Something Beautiful (Heidi)
A prophetic 4-year-old and two happy homeless girls….read on for one awesome testimony. More to come as God reveals more beauty from this story!
On December 6th I was babysitting. 4 year old Bella wanted to turn off all of the lights so that she could shine her new plastic flashlight against the wall, but her baby bro thought that was a little bit scary and started to fuss. Bella declared with great gusto, “You don’t have to be afraid,…’cause you’re about to see something BEAUTIFUL.” And with that she promptly shined her Disney princess light against the wall so that we could clearly see a picture of Prince Eric and Princess Ariel caught up in a warm embrace. I texted myself the quotation as it was too cute of a moment to forget.
A few minutes later I received a phone call from one of my room-mates saying that we had been robbed! (Yes, it took me by surprise as well). Not only were two laptops and some money taken from our home but the intruder had climbed up two flights of stairs & through our kitchen window and left a knife in someone’s bed!! In the heat of the moment when I was still trying to wrap my mind around what Britt was saying, I felt very scared and then I saw my texts in my phone and Bella’s quote. Somehow it seemed timely that she had just said that, and it gave me courage.
I got to the apartment as quickly as I could and found out that we were going to have to get out of our lease and move out. Steve (our pastor) was there and the rest of my roomies and a couple of friends. Britt’s Mac was gone and so was Carolyn’s laptop. These were precious to the girls not only because of their usefulness but also because of our precarious financial situations and memories/work stored. However, we were so thankful that no one was hurt and God had protected us all. Brittney had actually had a dream a few nights before that someone was in our house with a knife but when she woke up and prayed the Lord gave her peace showing her where angels were stationed around our place and gave her a settled feeling that we would not be harmed. We weren’t sure if it was a threat or just a random break-in, but for a number of reasons the police and Steve both felt that we were not safe to continue living in that apartment-especially in the particular neighborhood where we were staying. Two of the girls decided to stay in the apartment until the end of the month but Brittney and I packed up our things and decided to stay at the Sudworths and then find new housing arrangements asap. Before we left we all prayed together and again that quote from Bella came to mind-I felt that it was for that situation in particular, and told the story, speaking it out in faith- “Don’t be afraid, ‘cause you’re about to see something beautiful.”
And let me tell you, we DID. The church and friends came through like…FAMILY. The Sudworths told all of us that we could come stay with them and they’d help us find new housing. Almost immediately I began getting texts, e-mails, calls-all from friends (most from Church in the City, but also from two families in the city whose children I sometimes watch and have become close to) who offered us all that they had to give-even if it was as simple as an air mattress on the floor. And people meant it! It all meant SOO much!!! In a manner of days the church raised more than enough money to buy Brittney a new Mac and there was even some left over, which they gave to her. Her family was flying in for Christmas and she had a CITC family take her in and then one who offered to take her whole family in for their entire stay. The Doan’s let me stay with them for as long as I needed (and I did while Steve and Debs had guests) and then they offered to let me use their van when I had to move. My fiancé (boyfriend at that time ) came to visit for Christmas and spent two of his first days in the U.S. moving my things across Chicago in the bitter, freezing cold. (And I didn’t have my IL license at the time so he had to drive on the “wrong” side of the road to do it!!). And he cooked lunch for friends that were there one day when I was packing~Just KIND.
Families/friends from church continue to house Britt while she looks for a new apartment. Because of my unique situation with upcoming international moving plans, the Sudworths told me that I could stay with them until I get married in June, if need be. But it was not just the offer that touched me-it was the WAY it was offered-with such openness, such sincerity and LOVE. And then the Suddies cleaned out their basement (which also served as Steve’s office and the kids hangout room) so I could stay in it and bought me new rainboots & even left a note and fresh flowers the other day. And Debs also insists that I eat her marvelous cooking when I’m home for dinner. If I don’t come up to get it, she might just bring it to me~seriously.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9 I could name person after person and family after family from CITC that has shown me/us this love since our predicament…when the darkness is darkest- God’s LOVE shines the brightest. Through one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me, I have reaped BLESSING and BEAUTIFUL love.
Philemon 1:3 is my prayer for ALL of you and your families…GRACE-spiritual blessing and favor and HEART PEACE from God our Father and the Lord Jesus be with you now and in increasing measure this new year (and always).
This is my long-winded way to try, somehow, to say thank you.
I love you, Church in the City~
with so much gratitude,