[ Godsends ]
All the Right Moves
One of my favorite stories about God’s work in my own family happened about two years ago when he moved my then eighty-two-year-old Mother to my own town of Mobile, Alabama.
I am an only child. Over the last six or seven years, my husband and I had watched my Mother’s overall condition just go down. We knew that the time was coming soon when she would need to move from her home in Jackson, Mississippi, to be near us.
Every time that she would com to visit us, we would talk about her moving down here and she would always say, “No, no, no. I want to stay in my house as long as I can and be with my friends.”
We would convince her to just have a look at garden homes and condominiums, but she would always come back to the fact that she did not want to give up her home.
About two years ago, things kind of came to a head. My husband, Jerry, said, “Donna, I really feel like you need to go and get your mom, and you need to bring her back to Mobile and go around to look at assisted living places. Just try to convince her that now is the time to do that.”
And so I brought my Mother to Mobile and we made the rounds. She liked the setup at a place named Brookside, but she was still fearful of leaving her home, her friends and her church. It was a painful week as we talked and cried and prayed.
She vacillated. One day she was coming, the next day she would say, “No, I can’t do that.” I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster. Meanwhile, we continued to pray for guidance.
About midweek while I was at work, my mother’s best friend in Jackson called her and said, “Guess what? We are moving to Mobile. We just sold our house. We are going to move in about two weeks.”
My mother called me at work to tell me this and I said, “Mother, I just think that the Lord is giving you a sign, that this is the right thing for you to do. Here your very best friend is moving to Mobile.” And she agreed.
I hurried home. My daughter Shannon met my mother and me and we went to Brookside to sign the papers. Then we went out to dinner that night to celebrate.
Mother got up the next morning and told us, “I cannot do this. I haven’t slept all night. I cannot do this.”
“Mother,” I replied, “We have to. We are committed. We have already signed the papers and it is going to be O.K. God is working everything out.”
That was Thursday morning. After work, we drove to Jackson to begin the process of putting her house on the market, selling her car and taking care of all her banking. The weather was stormy and it rained on us the whole way; so much so that we barely crept along. I could hardly see the road.
My mother was sitting there saying, “Oh, I wish Jerry could be with us.”
But my husband was out of town on business. So I said, “Well, you know we can do this, Mother.”
We’d go a little further, and she would say, “Oh, I wish Jerry could be with us.” She was saying this because Jerry handles everything in our household. So I don’t think she had a whole lot of confidence in me to pull things off in Jackson.
But I said, “Mother, God is with us and He is going to do this for us.” I didn’t know how He was going to do it, but I was confident that somehow He would.
We got to Jackson, where the weather had been stormy as well. We discovered that lightning had hit a tree in her back yard and it fallen. The swing underneath had been crushed. Then when we went in the house, we found that the lighting had also knocked out the air conditioner.
Since this was the middle of July, the heat inside was very uncomfortable. We put together what we could for dinner. When we got ready to wash the dishes, we soon saw that the plumbing was stopped up.
We went to bed that night very discouraged. How were we going to get everything done that we needed to do? How was I going to get this house sold quickly when I first had to get people in there to fix it up – on top of everything else that needed to be handled? I asked the Lord to give me the wisdom to know what to do.
The next morning I told my Mother that we needed to pray. “I feel like we are standing at the Red Sea, and we need to ask God to make a way for us.” And so we prayed.
A while later, Mother was speaking to her friend who was moving to Mobile and found out who had bought her house: a man who buys older homes, fixes them up and resells them.
So we got his name and number and not only did he come look at the house that day, he bought it – as is! He told us that he would have the air conditioner and the plumbing repaired. He would take care of everything. Anything we did not want to take to Mobile, we could leave. We did not even have to clean the house. All we had to do was walk out the door and give him the key.
I thought, “This is just too good to be true. Is this guy a scam artist? Are we not going to get the money when all is said and done?” Yet in my heart, I knew God was in control of it all and this was His way. We signed a contract with the man.
Six months before, my mother had bought a new car – which she would no longer need. We went back to the dealership and they very graciously bought back her car. Then on to the bank, where Mother told me she had recently rolled over her CDs. This meant we would not be able to access her money for the duration of the entire term. But it turned out she had been a little confused about that. Actually, the time to roll them over was coming up in a couple of weeks! I could go back to Jackson at that time, cash out her CDs there and transfer the money to a bank in Mobile.
We went back to Mobile the next day with my Mother’s house sold, her car sold and her banking taken care of. I had taken care all of this in one day with God’s help.
Two weeks later, my daughter and husband and I returned to Jackson and packed up my mother. She made a smooth move to Brookside in Mobile and her life there has been a blessing for us all. God has given her new friends and she feels very comfortable in her new home. She says that she wishes that she had done it years ago!
I am grateful to my husband for encouraging me to go forward with things in the first place. But I am especially grateful to God for parting the Red Sea for us that day and allowing us to see His glory.
Prayer: Father, thank You for impossible situations that show Your glory. Thank You that You do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever think or imagine. Thank You for Your goodness and Your love.