Healing in the Hard Times
I knew coming to Redding with less than $800 was not going to get us far at all. I came to Redding in faith that God would provide for us, just as he promised me. However, my idea of what God’s provision for us looked like and what actually ended up happening, were completely different. And once we were here, when I was in the perfect position for a miracle, I began freaking out a little. For me, the fear of trusting God wasn’t in the question will he provide, as much as it was how will he provide. I know he always provides for me, I had seen him do it for 2 years of me not working and there was never a moment Skye and I were without. For me, trusting how he was going to come through was a big deal and I didn’t really realize this until I was going through it. I had a set way of how I wanted him to come through. He promised me a place of my own while I was here, so that’s what I was looking for him to do. I was exhausted, my body was pushed beyond it’s stress limits from the medication I was on, and I just wanted a place to rest so he could heal me physically and finish healing me emotionally. I had painful memories of experiences with people when I was in a place of need or vulnerability, and I did not want to be back in that place again. After all the time I had spent with the Lord over the years and all the layers of healing he had done in our time together, inside, I still had all these secret places of pain and distrust of God and people. This made trusting a community difficult for me.
I felt so much resistance within when I was seeing that I was walking into the very living situations I did not want to be in, either living with other people I could not afford to pay or having to go into a shelter. This is where I had to decide, will I resist where he is leading me because it is out of my comfort zone? Or, will I let go of the way I wanted it to be and allow him to do what he is trying to do in my heart? I had to grab hold of courage, push past the discomfort, and walk through fear in order to find his love on the other side, and that is exactly what happened.
After blowing through most all of my money within the first week, we shuffled to a new place for one night, then landed at Bethel Church again with all my bags where I was trying to figure out where to go next. We almost ended up sleeping in the woods that night, but at the last minute, I found a place we could stay for the next 2 nights. When we got there, it ended up being the funkiest, dirtiest, AirB&B I had ever been to. It was musty, dingy, the shower was so dirty that Skye refused to stand on a towel and let me rinse him off. It bothered me because I had just spent the same amount of money on a place the night before that was cleaner and more beautiful than a really expensive hotel. However, after all we had been through that day, we had a clean bunk bed to sleep in, we were safe, we were not in the woods, and I was super thankful for that.
The next day was a Sunday, and we were going to spend the whole day at Bethel Church. I thought surely today the Lord will come through with some kind of financial miracle. That did not ended up happening. After the night service, we came back to the AirB&B and that’s when reality really sunk in. I was down to $5. I had a few pieces of bread, some Sun Butter, and a bar. I had no idea what I was going to do next. All I knew was tomorrow was another fight for survival and I was exhausted mentally, physically and spiritually. I couldn’t help but sob as I washed my face and brushed my teeth in the dirty, clogged up sink. I tried to pull myself together as I laid with Skye to get him to sleep. I laid there silently while tears poured down my face. Inside of me, there was a war going on. My frustration was billowing into anger toward God. I thought of all the scenarios of who I could possibly call out of desperation for a last minute plane ticket home. I thought about calling my parents and what it would look like moving in with them since I had no where to go back to in Atlanta. In the midst of my tears and internal wrestling with the Lord, I kept remembering the vivid dreams the Lord had given me over the years about things that would take place in Redding. He had given me dreams about being physically and emotionally healed, and he had spoken to me about stepping into my destiny. I was remembering all the things he said to me and promised me in the weeks leading up to me coming to Redding. Every time I thought about anything but staying in Redding, I felt so empty and unfulfilled. In that moment I knew if I let fear and discomfort be my guiding voices, then I would allow them to rob me of what was promised to me out here.
As soon as Skye fell asleep, I sat up on the edge of the bed and in an angry loud whisper I said, “Where are you God? You promised me a financial miracle if I stepped out here in faith. You promised me a place for Skye and I to live out here. You promised me all these things. I know I heard you tell me to come out here. Surely you didn’t call me out here only for me to turn around and go back. What am I supposed to do?!” All I could feel in the midst of the wrestle was peace when I thought about staying in Redding even though I couldn’t see how. So in that moment, I decided to recommit my yes to him and make the choice to stay, just as I had committed my yes to him before I went on the trip. I said, “Lord, I know you want me here. I don’t know how this is going to work, but I choose to say yes to you and to stay. If what you are doing in my heart requires me to stay in a shelter I will, but I don’t want to, and I am asking you to make another way for a nice, safe, place for us to stay.” As soon as I recommitted to his plan, I was flooded with peace. I laid down and fell into a deep sleep.
The next morning, I woke up with a since of hope and the idea to go onto a local mom’s Facebook group I am in and briefly tell them my situation and see if anyone was willing to take us in for a few days until the Lord showed me what was next or opened up an opportunity. A woman reached out to me within the hour and I met with her and her husband. Then they offered to house us for a few days. A guy I will call by the name of “E”, also messaged me from a different group responding to a post I had written a week prior when I had money and was looking for options. I met up with E after I met with the husband and wife of the other family and then we went to his place where he showed me the extra room he had.
I talked to the Lord about it and he told me to stay with the family first. E graciously offered to take us to the family’s house that day. On the way to their place, he told me he needed something from the store and asked if I had time for us to stop. When we were at the store, he asked me if I had eaten anything. He said, “I know a lot of times, moms in your position will skip meals so their kid’s have something to eat. Please get some things for yourself and Skye.” He kept asking me if I needed things as we were going through different isles in the store. I would say things like, “I mean, kind of, but it’s okay, we are fine.” He finally stopped me and said, “Listen, I have been in your position before. Sometimes the Lord has us in a season where he wants us to learn how to receive from him. It sounds like that is the kind of season you are in. I am offering to help you. Take the help. I know it might be hard to do, but I refused people’s help when I was in your position before and I ended up not having what I needed. The Lord told me, he said, Son, I tried to help you through other people, but you won’t receive from me.”
He was right, I did have some apprehensions to receive. Even though I had been in plenty of seasons of my life where I learned to receive from people, I still was not yet able to fully receive from someone without guilt or feeling like I owed them something in return. However, that wasn’t my only apprehension. I knew E knew the Lord, but I was also very aware that there could be a possibility he may have intentions and motives other than just wanting to help me out. I had an entire mental portfolio that was laden with a life time of painful memories of being taken advantage of, violated and used by men (and women) emotionally, verbally, sexually, materially, and spiritually. I tried to push past this and remember this trip is unique and I need to let the Lord replace the old memories of pain and distrust with new memories of safety and trust. E ended up buying us some groceries, shampoo and conditioner, toys for Skye, things we really needed. Then he bought Skye dinner at a restaurant on the way and dropped us off at the family’s house. Once again, the Lord met every need we had.
We stayed with the family for almost one week. There was so much peace in their house. Skye had a blast with their little girls. I got to see a thriving family of 6 and I fell in love with the idea of having more kids. I loved how much fun and joy and love was in their family. There were so many dreams the Lord awakened in my heart by watching how their family lived.
When our time was up there, I was still very skeptical of staying with E, but I had talked to the Lord about it, and he gave me peace and told me to go. Originally, we planned to stay with E for one week, but one week turned into 4 months. The last scenario I wanted to be in was one where I was living with another man, for many reasons. But this is where I really experienced healing in the fractures of my heart toward the Father as my provider. There were no expectations of me, no secret motives, no pressure, and E understood and respected that I was in a relationship with someone else back home. At any moment, I was expecting him to get annoyed at us being there and ask us to leave because I couldn’t give him anything in return, but instead he was gracious and kind to us. He understood when I told him the Lord had me in a season where he was telling me not to work; he had been in that place before too.
I was finally able to receive parts of God’s nature I hadn’t been able to before, to freely receive him as my provider and trust the safety in his provision. The Lord took care of all of our food costs and other needs along the way, in unique ways (that is a whole other story I will later share about at another time).
At the end of 4 months, the Lord opened the door for us to move into our own place. I had accumulated just enough money to afford a new place and that is where we currently are. I went through some radical healing emotionally and physically at Bethel during the time I lived with E. The Lord destroyed my distrust with humanity and healed the tarnished places where my boundaries had been pushed and violated by people in the past. All these little secret fears and distrust with people and community broke off of me over the months I was there. The Lord did the exact opposite of what I was expecting and fearing to have happen when I was in positions to rely on people I didn’t know. He broke the cycle of pain I had been carrying around for so long. I was loved by strangers who became like family, I learned to receive from people guilt free, without having the ability to repay them, and all the places inside of me that kept people at a safe distance melted away, as fears of being violated or rejected were swallowed up in God’s love. I came out of that season with the ability to let God love me through people again and the ability to receive a much greater portion of God himself than I ever known before.
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re enjoying hearing about our journey out here in Redding, CA. I look forward to sharing more of our journey with you! There is SO MUCH more to come!!
Hey friends! I have been receiving messages from people who want to sow into what the Lord has been doing in my life, and Skye’s life on our journey out here in Redding. Others have messaged me who have been really moved by what the Lord is doing through Adventures with Holy Spirit and also asked how they can give. I decided to set up a give page. If this is something you are interested in, click here! Thank you so much. Blessings and Shalom to you and your family!!