In the Lordâ€™s Hands
Holding a sign on an off-ramp in Atlanta, stating that I was â€śhomeless and in need of any blessingâ€ť was not exactly what I thought I would be doing at 50 years of age. I didnâ€™t think either that I would have been brutally raped, beaten, robbed and living in constant fear. Yet, I succumbed to it every day. Day after day for a couple of years I was drinking to find some more empty courage.
I prayed all the time, being brought up Catholic in a very religious home and having attended twelve years of parochial school. I truly thought I knew the Lord. Ah! How I was wrong! Darkness was not just for nighttime, it was with me all day. Wallowing in self pity, I drank more thinking it would ease the pain of my despair. Wrong again!
One day a very precious, beautiful young woman named Mary opened her car window to ask me to meet her a block away to have lunch with her at Subway. I did â€“ and so began the most glorious, awe-inspiring, divine intervention I ever thought was possible. I knew God the Father, His precious Son, Jesus Christ, and His dear Holy Spirit had designed this plan just for me. Every prayer that I had thought had gone unanswered, every possible prayer I could have in the future was truly in the Lordâ€™s hands. I just knew because I knew this truly Jesus-anointed woman was handing me the key to a world filled with joy and peace and all the things bright, beautiful and right, which could have only been from the Lord!
Guided by the Holy Spirit
She told me how the Holy Spirit had talked to her and guided her with His strength and wisdom. It could not have been easy for her. I was frightened, disbelieving and trapped in a dark hole that had become so familiar it was my comfort zone. Living under a bridge and then in the woods next to the railroad tracks was my home. I was diagnosed legally blind and had lost my front teeth when I was attacked. Too locked and lost in darkness, I feared that if I turned to my precious son, sister or brothers who I loved very much they would be so embarrassed of me. Relentlessly, Mary chipped away at the walls I had surrounded myself with. The Holy Spirit guiding her, she helped bring me to a life with Jesus. She called her mother Cathy, who drove several times from Huntsville to Atlanta, to help chip away some more.
She had looked up a mission, a true haven, she had heard about online â€“ the Downtown Rescue Mission. Here I am almost seven months later. Together with our very devoted, insightful and compassionate womenâ€™s director and Cathyâ€™s very special friend, I am surrounded by warriors of God who I will never let out of my life. They found a dentist who wanted to do something for Jesus and he gave me my smile back for nothing in return. They found an eye surgeon who, again, wanted to do something for the Lord and he operated on my eyes out of the kindness of his heart and love for Christ. I could see!
With my self-esteem returning, I got up my courage and wrote my son. I was answered a week later with his beautiful words saying how much he loved me and how grateful he was to God for bringing me back to him. As if this wasnâ€™t enough, Cathy and Kim introduced me to their families and friends who are all true warriors in Christ. Now, the only true longing, desire and necessity I need in my life is the love of Jesus and how to share Him with others. If home is where your heart is, I have found it here surrounded by the love of Jesus at the Downtown Rescue Mission, my son and my family back in my life, my true sisters in Christ, a great job working in their Agape Shoppe and a beautiful garden to tend every day. We are all traveling this truly anointed road together!
P.S. Since writing this last September, I have completed the recovery program at DRM, been baptized with my siblings in the Atlantic Ocean while visiting them in Florida, reunited with my son and am the first resident intern at DRM assisting with the womenâ€™s ministry.
Glory be to God!