I am a single mom, not by choice. In March 2012, my husband called me into our bedroom and said two words that seemed to instantly cancel out the two he’d spoken to me at the altar seventeen years earlier, He simply said, “I’m done.”
Shortly after this, a friend gave me the best advice that I’ve ever received. She said two words to me that seemed to be the antidote for the ones I’d just heard. She simply said, “Read Psalms.”
Like a sick person following a prescription, I followed her advice to the letter. I read the Psalms, wrote them, memorized them, and on especially hard nights, slept with them under my head like a pillow. It was then that something happened.
Though I was already a Christian, I fell in love with Jesus. He was with me the day I sat alone in the courtroom as the divorce my husband wanted was granted. He was with me seven years later while I stood on my front porch listening to the song, The God Who Stays, on his wedding day to someone else. He is with me still as I continue to raise my two teenage children – one in college and the other a Junior in high school.
I can tell you story after story of His provision.
There was the below freezing night when our power was turned off because he wanted it out of his name after he left and a friend who works at the power company had them turn it back on for us so we could be warm.
There was the time when I wasn’t sure what we were going to eat for supper and a friend happened to drop off a chicken pot pie.
There was the time when our house was foreclosed on, which was in his name, and our neighbors offered their home until we could find a place to live.
There was the time when I didn’t know if I’d be able to continue homeschooling, but my church offered me a job as the Preschool Ministry Coordinator and allowed me to bring them.
Another time I wasn’t sure how I’d pay my property taxes and an anonymous person gave money to our pastor that paid them in full that year.
There was the bouquet of beautiful flowers another friend who owns a flower shop dropped off for me on Valentine’s Day.
There were many times at church when the sweet little two year old girl, Jane, who is with Jesus now, would smile and wave over her daddy’s shoulder as he walked past the welcome counter which made my badly wounded heart feel loved.
Recently, there was the door that opened for me to teach from my home and allowed us more financial stability. And there was the time someone left two jars on our porch on Christmas Eve.
That last example of God’s great love for us happened tonight – on Christmas Eve. Someone left two jars full of coins and each containing a $100 bill. Every time something like this has happened, I know God has used someone as His hands and feet. And each time it comes at a time when I need to feel His Presence the most.
I’d been struggling for a while to understand why God hadn’t moved the mountain and caused my husband to return. I’d stood faithfully on the truths of Scripture and prayed fervently as I kept my marriage covenant alone all those years. God continues to show me that He loves me and is with me and that He has a plan to bring beauty from ashes.
What I’ve learned is that sometimes beauty comes in single stems and not in a bouquet all at once. It comes in the kindness of others and sometimes it even comes in a jar.
This very afternoon, and a few days prior in my quiet time, God impressed on my heart to give away any money that we received above my normal paycheck. Tonight I understood that He was preparing me for the jars. He wanted me to have the opportunity to finally be on the giving end after having been receivers for all these years.
Truly there is no greater joy than to help someone in need. I know those who placed our jars understand that well. Your gift means more to us that you will ever know. We are praying and listening for God to tell us who the jars should be passed onto. I know He will show us who should have them next.