Tag Archives: Faith

THE STOLEN RED CAR

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I knew something was wrong when I heard my husband’s words over the telephone. “Please don’t get upset with me over what I’m about to tell you,” Michael said with a stressed tone and a sense of urgency in his voice. “My car was just stolen. I ran into the convenience store at a gas station really quickly; when I came back out, my car was gone.” I didn’t get upset with Michael, but my heart sank into my stomach with concern as I listened to his words.

Thoughts went swirling through my mind. Actually the thoughts were more like race cars speeding through my head at ninety miles per hour. What are we going to do? How can this possibly turn out good? That car is necessary for us to make it.

The little red Honda that was taken from us that day had been given to us by a sweet widow in our church. God had laid it on her heart to give it to us during a very trying season for us.  It was about seven years ago that my husband was supporting our family by delivering pizzas  six to seven days a week while I home-schooled our children and worked various side jobs like babysitting and teaching dance to young children.

At the time we were given the car we chose not to have full insurance coverage because we needed to save every little penny we could. We only had liability insurance to cover the damage done to another person’s vehicle. I questioned whether or not that was a wise decision.

After I let the shock sink in, I hurried and picked up Michael in our other vehicle which was a huge station wagon that guzzled gas. As I was driving, I continued to ponder the reality of the situation. How could Michael use our gas-guzzling station wagon to deliver pizza? The cost of the gas would eat up the measly hourly wage he was making. And his tips were almost always barely enough to make a difference for our family.

Later, when Michael and I sat down to talk about our options, we realized we really only had one option. We had to pray and trust God to return our car.

We knew it would take a miracle. I had heard of stories when cars were stolen and later found fully stripped down. I quickly shut those thoughts out of my mind and prayed, “Lord, return to us what has been stolen. We need Your help. With You all things are possible.”

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A sweet friend believed and trusted for the impossible, along with my husband and me. I was ecstatic when a few weeks later Michael received a call from a police officer. His words were sweetness to our souls, “We’ve recovered your car.” The police had found the car abandoned on the side of the road less than an hour from our house.

Amazement rose up in my spirit when we went to retrieve our car from the wrecker service lot. Not only had the car been returned. It had been upgraded. The thief had replaced our cheap hubcaps with alloy wheels.

We celebrated that day. And even though that hard season has been over now for a number of years, I’ll always remember how God used a little red Honda to show us that He truly does restore what the locusts have eaten.

“And I restore or replace for you the years that the locust have eaten…” Joel 2:25 (Amplified Bible)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Red.”  Today, I was typing as fast as I possibly could to be able to finish writing this story. It took me about fifteen minutes.

Five Minute Friday

REJOICING IN SMALL BEGINNINGS

We were ecstatic when my husband Michael was hired by a small German company after a two and half year season of him being without full-time work. But as we began to ponder the details, we realized that it wasn’t exactly what we had planned for. After all, my husband had returned to college and worked tirelessly earning a Biomedical Engineering degree. We had expected to have a better salary, better benefits, and most definitely hadn’t planned on Michael having to live in Germany for three months of training.

Without medical coverage for me and the kids, Michael worried that he may have been making a mistake by accepting this job. I wondered, “How in the world will I handle everything with my husband in another country?” After some time of wrestling with God, we surrendered to what we believed was his divine plan for our family, but not without reservations. It was hard to let go of our concerns without all of the dots connecting.

Still, we moved forward with faith. As I trusted God, I could hear His encouraging voice in my spirit. He reminded me of a scripture in Zechariah. “Do not despise small beginnings…”

Looking back, I am beyond grateful that I chose to trust God during that season of small beginnings. If we had not, our family would have missed, perhaps, the greatest blessing of our lives. Within months of Michael accepting the job with the German company, it was bought out by one of the largest corporations in the world. We were blown away by the medical benefits, the increased salary, the opportunity for promotion and growth. Who would have dreamed that our obedience in following Christ in the small things could lead to such grand, new things?

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Small.” Today, I wrote for about twelve minutes, trying to find a good stopping point.

 

Five Minute Friday

From Darkness to Light

from the darkness comes a light

                                   Photo Credit: Christa von Borstel

It was springtime in 1997 when I hit rock bottom and ended up in a deep, dark pit. It should’ve been a happy season for me as I had recently given birth to my second child. But instead of feeling joy, I had a serious case of postpartum depression. I was in a place of desperation. I wanted to die and prayed for my life to be over.

It seemed that everything good in my life had been lost. My marriage was broken, our finances were a complete mess, and I felt hopeless.  My busy life had pulled me away from the intimate relationship I had with God in my youth.  My prayers had become last resort petitions to God instead of daily communion with Him. I was surrounded with darkness.

Deep in my heart, I knew the only answer for me was the power of the resurrected Christ to pull me up out of my desperation and awaken my soul with His healing light. My personal journal revealed the darkness in my soul.

May 22, 1997

God, do You hate me? I feel so helpless. Please show me Your love. Please make a way for me out of this.

In that moment of being at the lowest point of my life, I cried out desperately for help from God. As I prayed, Jesus pulled me out of that pit, He began restoring my life little by little and step by step, and I eventually found the faith in Christ I had always dreamed of having.

Through prayer and the encouragement of a close friend and mentor, God brought me into His light. My friend Bonnie shared her faith with me during that dark season.

With certainty in her voice, Bonnie said, “Amy, I went through a time similar to what you’re going through. God will bring you through it.”

Her words brought hope to me in a way that is indescribable. It was as though her testimony drew me into the light that had brought her through the darkness I was experiencing.

Bonnie suggested that I listen to worship music continually and focus on God constantly. Her encouragement was worth far more than pure gold. She encouraged me in too many ways to count. I can still hear her sweet voice in my mind.

She sweetly said, “Write Scriptures on note cards and place them all over your house as a way to keep focused on the truth of God’s Word.”

Bonnie’s words were a reminder to me of the faith-steps my mother and grandmother had taught me when I was young, but I had allowed my hectic life to distract me from the spiritual disciplines my soul needed. As Bonnie suggested, I wrote out Scriptures on 3 x 5 cards and taped them wherever I thought my eyes would be drawn to. As I prayed and focused on the Scriptures that were strategically placed on my window sill, on my stove, on the bathroom mirror, and on my car dash, I felt hope rising up inside me.

The hopeless feeling I had lasted for a short season. By the time my son was five months old, I was feeling like a new person in many ways and beginning my journey of growing into a passionate praying woman.

Ultimately God is the only true Source that can heal our souls, but the encouragement from Bonnie and from my family pushed me in the right direction. Their encouragement gave me the hope I needed to keep praying and seeking God.

It’s been sixteen years since the darkest season of my life, and today I celebrate how God brought me through the tunnel of darkness and into His illuminating light.

That dark time in my life is what brings me here to begin writing on this new site. I want to do for others what was done for me at a time that I wanted to die. If you’re going through a dark season, I am here to say that it will get better as you pray, press into God, and seek to know His Truth.

I hope my life will stand as a living testimony and that you’ll stop by my site whenever you’re in need of encouragement. I pray that the peace of Christ will permeate your soul and bring you into His marvelous light.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…” 1 Peter 2:9 (New King James Version)

This post is written in memory of my beloved friend, Bonnie Morrell (1959-2008).