So we finally made an announcement for The Torch letting everyone know we got a food truck! It seems surreal to me still. Can you picture Sarah and I driving around in a food truck? I don't even know how to drive a manual shift so Sarah and Kelly will have to drive it until I learn. I must admit I love to dream about the day we first pull up to a neighborhood or trailer park or wherever God leads and we start cooking food and handing it out to whoever is there. I hope we meet tons of children and teens. I also hope everyone who visits our truck will leave feeling encouraged and blessed.
I honestly don’t know how this is all going to work together. I know there is a niche for us somewhere and I know we will persistently search until we find it. I am fully confident we are on the road of our destinies’. It was a crazy route getting here. I don’t think many people can truly understand what it means to be homeless. To have nowhere to go where you feel you really belong leaves you with a hollow emptiness inside. When I was homeless I spent hours parked by a lake, just looking at it and praying for better days ahead. There were times when I felt so hopeless I wondered why I was even alive. Using every ounce of energy I had and every bit of intelligence I could muster did not help - I still could not think of a way to afford a place to live on the pay I received from my job. I knew of no place to go to provide security and safety for myself and my daughter.
A chance (?) encounter with a teacher I hadn’t seen in a long time while doing hall duty I didn’t want to do led to an apartment for Maddy and me. Free of charge. Making small talk as we monitored the hall - I talked to my friend about her family and the students we were supervising and then she asked how I was doing. It was always weird and humiliating to say, “I am homeless” but it was a truth which was never far from consciousness when that was your life. I didn’t strike up a conversation intending to discuss my homelessness, but there it was. My friend sympathized and our hall duties ended and we went our separate ways. I was very surprised when, a few days later, she contacted me and told me there was a couple who attended her church who had an empty apartment and they wanted to meet me to talk about letting Maddy and me move in.
The apartment was beautiful and so much more than I believed I deserved at that time. My self-confidence was gone and I was mentally hanging on by a thread. I never doubted God’s goodness or provision during that time. I prayed fiercely and daily. I did have doubts, however, I doubted He would want to help me. Why should He? I was going through a divorce. And the people of my church had turned their backs. Why would God want to help a person so unworthy as me? I thought I had let Him down somehow and failed in my walk as a Christian. I believed He would never be able to use me for His purposes again and that I had been thrown away like trash. That’s what I felt my church family had done, so why wouldn’t God do the same?
I can see now I understood very little about His Grace. All I have ever really wanted since I became a Christian was to be used by God for whatever purpose He had for me. Therein lies the key to His Grace. God knows each of us intimately. He knows we mess up and make mistakes and He corrects us. God knows we sometimes sin, but we can tell Him we are sorry and He forgives us and we can move on. He promises to never leave or forsake His children. He PROMISES. We might have to walk through some valleys and cross some desert plains, but we will never do that alone. I was mistaken in holding onto the subconscious belief He would not take care of me because I was such a bad person. God doesn’t work that way. Grace doesn't work that way.
God sees worth where others see failure. He sees value where others see garbage. He would never just throw a person away. He is a God of love and eternal Hope. He does take the actions people intend for evil and harm and turn them into good - which is magnified a million times over. His grace is infinite. He was even willing to give up His heavenly position and come down to Earth to experience life as we experience it. He can and does flip circumstances around and turns life inside-out and does the unexpected when we least expect it. I look back and I MARVEL at how He was working all the time even when I felt He wouldn’t. Or wasn’t. That’s Grace and I am barely beginning to understand it. Amazing.