When we got the news of a job in Texas, my heart leap with anticipation, and hope, but in all honesty I was scared. I had faced so many failed hopes and dreams, I had reached a point where I thought maybe I was resigned to disappointment. We had visited at Christmas as a gift from my nephew and we had loved the area, but never imagined in a million years we would actually be offered employment in the great state of Texas. We had lived the past 25 years in Tallahassee and in the last 3 years we had moved 3 times. It was completely against my nature. But, I am sure it would be difficult for any woman to lose her home, leave her roots and lose the security of how her family would forge their future. It is apparent it is not the American way, that is, it is not the modern way, the way of my generation. It was just 2 generations ago that they had no concerns for these things, life unfolded as it would, it had a rhythm, it all worked some how. It had a balance. I recall my Mom saying it cost her $600.00 to have me and she was high risk. She and my Dad built a new home, an average home, but it was theirs. My mom stayed home, by choice, not because it was forced on her, and the balance worked. Just during this time did my Mom say she started hearing about medical insurance. Her parents were farmers and lived in whatever home was provided for them by the plantation or farm. So my Granny made whatever home she was given, “her home”. Only later in life did she own a house and it was, by the standards of our age, a peice-meal shack, yet, she lived fearless. How do you live like that? She lived with peace, even with an alcoholic husband, though I must say, I loved my grandfather dearly. She lived with an inherent joy deep in her soul. Not a put on smile for the church folks, or the neighbors, but a joy deep in her soul. Without medical insurance or a 401k, or a savings account, or the college pre-paid!!! Imagine that!!! I want that! What was it that she had? Is was, certainly, not from her circumstances. Nothing, from all outwardly appearances, would mandate such a happy life. She felt something higher than herself held her destiny, held her childrens’ destiny, and this is where her peace, her joy came from. She was absolutely certain that she was exactly where she was suppose to to be. I think we all can deal with just about anything once we come to terms with the fact that we are right where we are supposed to be, believer or non-believer, and I had settled into this little beach cottage (a lil single wide trailer), a few blocks from the gulf, when we got the call from Dallas Texas. I had my routines, my 2 blogs, my speaking and things had a rhythm. I think the point is, I had no higher expectations. I was stuck. Kinda war-torn, beaten down. I had been devastated by an abuse one of our children had suffered and it had rocked our family to the core. Really not wanting to step out, fearful I guess! Isn’t that just like God! He always comes along and gives us something to do, but it is apparent that we didn’t do it (or couldn’t do it) and sometimes only when it does get done is it crystal clear that it was only by His hand! The call was A job! Thank God, after 2 years, a job! A substantial job, that would support our family and give us some reprieve from the devastation we had seen the past 4 years. Dr. Gary, one of our children’s therapist, equated what our family had been through equivalent to losing a family member to an illness, but I think he was wrong, it was much worse, mainly because of the uncertainty! But, we had made it through it, and we had come out on the other end, or so we thought. When I committed to this dirt road, (what I call writing my thoughts in this blog) I made a promise I would be honest and forthright, even when it didn’t reflect the best on me. Back to the call. The job would move us to Texas, set us up in a house and secure us for the future. They flew Kenny out for the week, it was a perfect fit, they made the agreement and 2 weeks later we were moving to the big D. The kids were stoked, we were elated, excited, just thrilled beyond words. We rented our house, sight unseen, over the internet….get here, I love it! We are on a creek, the kids’ schools are within walking distance, I am in ADD overload decorating the first month, we feel human again, like we are not lower class citizens, like we have hope. Why are we made to feel like we are lazy or like we have no voice when we have lost our job, or like our family, lost our business. I had navigated the system for almost 2 years, my kids would not be uncared for and it was an absolute burden off my heart to be done with all that, and little did I know what lay ahead. Within 90days of relocating our family some 1200 miles and committing to a 2 year lease Kenny was laid off. So here we are in a new city, very little resources, no job and a lease beyond an average paying job. Kenny left that job with no severance, no bonus, and only the last 2 weeks pay in his hand and did not qualify for unemployment. True story, I was sitting at my nephew’s salon getting my hair done, and Kenny called me, when my phone rang I got this deep impression, deep in my soul, that he had lost his job, but, as God had promised almost 3 years earlier, HE would meet our needs day-to-day, and out of our lives we would reach the broken in spirit and share our families’ story. I knew this in my mind, I could recall the day, almost the exact moment, but I had hoped that was behind us. Somehow I knew it wasn’t. I answered my phone and we made small talk, then Kenny said I wouldn’t be able to reach him that afternoon, I said, you lost your job didn’t you? He said, “Yes, but we’ll talk tonight’. I knew, somehow, I just knew, before him telling me. I don’t know how, but I knew. When we did finally get together that evening and I collected myself and stop heaving and crying, and we could gather our thoughts on how we where going to tell the children. How would we tell Emma? She had seen the man she loved so deeply, her father, go through so much, I knew it would crush her, beside that, the children, had just gathered some sense of security in a “place” again. I had told Wyatt, wherever you start 9th grade, I promise you, you will graduate. That boy has suffered the past year, a dark, dark year, and I would crawl through broken glass to see him happy. “God how will I keep this promise, we are sunk, we can’t keep this house, how will we stay in Texas, but how will we get back to Florida? God, what are we gonna do?” I just can’t face them yet, I need to get a hold of myself, get ahold of my attitude. Through all we had been through we had a saying, we would gather close, our bond tight, and one would say, it’s gonna be “ok”, but today, I just couldn’t get it out. We even have a painting, hanging in our hall, that says, OK, as a tribute to the fight we endured together. The kids have been so great through everything. I certainly couldn’t bear to tell Emma, she just started her semester at college, she would worry herself sick, I was feeling anything but “Godly”. I was angry! I could feel hate boil up in my soul, which is not like me, hate for the gentleman that had let Kenny go, didn’t he know what this meant for our family, didn’t he know, but, I thought, he didn’t even care……. the questions went on and on. Then in some weird way, I felt angry toward Kenny like he had done something wrong, contributed, couldn’t he have prevented it, stopped it? As I felt myself withdraw from him, want to withdraw from the world, I recalled that all to familiar feelings I felt the night I had to get up and leave the comfort of our bed that we had shared for 24 yrs, to lay awake on the couch, the weight of what we where losing was so heavy I couldn’t sleep. The stakes are too high, financial issues don’t just effect what you can see, they effect every area of your life, they strain every relationship in your life, your marriage, your friendships, your health, even your relationship with God. Little did I know, financial was only half of what we would face. I had known God since I was a little girl and nothing had prepared me for the things I would face. Situations I would see Emma in, heartache Wyatt would endure, the list goes on. As my mind was racing, I sat there looking out the back window of our bedroom, the view is just beautiful, and I began to recall all the times it had been “ok” all the times God had come through for our family, too many to tell of in this post, I will get back to our story at another time, as I sat there I knew God knew what was best for our family, that all this had to be a part of our purpose (of our “dirt road”) and all that He had done was for good-but maybe it just wasn’t “our” good? If I really knew how much He loved me, I should always be ready to receive equally and with indifference, from HIS hand, the bitter with the sweet. The worse of situations will never seem intolerable, except when we see them in the wrong light. When we see them dispensed by the hand of God, guided by His hand, it even becomes a matter of consolation. God I should love you equally in pains and pleasures. Drawing close to God for simple gain or because we want something, can never bring us as near to him as faith does in one simple act. I have lived this statement. It seems I have sought Him only by faith these past few years, but isn’t that right where we need to be? I began to pray for strength, courage, humility, and love. Love for the man that had laid Kenny off. (To be fair, the reason for the layoff was a severe crisis in this man’s life and business and not just a random or vicious act) is not an easy process to arrive at such a place, it is down right difficult, it is a process, a process that begins purely in faith. But, even though it is hard, I knew I could at least begin the process, and with His grace, He could finish it, which I know He never refuses those who ask and earnestly seek Him. I still had enough in me to at least start. Ultimately I realize I have little control over my own life, what will happen, but will I live in fear the rest of my days? Will I turn inward and rely on myself, or will I acknowledge my lack of control and reach our for God’s help. Truly if life was stable would any of us reach out for Him? Since life is not I have had to reach regularly. I am grateful for the unknown (at this moment) that I don’t have control, because it has made me run to Him. It has relieved me of the responsibility of figuring everything out, I can rest in the assurance, that He loves me, so everything in my life, good and bad, is timely, is essential, is slowly, but is working and coming together for my good. I began to feel a peace, and forgiveness, and a rest came over me, no more fear. I even thought, just maybe, this company God used as part of His plan to fulfill His destiny for our life. I will tell you just how “ok” it is gonna be. I had run outta medication and I have no medical insurance. I was going on 3 weeks without. There were state agencies which I had been calling everyday and leaving messages, when I couldn’t get through, after three weeks, I thought, forget this I am going to go down there in person. So I arrive and I find the agency is in a pretty nice strip center (not always the case with state services) I go in, go up to sign in and they give me a packet and I sit and start to fill out the packet. The front desk girl asked me if I had my blood work? I said, “No I don’t have a doctor here”. She said, “You don’t carry your blood work with you!? “Ahh, no Mama?”, I turned and continued to fill out the paperwork. I thought it was such an odd exchange of questions. I looked around and it seemed everyone had some sort of paperwork with them. I sat down and on the table next to me was basket of condoms and on the table in front of me was a basket of condoms and at the counter was an even bigger basket of condoms! Humm, dang, they really believe in giving condoms out! So I pretty much sit there all day. I am the last to be seen. As people are leaving I hear the staff, say things like keep taking those meds, eating right, plenty of sleep….. keep those numbers up. What the heck are they talking about? None of these people are sneezing or coughing, really non of them look sick. It is a diverse group of young and my age, but all the pamphlets and all the magazines are about safe sex, transgender rights, and advertisements for drugs I had never heard of. So about that time, my name is called. I go back and the nicest Dr, Dr Linda asked me again for my blood work. I tell her once again, I don’t have any. She looks puzzled and a little alarmed. “Well Mrs. Dyer what blood type are you?” “Dr. Linda I don’t have a clue”. “Mrs. Dyer! You don’t even know what blood type you!! MRS. DYER, you are HIV positive and you don’t even know what blood type you are!?” “WHAT!!!!!! I..I..I am here to get refills for my medication, I….”. “O, you must be looking for the adult clinic behind us!!” She begins to chuckle! At that moment, well it all came together and made sense. Problem is, it is almost 5;00 and I had sat there all day. So she had her staff call over to the other office, and unfortunately they were not accepting any new patients, they were outta funds. But, Dr. Linda said, “Wait I just got an e-mail about some “special” funds.” Well would you believe those funds were to be allocated for a non positive person! Enough for the entire year! I almost fainted standing right there! Had I went to the right place I would have been turned away, but God knew exactly where I was to go, I wasn’t in control, He was, it was His responsibility and He provided my need. That staff has been some of the nicest, most gracious and compassionate people I have met on this journey. I consider them my friends. Angels placed in my path. God smiled on me that day, unexpectedly and certainly outside of my control. So His perfect plan was hidden in the middle of my disaster.