Sunday, November 17, 2013

ALL things work together for good....

I arrive on their doorstep with my clothes, and one box holding all of my belongings I was taking with me.  The rest were left behind.

My bed.  My dresser.  My great 8 graduation momentos.  All of that and more was staying behind.  Whatever happened to the rest of my possessions, i'll never know.

It was a month before my 17th birthday.

My mom had left our home a few years earlier.  Moved 8 hours away.  For less than two months I tried to live with her.  After all, I had to take care of her.  Or so I thought.  It didn't work out.  I moved back in with my stepdad and two brothers.  

Except now, my stepdad had met someone too.  On the internet.  At a time when meeting someone on the internet wasn't common.  Decided he would move one province over to live with her and her children.

I refused to go.  I had already tried it with my mom.  There was no way I was leaving my friends again, my church, my school.  I was NOT leaving my security.  I was NOT leaving the only place I felt safe.

But what would I do?  Where would I go?  I was only 16.  I had no job.  No income.  I was a high school student.

Then, one day, a friend of mine, two years older and preparing to start university that Fall, came to school and told me her parents said I could move in.  She would be gone....I could have her room.

Besides her Dad being my grade seven teacher, I barely knew her parents.  They barely knew me.  They didn't even know who I really was.  Yet they let me move in. And asked nothing in return.

And so there I was, a month before 17,on their doorstep with my stepdad.  He didn't know them.  Hadn't asked them any questions.  Didn't ask for their number, or how they would care for me.  And I cried as he left as the magnitude of what was happening kicked in.  Fear gripped me.  All of a sudden, I was REALLY on my own.

Except I wasn't.

God knew what He was doing all along.  The year I spent at their house, the people who so graciously took me in, was one of the best years of my life.  They didn't just let me sleep in a room.  They welcomed me in as a part of their family.  Extended family dinners, trips to the cottage, church events, and holidays. They let me learn how to drive their vehicle.  I racked up their phone bill on long distance calls and ate their food and they never once asked me to pay, even though I should have.

And all that was good.  All that was love shown to me.  But the best part??  Seeing how a family with Christ as the center functioned.  I watched a marriage in action that was full of love and respect.  I watched as they loved on their children.  I was included in that.  

That year i was an emotional wreck and I often wish I could go back and be a better 17 year old.  I wish I helped more with chores.  I wish I hadn't added to their bills.  I wish I was better.  But I know that I was trying to figure things out, and was young, and had a lot to learn.  I know that that year was the beginning of what would take me many years to work through much of my childhood pain.

Since that fateful day I was "delivered" to their house, I have seen my stepdad twice.  There is a good chance I may never see him again.  But this family who took me in, they have become a part of my "forever" family.  I don't see them as often as I'd like due to distance and and a busy life as a mother and a wife, but i have been able to see them every couple of years.  This past Summer during a visit my 4 year old started calling them grandma and grandpa with no prodding from anyone...we introduced them by their names to my children...but i think even they could feel it....the feeling that even though technically not related, THIS is family.  And so it just came naturally to my 4 year old to call them names that had deep meaning.  After we corrected him a couple times I think we realized we didn't need to correct him, but that HE had corrected us.

"And we know that all things work together for good for those whole love the LORD." -Romans 8:28

God WILL use painful moments in your life for good.   As crazy as it sounds, I am thankful for that moment I got dropped off on that door.  It has forever changed my life.  

There is pain in EVERYONE'S past.  NO ONE is exempt.  And maybe it hasn't yet been revealed to you, but eventually,  you will be able to see how God was faithful in those times.  How HE had a plan.  How HE has, can, and WILL use those hard moments for good.

Because He IS good.  THAT, I promise you.

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