The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:25
There have been many times in my life when I felt buffeted by circumstances but none can compare to the season I knew my marriage was over. Ours had been a long union—over 20 years—and suffice to say, we had tried hard. The ending was not my choice but the choices I did have in the new reality were excruciating. The worst was feeling that I had failed my kids, our extended families, my church, and God Himself.
I spent that spring and summer on my face before Him, sometimes literally, but always spiritually, crying out for help. I started journaling for the first time in my life and practiced giving Him thanks for every single thing I could think of, as often as I remembered. Slowly, my soul became more calm, even as our situation got more dire. And finally, I was stilled enough to hear the hard truth: that He would give me no new direction until I obeyed His previous one.
So I had to move to Regina. The thought of physically leaving the home and life we had made, the person I used to be, and charting out alone with four kids made me want to curl up into a fetal position. But, like Jonah running away from God, I had no way out and no help but His. I had no job – having been laid off as an Educational Assistant in our small town – no money saved, and no family help, as my parents were dead, my two siblings far away. One morning I finally stopped crying and said to the Lord, “Ok, I’ll do it, but I need three things from You: a job, a place to live, and cooperation from the kids.” My fleece, out onto the ground.
Getting a job had been proving to be difficult. I had been a mostly stay-at-home-mom for the previous 15 years and my resume was rusty. Still, I applied for jobs almost recklessly, fear of the wolf at my door driving me. Looking for a place to live was surreal: how do you put on a brave face to a potential landlord when you actually don’t have any money or job and you aren’t sure how you are going to manage? And the condition of my kids was another heartbreak; I’m sure they knew changes were coming but I couldn’t even telegraph this tenuous plan to them. Every application, every phone call, every step forward sucked the wind out of me and I relied on Jesus for my very next breath. In fact, I began praying in the Spirit as naturally as I breathed and almost as often! I truly lived the lyrics from the worship song “Breathe”, so desperate was I for Him.
In several stunning miracles, God met my requirements in the last anxious week of August. A serendipitous trip to Regina had led to a tour of Regina Christian School, which led to my leaving a resume with them, which led to my being hired as an EA starting the next week. A family at RVC had their two-bedroom basement suite come available at the same time and were willing to rent to me and my brood. And my kids reacted with trust and resilience and faith when I talked to them about the future.
Through the storm, the Lord was my rock, His Word was my light and the Church was His hands and feet. Church folks stepped up in a thousand ways, from moving our stuff to new spaces to help with parenting, to home and car repairs, to countless prayers. We learned important things about what a family really needs (it’s not more space, more activities or more stuff!) We learned to fear only “the One who can destroy both soul and body” (Matthew 10:28). Our Home is in Christ and we are safe, no matter any calamity around us.
- Carla Taylor-Brown