Friday, June 3, 2011

I've heard from so many struggling, I thought I'd blog my message on The White Crepe Myrtle Tree.  This is a true story and I wrote it originally one day as a lay person's message to give in church.  It touched many people so I hope it will touch you and help you see that you can make it through anything.  With that - enjoy!

The White Crepe Myrtle Tree - -

A few years back, my husband and I were both laid off literally a day or so apart from one another!  Imagine our shock.  It was also at a time the economy was bad and other major companies were laying off and workd was also hard to come by.  I thought for sure we'd find something fairly easy, but I was wrong!  We were finding jobs at about 1/2 the salary we had...finally, we had to accept them as nothing else was coming our way.  I didn't know how we'd make ends meet on the new salaries we had but I tried not to think about it.  Now my husband is analytical, logical and a number person so I knew he was watching our income to debt ratio and I knew in the back of my mind he would approach me one day about our situation. 
The day came.  He told me we may need to think about things as the new salaries aren't the same we had.  You see he was gently "planting seeds" in my mind.  I knew what he was up to...but I ignored it.  So little by little he tried his best to prepare me for the worst.  The day came.  He confronted me full on with - we can't make it on our new salaries and stay where we were.  I felt like a brick hit me and took the wind out of me. As we discussed it, of course I knew he was right, but I was angry at the situation.  I worked hard at work, I worked hard for the land and I worked hard for our home...and now we can't stay?  He took his time with me, but I cried and struggled with it.  Why God? I asked. I felt even anger to God because I couldn't understand how this could happen to us.  I sat on the back porch and through tears asked and begged him.  I told him that all I ever asked for was just a small farm house, nothing fancy, but I had settled for a double-wide manufactured home.  I asked for the white picket fence and those 2.5 kids that people speak of and always wanted a white crepe myrtle tree out front and I felt - this was not that much to ask for and I didn't get any of it.  No farm house, no tree, no kids - I was devasated now that we would have to even sell what we did have.  The day came and I finally agreed to put our house up for sale thinking - this will take a long time.  The next day we had a call.  Are you kidding me?!  They wanted to buy - we needed to sell.  Where are we going?  My mother approached me and said we could move into my grandpa's 2 1/2 room house.  Mind you this is not 2 1/2 bedrooms - I'm talking 2 1/2 rooms!  One square room where they had their kitchen and dining room and one square room which was both their bedroom and living room, bed one one side, couch on the other and the 1/2 room was a porch they closed in to make a utilty and bathroom out of.  She had no idea what shape it was in because renters just moved out.   How was I going to fit 3 bedrooms worth of stuff into that?  At the same time, I always loved being at my grandparents.  So we agreed not knowing what else to do.  We sold off most of our things - there went my china cabinet and crystal and china we got for our marriage and little by little our things dwindled - all the while I am not with the plan - fighting and struggling all the way thru tears.  How God? I kept asking.  When we opened the door to what would be our new "home" - my heart sank.  The ceiling fan hung eye level by wires, the wood floor was varnished almost black, smoke stain on the wall made what was a light paneling gray with crayola marks on it, a popsicle among other items stuck to the floor.  I looked at my husband in tears.  Well fix it he said. So my family and I went to work.  There were all sorts of things from roach infested to smells - I can't even tell you. First call- exterminator - next call - someone to strip the floors. We painted after that.  We finally moved in. We had our bed in the middle with our recliners touching it and our entertainment center on the wall - boxes everywhere and just to get to bed one had to climb over things.  Why God?  A few months past and I was still not with the program.  So one Saturday I was frustrated because stuff was everywhere and I had no place to relax and so I looked at my husband and said "I can't take this anymore - I've had it!" and I stormed out the front door.  There I stopped cold. In tears, I cried out to my husband - Come Here!  What? he replied.  Look I said and pointed.  A tree in the front was now blooming.... a white crepe myrtle tree no doubt.  God has answered my prayer. I asked for a small farm house and I always wanted that type of tree and so here we are.  From that point on, I shut my mouth and humbled myself realizing I had a roof over my head, it was a small farm house and there is my tree.  (So watch what you ask for - I should have said medium-sized farm house!) LOL.   So from there I asked God's forgiveness for me trying to hold onto my things and not praising Him or trusting in Him.  I gave it all up that day to Him.  My father had cancer and so later we realized by living there which was next to my parents, we could be there to help them.  I was there to hear his call when he fell in the yard and was there to help lift him up.  I was there when my mother fell and helped her.  Later my father passed away and I was so grateful that God put us where we needed to be.  It was His will for us to be there.  And each morning I can see that my mom has opened her blinds in the house so that is my sign that she is okay.  I realized things are just that - things.  And, that I didn't need all those things.  That this little house is a blessing in that our bills on it were smaller which helped with our new salaries.  Later from the sale of our other property, we were able to pay off some of the bills and my brother-in-law and other contractors helped us add an official bedroom and proper bathroom making it now 1068 sq feet.  Not much by others standards - but it is enough for us.  Many have told us this is a stepping stone and you'll find something bigger later.  But I tell them - no, God has us where He wants us and I think we may just stay - after all we are growing older too and this would be a perfect house for us to grow old together in!

So remember, we may not know the plans God has for us, but if we can let go and give in and hold on for the ride - it will eventually be revealed and you will realize He was in control all along!

Until next time....

3 comments:

  1. I saw your story on Insight of the Day. It really touched me. I am 57 years old and lost my husband 3 years ago. I won't go into all the details, but if you tell me how to contact you, I will give you my contact information and I will happy to tell you more of my story. The bottom line is I prayed and prayed for someone to come along - I was so lonely. I even wrote out a description of who I wanted - tall, blue eyed, spiritual, kind. My hairdresser convinced me that "computer dating" was the only way to go. Ha! Another story there, too. But in the end, I met exactly that man. Tall, blue eyed, kind and spiritual. We now have a blended family - 2 daughters, 2 sons, 2 dogs, 4 cats and a bunch of fish. He's NOTHING like I expected - even though he fits the description - but God has blessed me in so many ways! I am grateful every day for everything God has done for me. :)

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  2. Unfortunately, this blog site does not allow me to be able to reply which is not good because I'd like to reply to everyone, but if you will send me a comment with your email and state "private" on it, I won't publish it but then can reply to you. Thanks!

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  3. Great story about trusting in God - it is a difficult thing to do sometimes! I nearly lost my home and felt so angry that it scared me. Luckily, I took that anger and turned it into positive action and managed to find 5 jobs to replace the two I lost. It's tough, but I know that the lessons and growth are moving me to be a better person. Again, thank you for sharing this event and the one from Insight of the Day about passing on love. :)

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