I have never been a “receiver” or whatever nomenclature you want to use. My wife and I have always been “givers” or someone that always did what they could to give back to the world, without seeking recognition or rewards. That is one reason that this article is hard to write because we never wanted anyone to know about the times that we have had an opportunity to share with others because of the blessings that God has provided us. We are no different than a lot of you, I believe that most of us will bless others (anonymously) when given the opportunity.
This year has been a little different and a very humbling experience for us. We purchased a new home in February of 2017, which we expected to be the place where we would retire. It was in a private community, away from town, with a pool that had a screened-in enclosure and backed up to a wooded area. We could get up in the morning and sit on the back porch and watch deer eat and play in our back yard. We were very excited about how things were working out and how God was blessing us.
Then July came around and I lost my job. Of course in today’s economy, this is not an unusual occurrence. I have worked in several different industries, always in management and I was hopeful that I would be able to find another position fairly quickly. Unfortunately, it appears that now I am “over qualified” (which really means too old) for every job I have applied for. After numerous rejections and “we will give you a call”, my wife, after being retired from school teaching for a number of years, went back to work. We expected this would just be temporary until I could find employment. Then, at the end of August, Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area and our house was flooded. We were the last ones on the street to be evacuated, having to wade in water up to our chests to a boat that could take us to dry land.
We were able to stay in the neighborhood due to some friends opening up their home and allowing us to stay with the. Little did we know that it would be over four months before we would be able to return to our home. So, my unemployment was actually a blessing in disguise. Being unemployed allowed me to work at our home each day and save money. We didn’t have flood insurance (we did not live in a flood zone), so we has to pay for all the repairs ourselves. Fortunately, we had great friends, a fantastic church and great relatives that volunteered their time and donated money to help us through this trying time.
God blessed us more times than I can count during this difficult time. It seemed that every time we started to run low on funds and were deciding what we could repair and what we could postpone that God would send another blessing our way. We had people donate time to come and tear down and replace Sheetrock, paint walls, install cabinets, require electricity, and the list goes on and on. We had people we had never met stop and bring food for workers, or drop off materials or donate money. When it came time to replace the floors, we were trying to figure out how we could move in and wait to install them until we could save the money – then my wife received a phone call from a friend that told her not to worry about the cost, she was going to pay for the materials and installation. How do you respond to that kind of generosity?
It seemed like we had miracles on almost a daily basis, from: a co-worker of my granddaughter donating a $100 gift card to us, our church providing labor as well as several thousand dollars in funds for materials, receiving an unexpected check from a profit sharing plan from a company I had left over a year previously, receiving a check from the Houston Realtors Association, receiving funds from Ace Hardware where my wife worked, etc. God continually blessed us and still continues to do so even as I write this blog.
As I stared earlier, this has been a humbling experience and a great life lesson. God has to remind us that He will provide and that sometimes we need to get out of the way and let Him work. Coincidences? I don’t believe in them. I believe in GOO – or God Ordained Opportunities (see our new website, http://www.thegoogroup.com). But that is a topic for another blog. All I can say is thank you God for humbling me and allowing me to see and be a witness to Your Power.