The little lady looked at me eagerly. “I can sleep on the floor,” she said.
My brain did one of those twisty-turvy-upside down spins that happen when you’re moving out but need to get renters in your house.
I looked at her, and I said yes.
Sure, she could sleep in the empty Air bnb living room even though the bedroom was already occupied by another renter and I hadn’t expected her for several more days when the other renter would be upstairs, and I was gone.
I was paying a huge mortgage and moving four children across the country. The bills would roll in and I needed to get renters into the house. As I talked to the Lord, He brought one after another—people who needed a short term place to call home. People I could trust.
My head spun with a million things to do, things to sell, things to sort, and things to pack. Renters to bring in and a house to rent all the way on the east coast. Jobs to work as long as possible. An ex-husband I couldn’t bring myself to say good bye to, and a life being folded up like a towel, stuffed into a box, and taped shut forever.
One of the renters ended up being a true christian with the gift of prophecy and encouragement. Another was a writer who just needed a simple room to focus on her project. And yet another was a couple who was eager and willing to tend the fire and care for things around the place.
The garbage pile in the garage grew to astronomical heights as the other side of the garage filled with a renter’s boxes and the art studio next to that filled with another renter’s stuff. My own stash filled the center of the garage, and the shop held the moving sale.
That was the day, when I sold things I couldn’t move and had friends fill in for my lack of marketing skills until my ears burned. They did the job better than I ever could have.
I’d stand in the middle of the mess, wondering why under heaven I had this strange sense of peace. Why was I in a bubble of protection where nothing could harm me, where nothing could stop me, where nothing could touch me?
It was as crazy as it sounds. My phone kept pinging every few seconds with someone asking about one more thing they wanted to purchase, while my ex husband texted me a list of things he wanted and talked about the dog which was ironically being dog-sat by a dear family who desperately wanted to keep her.
I was relieved to have her away as she barked a lot and I kept cringing at my own voice trying to shush the poor pooch right up.
The dog was finally gone when my daughter said those dreaded words, “Mom, can you please check my head. I’m itchy.”
How under heaven do you pack up a 3400 square foot home, sort and sell, prep for renters, find a new house to rent thousands of miles away, cancel your clients, transfer schools, and treat for lice??
I lifted her hair and sure enough, there it was. That sticky little white speck I’d recognize anywhere, followed by a trip to Walmart for another hundred dollars worth of chemicals and essential oils. Then, the laundry going non-stop for the next few days.
My brother flew in to help drive the truck across the country, and I met him in my kitchen, fell into his arms, and sobbed out loud. He cried with me and we both stood in the kitchen together, broken up over my broken up home.
Divorce and betrayal must be from the hottest places of hell. And when it comes to moving, people rate it as one of the top most difficult stressers. But for me, it really wasn’t.
We groaned over lice and moaned over boxes, but I told my lovely children that none of us were dying, none of us had cancer, and lice was a small thing we could wipe right out of our home.
I knew what it was like to really hurt, to sit in a court room with the man I loved and married because he filed for divorce and was with a sixteen year old girl twenty two years younger than me.
The only thing good about going through enormous amounts of pain is that it sets lesser things into proper perspective.
See this, friends—most of us gripe over such small things that we’re held absolutely captive to the smallest world when God would set our hearts free to breathe, live, dance, and smile.
I stood in the mess and wondered this again: why did I have such peace?
Hadn’t Jesus said it, and yet, I was still amazed by it? “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6&7, ESV)
The day to fly away came quickly, and my brothers sent me out the door before the truck was loaded. I gathered my children as I heard them say, “You don’t need to thank us. This is what we do.”
The children were tired and so was I. But Jesus surrounded us on that plane and covered us as we sat in Vegas for four hours watching hot singles fly in just for fun.
Jesus covered me when I sat beside the young wife who was flying to Vegas to join her husband for the weekend, and I was flying to North Carolina to start life over because my husband was with another girl.
We were both blonde, both loved books and refused to purchase kindles because we were stuck on real paper. Both of us loved romance and relationship. She had it, I did not. Her i-phone displayed her handsome hunk while mine had been wiped clean of each photo.
But we both smiled at each other and felt that sisterhood of connection and warm wishes. Life isn’t always fair, but God’s love covers all of us equally.
Do we see this, friends, this awesome truth that even though tears roll and things happen and we struggle to find air to breathe at times—that if we hang on and do the next best thing in sheer faith, He comes in to cover us?
I’m certain of this one thing, I’m not the only girl on this planet who has gone through emotional trauma, who has wanted to change the outcome of life, who has cried up to the heavens at night asking God why.
I’m also not the only girl who has found Jesus standing right next to her with unexplainable, yet undeniable peace.
I’m here to invite you to join me as we all learn to be loved by such an awesome God.
I landed in Charlotte with weary children at 1:30 am to a whole new world feeling like vast amounts of silent space that had never been traveled. We fell into bed and I didn’t get dressed the entire day as my body and emotions tried to catch up.
The rock I had brought from home sat in my suitcase and reminded me again. “The Lord is my Rock.” (Psalm 18:2, ESV)
For then, that was enough. For always, that will be enough. And everything under the blessing of God will be good, and will be enough.
He covers me, and He covers you.
P.S. Two weeks later, we are cozily settled into a sweet little home, and life in North Carolina is just beginning to ROCK. I hug my children daily with deep amounts of gratitude. They are brave and beautiful, all four of them.