Posted in family, life

I Can’t Help…Sorry

Have you ever felt led to do something nice for someone?  Someone you don’t know?  Such as pay for someone’s food in a drive thru or pay for a strangers gas?  Have you ever “felt” like you were being told to give but then shrug it off because you know that  “someone else” will do the “right thing” and give? Let me share a little test of faith with you.

A few days ago I took the three youngest Littles to the store.  Nothing out of the ordinary, we were picking things up for this weekends Thanksgiving dinner we have planned.  While we were there looking at which gravy would taste the best a lady walked passed.  She too was looking at the gravy selection.  She shook her head and said ” I believe I can make it cheaper than that”  I laughed and made the comment ” I could make it but no one would eat it”  For those that know my cooking skills you can stop shaking your heads and laughing. Seriously you can stop laughing you know my cooking struggles lol. Anyway…. She then quickly shares her secret receipt on how to make your own gravy.  We start talking and I tell her I’m cooking this weekend for some of my family and how it’s our first holiday away from home. She tells me how she is planning a meal for a local seniors group.  We compare group sizes, mine 10 to 15, hers around 200 elderly people. Her small group feed the seniors every year who have no other family.  My heart sank.  She is in charge of picking up all the food and getting it to the center for preparation and will also be helping cook and serve it.  We chatted a few minutes and talked about the turkeys, she told me to wait till Wednesday to buy one because thats when they go on sale. She said Hi to the kids and off she went. That’s when I felt the first tug on my heart to give her money, but I ignored it.  Surely God knows our current situation and knows “there’s simply no way”  

The kids were very well behaved, for once, in the store while I continued gathering up all the goodies for the weekend.  As we shopped I could not help but think about all the people this woman and her small group were helping.  It brought a smile to my face.  Then our paths crossed again, this time next to the flour.   As I was picking up what I thought I needed she recommended a different one.  She said it made the best homemade biscuits. As we talked again, while I placed her recommend flour in my shopping buggie (shopping chart), I asked how long she had been helping out with the group she is with.  She said more than 15 years.  I asked if they got alot of donations from local stores or churches and she said that during the summer donations come in pretty often, but around the holidays most businesses and some churches donate to the food banks so she has to spend her funding wisely.  We again part ways and I felt the “tug” again.  So I start questioning myself.  I start thinking ” Lord you no we cant do this” “I can’t do this right now” “I am sure someone else will help out” I was having a nice long talk with myself standing by the bottled water.  I will admit I am a suckers for the people who stand by the exit ramps with their signs ” homeless please give”  I have watched the Dateline shows talking about how many of these people are running scams,  but still I give. So as the tug got louder and louder in my head and in my heart. I said Yes Lord, I hear you and went to look for her.  

The kids and I went up and down the aisles looking while I came up with a number I thought would satisfy the internal tug.  She was no where to be found.  I am embarrassed to say I felt relieved. I started thinking to myself, Maybe just thinking I should give was enough to satisfy God?  Me agreeing to look for her and give a little might have been enough to show Him “Yes Lord I will follow You” maybe…

That’s when I made the turn down the canned vegetable aisle, and guess who was standing there looking at the corn?   She looked up and smiled and waved at the kids again, by this time the boys were saying “mom it’s mamaw again”  I told her “This might sound crazy, but I think I’m suppose to give you money for the seniors”  She looked at me strangely. I explained that I felt God was telling me to give and that I could not ignore His Will. She broke down in tears and hugged me. She said that I was her angel God told her about. That she had been praying for a way to afford this year’s dinner, that’s why she was at the store picking up the on sale items and to find out when the other things would be going on sale.  I reach in my purse and found a few dollars and went to pull them out, then I felt God pull on my heart. I looked at the few dollars and put them back, and grabbed my checkbook.  I went to fill it out and as I did a different number than I had first thought popped in my head.  For a split second I thought “God there is simply no way I can’t justify that amount” But just as quickly as that negative thought crossed my mind a calming peace fell on me and I smile and wrote the check. 

I handed it to her and she started crying again. She started praying for me right on the middle of the aisle. The cashiers stared and other customers walked by quickly. I stood there and took it in.  She hugged the kids goodbye and as she walked off I could hear her say “I can’t believe this ,I can’t believe this” 

I checked out and went home.  Feeling good about myself but dealing with the “What if we need that this week” and “I wonder if she will really use it for the seniors or was she running a scam also” nagging going on in my head.  Jump forward to today.   I had ordered a few things for the kids for Christmas, and today for some reason a few of those things I ordered I found out would not happen.  At first I was furious that they were not coming in. I really had my heart set on these particular gifts and the idea my kids would not be getting them made me mad. However both companies agreed to full refunds on my purchases with the promise that the refunds will be in my account tomorrow. When I was adding up the amounts it totaled three times the amount I had given the lady.  God is good.  Was I upset about the gifts, yes. Did the kids really need the gifts, no.  Did the seniors need a hot meal prepared with love on Thanksgiving, yes.  My heart went from mad to glad just like that.   I went to the mailbox after I got off the phone with the second company and found this card.  

Now I don’t know if she will use the money for the dinner or not, but God does. All that matters is that God spoke to me and I listened. Was it easy, no. But I stepped out in faith that He would provide a way.  I do not share this to bring praises my way, But to show that God will always provide for those who step out in faith and follow His Will.  To God be the Glory, we are but simple servants.

Never be afraid to follow the path God lays out for you. It maybe as simple as giving a few dollars to a complete stranger for food or to become foster parents, or missionaries in a foreign country, or to buy toys for a needy child at Christmas.  Whatever God puts on your heart allow yourself to follow Him even if you don’t understand why. You will be blessed.
From our beautiful chaos to yours open your heart and allow God to speak to you. The journeys He will provide are are beautiful. 

Author:

I am a stay at home mom to 7 wonderfully crazy children. I have two biological children and my husband and I have adopted five little ones through foster care. Our children are 22, 19, 7, 6, 4, 4 and 1. Life is always interesting but I would not change a thing.

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