We knew that we could not continue to expect our friends and relatives to come to our rescue each month to pay our rent and bring us food. God had used them this time because our need was urgent. We just didn't know what to do next. John still had about six months of school left for the year. Our experiences with finding employment hadn't worked out very well. We needed money for groceries, gas, and utilities. And Christmas was just around the corner! It was already December, and I hadn't even thought about Christmas for the children! Before we had left our home to come to school we had paid off what few credit cards we had and had let our accounts lapse with the local department stores. I thought, “Well surely since we had good credit with those stores, there would be no problem in getting our credit cards reinstated in time for Christmas shopping.”
So I went to the local department store and filled out an application for credit. I handed it to the credit manager and she looked it over and then called me back up to the counter. She asked me to please complete the section regarding place of employment and salary. I explained to her that we had just moved into the area and at the present time we did not have a place of employment. She looked over her glasses at me and responded rather disgustedly that they could not give us any credit if we did not have any visible means of support.
I asked her to please check our credit history and she would see that we had excellent credit and all of our bills were paid off. She said it really didn't matter how good our credit had been before. She could not at present extend to us any further credit since we had no source of income! By this time I was near tears, and yet was also fighting mad…not a good combination in a redhead! I blurted out that I hoped that SHE would have a very Merry Christmas! And with shame stealing up on my cheeks, I turned and fled out of the store. I cried all the way back home. John tried to console me, but all I could think about was that we wouldn't be able to buy any gifts for our children for Christmas, and that it was all that lady’s fault!! I blubbered out that I was certain that SHE would have a good Christmas for HER kids, so why should SHE care about us?
Joy in the Morning
Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!”
My faith in humanity and God were at an all time low! Why was God allowing us to go through so many trials anyway? Didn't He know that we were only trying to do His will? It was because of our faith in Him that we had gotten into this mess in the first place, and then our baby had been almost killed. (For more about THIS story click HERE) Now our children were going to have to miss out on Christmas! It just wasn't fair! I carried on like this for some time even while I tried to fix some lunch for the family.
Now, I suppose some of you are wondering how $60.00 could make much of a difference on Christmas when you have two young children, along with other financial responsibilities looming.
One of our neighbors happened to stop by, and before I knew it we were telling him our sad tale of woe. He was very sympathetic and understanding. But inside I was feeling some resentment toward him too! After all, he was attending school on the G.I. Bill, and had quite a nice savings account in the bank as well! His family wasn't going to have to suffer on Christmas! Oh, how the bitter feelings were rising to the surface and depriving me of any joy or peace! Perhaps it was just all the weeks and months of struggle, disappointments, and stress that were beginning to take a toll on me. Whatever my excuse, the Lord understood my heart. Even though I was acting like a spoiled child crying because I was being deprived of some treat, God looked down and had compassion on me. In a few moments after our friend had left our apartment, he returned with an envelope. Inside was $60.00 in cash. He said very lovingly, “Here, please take this as a Christmas gift from us.” I was so ashamed for the way I had felt inside, and for the way I had acted outwardly. I really couldn't receive his gift. But he insisted, and we very humbly accepted. God had provided again, and I knew in my heart that I didn't deserve such a gift. But isn't that just like God? Doesn't He always give us what we don’t deserve? Hallelujah! What a Savior!"
Here are some pictures from that Christmas morning so long ago:
Christmas Morning: First Look at what "Santa Claus" brought....
|Oh wow! Is all that for me????|
Can't believe how small our sweet little boy was...but he sure gave the "Happy Hobo" a real workout!!
Look what we found! A NEW CAR! Only problem...there was only one...and there were TWO boys...
But when all was said and done they both had a wonderful Christmas, and never knew how close they came to not having such a wonderful day....God knew exactly how to take care of us...in more ways than toys for the kids...
|Precious children our son Matthew on left, and Benton on right.|