Three years ago, this weekend, I was homeless, running away with my son from an abusive relationship. After nearly two years of living with a person who should have protected her daughter and grandson. I moved into an Extended Stay Hotel trying to figure out on my own where we were going next.
Three years ago, I spent over two thousand dollars struggling to understand after all that I have been through, why. Why do I have to submit myself to DHS’ Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) intake center; instead of finding an apartment.
Three years ago, I questioned how God could tell me in three years my life would turn around. With everything going on around me. The losses I faced. The current pain with the ending of the relationship with my mother, after finalizing my sixteen-year marriage two years earlier.
The Blessing of God
Yesterday I found myself standing across the way from the Extend Stay Hotel with my son. I looked at him and said, “Do you understand how good God as been to us? Do you see what God has done for us!
In 2017 the Friday of MLK weekend was moving day. I packed up our stuff and placed it in storage while my son was in school. After school, I loaded him into the truck and told him we were leaving the second home of his nightmares. For the third time in my life, I was leaving this house. The difference this time, I wasn’t running to someone’s home or to someone else. More importantly, I was moving with an understanding of who I was designed to be.
Banishing Freddy once and for all!
See the two years in my childhood home allowed me to deal with skeletons that I’ve locked away. To move forward and climb to the next level, I needed to deal with those closed, buried doors. Areas that weighed me down. Memories that resurrected crippling my ability to move forward, hindering me from seeing and understanding my meaning and purpose
It is easy today to see the move of God’s hand, but then I was confused and hurt. Thinking there was too much going on for me to hear from God. That the noise and clattering were preventing me from hearing His soft whisper. Yet God was talking aloud and clear. See every avenue I tried to get assistance kept telling me I have to go to PATH. I couldn’t comprehend why I would have to sink that low. I couldn’t see how God would want me to do that. But two weeks later, two thousand dollars less, on my maternal grandmother’s birthday, I packed up our hotel room and drove to PATH.
Now I am asking how this could be God’s will. Why would he subject my son and me to such a cruel reality? While working in my son’s previous school, I heard the nightmare and horror stories of what went on in the city shelters. I’ve dealt with many parents who were living in that system. Yet, God closed every avenue of assistance for housing but that one. On our first night, they sent us to the Kings Inn in Astoria, Queens, because it was late, and they had an opening with orders to return the next morning. This is where we were ultimately placed.
We entertain Angels in Disguise!
From the first day there, God’s presence was with us. Now it wasn’t a cakewalk or any place I would ever want to repeat, but we were protected. There were staff members that looked out for us, giving me information to protect us from some of the happening. The counselor assigned to work with me, help move us out as soon as possible. Others ensured that all that was needed was provided.
Yes, there were issues, jealousy, and other problems that generally plague a place like this. But I met others who found themselves in situations that landed them there by no fault of their own. Others who couldn’t afford rent while trying to attend school to make a better way of living for their families. Others who lost all by tragic action or misfortunes. I questioned what my purpose was by being here and when we would leave. Once again, God was speaking, but the distractions were louder.
He speaks in a soft Whisper.
See there were many reason why I needed to go that route. But at the time, my own shame, confusion, and hurt blinded and deafen me. It prevented me not only seeing the lessons but also the blessings. These distraction was my test. They were lesson that brought me to my knees for to total surrender to God.
God of 2nd, 3rd, 4th….chance
Once again, God gave me specific instructions on what to look for in finding an apartment. As I didn’t pass the next test I didn’t pass on the first word, and though it didn’t cost me in money, I stayed longer than I may need to remain in the shelter. But everything happens for a reason and in God’s timing. But I digress, this lesson and blessing anniversary hasn’t happened yet.
As I look ahead to this year, I rejoice in remembering from where God brought me from and through. I rejoice in the blessing of all that God is doing. Knowing that God’s words never return void, I stand on the promises knowing that this is the year of promises fulfilled.
2020 Holds Miracles with My Name It.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV