I know many women who leave a relationship on the good side financially. That was not me. Four years ago, at the age of 46, I was starting over. It was a cold, snowy winter day when I walked into the office of the Apt. Manager with a tear-stained face and likely looking a little thin. My head was in a fog and the only thought I could muster was “What if this falls through? Then what!?!” I was afraid I wouldn’t get the apartment on my own. My credit wasn’t the greatest due to past mistakes. When she said “You are approved, let’s pick out your new home.” I couldn’t do anything but sit in that chair and cry as the Manager came around her desk to give me a hug and speak to me quietly “Honey, it’s going to be OK. God is with you.” That moment was a reminder that sometimes all we need is just a little word of encouragement to carry us through.
In one cold January weekend I moved into a tiny apt. that didn’t even have room for a table. That Monday I started a new job, lived alone for the first time since I was 18 and was now also an hour away from my family & friends. It was an adjustment. It was scary. It was lonely. It hurt. It was dark at times. But I refused to fall into another “not right” relationship out of the need for security. Instead? I took my hands off the wheel, surrendered and truly, for likely the first time in forever, put my future in God’s hands. Faith. It’s often the hardest thing to grasp, but oh when we do!
One year later, in HIS perfect timing after Round 1 of healing and holding on to his promises, I was blessed enough to move into the apartment I’ve called home for 3 years now. It had more room than that first apartment and a pool! But in the beginning? I felt ashamed that like most grown adults my age I didn’t have a home. A place my kids could come to and it really feel like “Mom’s house”. I was embarrassed. I was still alone. Still scared. Still dark at times, but not as often…. One night as I sat crying and asking God for a Rhema word I opened my bible and turned to this verse in Hosea: “I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.” I knew that was my promise for this time in my journey! I just knew it! I felt peace when I read it. Mistakenly I thought “God’s going to bring me a man! And he’ll likely have kids at this age. And it will be a beautiful blended family!!” (You see, I was still healing. Still learning. God was still trying to show me that HE is my provider.) Instead of a man? God showed me what TRUE LOVE is.
First? I learned to love myself so I could then fully love others. When we are broken? We love with our broken pieces. I started being thankful instead of ashamed. Every day I was thankful just to have a roof over my head. All the way to work I’d rattle off the list of all the things I was thankful for. Instead of being upset my apartment wasn’t big enough to have family and friends over like I wanted? I invited people over any way and we sat real close, but we laughed real hard! I kept seeking him and in the process the lonely days got less and less. The fear was gone. The promises started manifesting. My valley of trouble? It opened doors to the most amazing experiences. I quit being ashamed of my mistakes and instead embraced them. Not in pride, but in a hope to relate to those around me who were broken enabling them to see there is healing in a relationship with Jesus.
“As she did long ago when she was young”… When I was young I loved the Lord. I was only 18 years old but I wanted to help hurting young girls, guide them to good decisions and to know their worth. Why? Because I had been hurt. I thought if I could prevent just one girl from going through what I did it would be worth it. As I dreamt, I drew out my vision with plans for a house for young women. I would write out meeting agendas. I also had the desire in my heart to write a book. Never knew what kind? Just that I wanted to write. Here I am, 50 years later, I wrote that book. That one, small, obedient step opened so many doors! Opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus and speak to women in large group settings or one on one. And then that old dream started to resurface… I saw this house I wanted so badly. It however, was over a million dollars. I wanted to turn it into a venue for weddings on the weekends and during the week use the space to hold free classes for women on parenting, cooking, counseling, etc. That’s where my heart and passion really reside. I wrote that on my vision board and I believed for it to happen!
At the same time? I was listening to LBII preach about “God’s Math”. God’s math is not 2 + 2 = 4. It doesn’t add up. Or make sense. And yet? We experience the blessing. I’ve also learned you get what you speak. Your life mirrors your words. If you speak negativity, gloom and doom? That’s likely what follows you. Speak life, hope and love? The same. I pulled into a sub-division and saw this big, beautiful brick home and said “Thank you God that one day you will bring me the man YOU have for me and together? We can afford a home like this. And when filled with our children and grandchildren, it will be full of love and laughter.” Little did I know (God’s math) that 3 months later I would hear from my dear friend Marcy “Yes Kris, you were approved for the house.” What?!? Wait?? There must be some mistake? It was a miracle and blessing that I got in that first tiny apartment on my own, but now this?!? Just four short years later I’m getting THIS house?? I took a drive out past the house after I got the news and the contract was signed and I heard in my heart “I’M your provider.” Please don’t misinterpret this as “man bashing” – trust me – I’m definitely waiting on God to bring me the one! But He’s been dealing with me the last four years of my journey, showing me not to look for my worth or security in another. To look to Him first. To have faith. He’s whispered to my heart “You go do what I’ve called you to do. THEN I’ll bring you the one.” As soon as I drove away I got excited. This isn’t just Miss Kris’s home. This is a house built with love and I’m just a steward of God’s blessings. I don’t need that million dollar venue to love on the broken. I can do it HERE!! In my minds eye and blessed heart I don’t see bricks and mortar, but I can already see nights with all the single moms discussing parenting tips or budgeting. I see bible studies or a group of single young ladies waiting on their Boaz supporting one another and learning to cook or have fun in the process. I can pour a cup of coffee while I listen one on one in confidence. There will be plenty of hugs and love at Miss Kris’s house. And my Grandson Cade and I? Well I have big plans for many adventures there with that precious little boy. Swings and slides and storytime on the back porch.
If I had the ability to move right into this house four years ago? I would’ve missed the process. It’s in the process and journey that you learn so many valuable life changing lessons. It’s where you are broken and restored. Where you cry but you heal. Where you scream but you laugh. It makes the breakthrough so much sweeter!!
I’m writing this hoping that it inspires someone to keep pressing in. Don’t settle. Trust God in ALL things and in HIS perfect timing! Personally? I’m still believing for that venue as well, but I keep being reminded of that verse in Luke “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” This is just the beginning! When I look back on the last four years? My mind is blown! But then again? It’s God’s Math.
Be blessed my friends! And if you are ever in the area? Stop by and share a cup of coffee!!