The deafening sound of my cold knuckles against the door echoed around me. It was a blustery winter’s night as harsh, cutting winds blew through the layers of our clothes. Our faces, to avoid getting chapped, were buried behind our scarves. Our eyes watered with each blink as I instructed my children over the howls of the wind to look down to keep the wind from stinging their eyes. At the time, my daughters were 7, 4, and 3 years old and we had just trudged through a foot of snow.
During this time, my children and I lived in a small two-bedroom apartment with very little belongings. The church we attended had given me a bunk bed with two used mattresses for the girls to share. We had no furniture in the living room so my daughters would sit on the baseboard heaters to keep off the floor. To save additional money I would wash their clothes in the bathtub with Suave shampoo. The Laundromat was simply out of my budget. Needless to say, money was tight for us, and we needed food.
As a newly divorced woman for a second time, I was full of emotions and uncertainty. I was scared, worried, fearful, anxious, but thankful for our new apartment. Not sure of what to do next, I had asked the Lord how to make money to buy food. I felt Him prompting me to use what was in my hand, a bag of popcorn. I was reminded of Moses from the Old Testament and how God always provided a way for them to follow and meet their needs (see Exodus 13-14). I felt the Lord directing us to use the food we needed by selling the food (the popcorn) we had. We followed His leading and made up forty bags which we sold for $1 each.
“In the middle of my fear, God was faithfully showing us compassion and mercy.”
After we had returned home from selling the popcorn, I put the children to bed. The reality and weight of our existence were heavy on me as I laid on the carpeted floor of my little dining area weeping, crying out to the Lord. I did not know what would become of me or my children. My fears began to creep in again as I cried out “Lord, how did I get here? All I ever wanted to be was a wife! I am divorced again with three children now! What will become of me?!? Do you see me? Do you remember me? O Lord, look upon me and hear my cries!” At this moment, I felt the Lord led me to Isaiah 54:4-6. I gasped when I read how it began “Do not be afraid…”. God was speaking to me personally, intimately He had heard my cries. From that day forward I surrendered my entire life to Him:
“Do not be afraid to cry out to the Lord.”
Life doesn’t always turn out how we expect. Because of this reality, our fears can easily surface and take a front seat. During these times we need to take intentional efforts to press into the Hope that we can find in Christ. We are able to find this hope through the reading of Scriptures, fellowship with other believers, and prayer to name a few. Do you ever experience fear and worry? Has fear been a controlling factor in your life? What do you do when these feeling arise? Having fear present in our life is normal, but we get to choose if we will allow it to be in control. Instead of fear, choose to hear the direction of the Lord which leads to Hope.