8/16/10

Manna on the Ground

I'm going to go Old Testament on you for a minute here.

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, they took the scenic route. They wandered through the wilderness for forty years, guided with a cloud by day and with fire by night. Each morning, they awoke to find manna and quail for their sustenance. They were instructed to gather just as much as they needed for that day, as it would spoil by the next dawn. Except for the day before the Sabbath--on those days they gathered two days' worth and, for those days, it did not spoil.

It was tasty at first, but soon grew boring. But each day, there was just what they needed, just for that time.

For twenty-six months, I've found myself wandering. I think of those mothers, shepherding their children while feeling lost themselves. I wonder how long it was before they trusted that the next day's manna really would be there for their children's bellies to be filled with. But each day, there it was. Each time, what they needed was there.

If you were to ask me how we've made it through this time, I don't think I could tell you anything, except that there was always manna on the ground. Each time things got to the point that I truly had no idea where the next month's living expenses were going to come from, it was there. Provisions came from places I never expected. H-E-B gift cards arrived regularly and mysteriously. Temp jobs came for just long enough before they went. Kindnesses I'd never imagined serendipitously appeared. Manna.

It has not been easy, no, but no need has gone unmet. No bills were paid late, no meals missed. We never even made it to the point of having to eat the strange things in the back of the cupboard coupled with whatever's in the bottom of the freezer.

This month was going to be the first time I really, truly ran out of money and ideas. I've had moments of panic, but always just enough lead time that I could plan out for the next month or two how it would all work. Never more than a day or two worth of manna, but always manna. Until August.

I had just enough for the mortgage, nothing else. I had no idea where the kids were going to school, still no idea how to get Charlie the help he needed. Music teacher jobs opened and closed all around me and I couldn't figure out why nothing worked. I interviewed for one teaching job in the area after three straight years of applying and then acted like a rambling airhead the whole time.

I just didn't get it. But I knew that the same God who led them through those years was leading me. All I could hope was that He knew where I was supposed to go.

Then, in rapid succession, a job, a place to stay, insurance and benefits, approval for a mortgage, closer to home. Grandmas to watch kids while Dowlan packs and I start work. The means to pay August bills arriving through acts of kindness. The ability to cover the old house and fund the move arriving seemingly out of nowhere.

Thank you, thank all of you.

It's all coming together so quickly that it is not quite real. But it seems we have arrived.

10 comments:

flibertiejibbit said...

He is good all the time. All the time. :)

Linda P. said...

What a blessing your story is. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 40:30-31

Love ~ ~ Papa

Aunt Rhody said...

Thanks for giving Him the glory! I reiterate the first comment: He is good all the time!

clumsyraine said...

Thanks Gretchen. We are wandering... baby due in two weeks, no work for me this month, not enough for Harry, and I can't quite see how we're getting to the end of the month, much less next month. But you remind me that I can look back to when I couldn't see how things would work and I still don't know how they did, but somehow they always do.

Jeni said...

Like Job you remained steadfast and now is your time to be rewarded.

Kristin said...

We were given "grace for today" two years ago.

Our needs were met slightly delayed but met so that we had to rely on faith and not on ourselves.

We are forever greatful for the time we were wandering in the dessert.

Kristin said...

What an incredible testimony. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

God bless, our family has also face many challenges, but we always have survived. Thank you for reminding me of manna.

Anonymous said...

Gretchen-
I feel like I have know you for awhile now and I do not know anyone more deserving of this good luck/blessing/upswing than you and your family. I was so glad to read of these exciting times for you.
-Kerster11