"Just think, Miss Vicky," L said to me as we sat down to lunch together, "You met me almost three years ago, and now here I am, a mother of a two-year-old, about to get her own apartment."
"It's wonderful, isn't it?" I said.
She moves into her first apartment Friday. "Excited" doesn't begin to cover her emotions. She'd been living in her car, homeless, then moved to a shelter, and now is on the cusp of moving into a nice, clean, and safe home.
L met me on the sidewalks of one of the busiest abortion centers in the Southeast. She wanted to abort, but was willing to let me make the case for keeping her child. I spoke with her at length. Then, a fellow counselor, Mary, took L aboard the HELP mobile ultrasound RV as I was not yet trained to do so. A brand new counselor, I was allowed to sit there, and try to be quiet. I could not. Mary was wonderful as she always is, and didn't even kick me when I couldn't stay silent. I had to share what God laid on my heart. In the end, L chose life, and I have been her friend and mentor for nearly three years now.
"You told me to pray...and I pray every night," L said, forgetting all about the luscious lunch in front of her. "I went from being homeless, to having a home, a job, a car, my baby..."
"Because you were obedient to God," I told her, "And He has blessed you."
I am not sure my theology is perfect there. Obedience to God doesn't guarantee ease, comfort, or relief from terrible circumstances. However, it certainly made a difference in L's life.
"People have wronged me, but I decided to just let it go," she told me.
"That's Biblical," I told her.
"Yes, the Bible says vengeance is the Lord's. We are not to take revenge on others."
"We are to leave it to God?"
"That's what happened, too." She described the slew of disasters that fell upon the person who had wronged her. I could forgive her the touch of glee she exhibited as she listed God's retribution.
L is the first mom I worked with who I led to the Lord as a Cities4Life counselor. Her path has not been smooth, but she never lost faith in God, and she never stopped praying. She never stopped trying to live for the Lord and overcome a lifetime of wandering from Him. And Cities4Life never walked away from her. We helped her as best we could when she expressed a need. (She didn't always express the need, fiercely determined to make it on her own. I didn't know about her living in the car till after the fact.)
I put out a plea on Facebook a week ago for people to help furnish her new apartment. She has nothing but her clothes. Nothing. She would be moving into an empty apartment. Donations poured in...even a washer/dryer set. A generous Cities4Life donor paid her utility installation bill. A flood of loving Christians responded to the plea: a couch, a comfortable chair, a kitchen table and chairs, dressers, end tables, lamps, kitchen supplies, two beds, sheets, blankets, a desk, bathroom supplies... Last night, as I tabulated all that had been promised, I realized EVERY need had been met. She will have everything she needs, and then some, when she moves in Friday.
Except one thing. A hairdresser chair. She is a gifted stylist and wants to start a small business doing hair on the side while working full time. She is determined to save, and one day go to college for a degree in a career that helps others. The extra money from her hairdressing business would be critical to her plans. Surely someone out there has a chair they could donate to make this miracle complete? I posted the unlikely plea on Facebook.
This outpouring of provision is the power of the Church arising in unity, with a common goal, and a Godly purpose. I am speechless with joy over the lavish abundance of love for this woman all those generous Christians have never even met.
Before I went to bed, I got a message from a Cities4Life supporter. She found and bought a hairdresser chair. It was in a city about an hour or so from Charlotte. I put out another plea to my Cities4Life network and Facebook friends. Could anyone get the chair for me?
The wife of our Cities4Life director wrote back. Guess what? Her parents live in that city and she will be there Saturday anyway. She will bring me the chair. Coincidence? I think not.
God is amazing. Please, keep this under wraps. I am surprising L on Sunday with the chair. I can not wait to bring it to her.
God is so faithful. Abundantly. Lavishly. Over-the-top faithful. If you don't know Him, call me. I would like nothing more on earth than to introduce you.
Psalm 133:1Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.