalmette, she was a nurse at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Two days after Katrina she sat mesmerized, tears streaming down her face staring blankly into computer screen viewing the Goggled images. The levee breach washed away everything.
What do you say to someone who has lost everything? She quoted Job, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
A month later, already grappling with her loss another storm pounds the Gulf Coast and strips her brother’s family bare. Her entire family is homeless and unemployed. She was too stunned to respond.
What do you do? Do you look for a job first, then a place to live or vise versa? Her life was planned. A total relocation was not in her plan.
She chuckled, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
Overwhelmed with grief and unimaginable sorrow, Cindy’s family began to ask God what His new plan was. New jobs were the first puzzle pieces. Now where to live?
Cindy has teenagers. The challenge was to find a place close to work where her kids would be in good schools. But where, every place she knew anything about had been destroyed. Bathed in prayer, they began calling real estate agents.
Three months later, she found a home, a brand new spec house nearing completion. Cindy laughed, “The cost of living in New Orleans was so high, I never thought I’d be able to buy a new home!”
As the time grinded by, Cindy’s family began to find employment and new homes. God was divinely orchestrating their lives through this tragedy; He masterfully united a scattered family. The parents and siblings will now live within a few miles of each other. The nieces and nephews can grow up together. A new life and hopefully better life was beginning to appear on their horizon of hope.
But Cindy’s brother was still struggling. He is a musician. Wherever he lives is fine, but his loss was not only painful but expensive. They didn’t know if they could ever replace their losses.
His oldest daughter is a singer. She had just cut her first CD a month before the storm. The pre-sold contract had given them enough money to purchase equipment and convert the garage into a studio. The equipment had arrived the day before the storm.
Courageously he told his story to the real estate agent and she began her search for the perfect home. A few weeks later she called with exciting news and asked them to meet her.
Exhausted from weeks of dead ends, the family piled into the car one more time and followed the directions into the woods. Standing on a 4-acre yard was their smiling agent. Behind her was a 4-bedroom house, a jungle-gym set erected in the backyard and a shed.
“Well, it looks okay,” Cindy’s brother shrugged, “but it’s probably way out of our price range.”
His girls Victoria, Olivia, and Taylor were eager. Their favorite colors are lime green, pink and lavender, respectfully. Upon entering the house, the agent took each girl to a bedroom…a lime green one with the words “Tori” stenciled on the walls; a pink one with a sign “Libby” over the door and finally a smaller room painted lavender. The entire house was furnished, decorated to the final detail. The girls, fighting back tears exclaimed, “Daddy, buy it, buy it!”
Outside Olivia and Taylor squealed with delight, “Look mommy! It’s like a park!” Their former subdivision had 50’ x 100’ lots filled with house, not yard.
“You need to come see the shed,” the agent guided.
“Yeah, I guess I’ll need a place to store a lawnmower,” he joked.
“Oh I don’t think you’ll be putting a lawnmower in here,” the agent beamed.
The agent opened the door wide, stepped back and with a confident pride allowed the shed to reveal its contents: a state-of-the-art recording studio.
“They’re moving back to Nashville,” she told him, “the commute takes too much time away from his clients and their asking price is way below your limits.”
Cindy’s brother fainted.
I sat silenced in awe of the miraculous story of God’s divine provision. Cindy concluded, “You know you read verses in the Bible, but so many times they’re just words. Now I know what it means when He said, ‘more than you could ever hope or imagine.’”
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