God is in control

by Christine on July 31, 2012

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.  

Jeremiah 29:11

Life is so easy when you follow God’s plan for you.  Jeremiah tells us so.  This bible verse makes me reflect with awe & wonder!  For instance, He’s always known that Scott would some day become an aspirant Deacon – but Scott only found out last year.  What else does He have in store for us at this particular moment that Scott & I are not even aware of?  This week-end, once again Scott & I saw our Father’s puzzle pieces come together perfectly.

About 6 months ago, on our way home from Mass on Sundays, we started to bring Communion to a fellow at the Brookewood Nursing Center in Decatur.  We’ve since grown to love this guy.  Besides being an amputee, Robert suffers from kidney problems & bears a colostomy bag.  However, he has a very good attitude and his love for God and his faith is simply amazing!  Like many folks in our country’s nursing homes, he receives very few visitors & makes up for his loneliness by devouring all the books about our Catholic faith that I bring him.  Robert aspires to join the Franciscan Brothers of San Damiano in New York.  It’s all he talks about!

Earlier this summer we brought him to Mass at our Church.  Robert hadn’t been able to come to Mass in several years.  You just had to see him.  He was beside himself with joy!  We introduced him to all of our friends – he saw more people in an hour than he had in a year! We were hoping to pick him up regularly and have him become part of our beautiful community.

Sadly, this wasn’t meant to be.  As we loaded him in our car, he had a medical mishap that was totally unavoidable due to the way we had to move his body to get him in & out of the vehicle.  We realized that without proper transportation, we would no longer be able to bring him to Mass.  Although broken hearted, Robert totally understood the situation.  We discussed this with him & told him we’d see if there was any way we could occasionally arrange for transportation.  He was sad but remained optimistic (that’s just how he is!).

This past Sunday as we were leaving him, he asked if we had looked into finding transportation.  We hadn’t and although we agreed to look into it, we didn’t feel very optimistic.  Scott suggested we all continue to pray and ask God to help us find a solution.  There was no denying that this poor man believed we could help him – I know that ultimately his trust was in our Holy Father but his only means to any solution was through us.  For a moment I felt “weighed down” by the confidence Robert had in us.  Then, almost immediately I felt like Jesus was telling me, “Christine, you CAN help!”

As we were walking out, we were already asking each other what we could do.  We realized that something had to be done for Robert and for the many others that we know that cannot make it to Mass because of the necessity of specialized transportation.  We agreed that we’d look around & see if we could find anything affordable that we could buy & use for this purpose.

Later that day Scott showed me a van he had found online  I had sticker shock!  Almost $36,000.00 for a used unit.  New ones were over $60,000.00!  We wanted to help but did we need to deplete our savings to do that?  I had no doubt that God would certainly bless this gesture but a small part of me was scared to death!  We had worked hard to accumulate these small savings.  Scott was pretty much convinced that if we wanted a reliable unit that was going to last, that didn’t need constant repair and that was attractive, then we’d need to dig deep – and to trust that God would not let us down…

“Be not afraid”… Jean Paul II’s favorite quote (and my favorite hymn)…

Scott & I went out on a limb like this a few years ago.  We met a group of young musicians that were traveling around the country.  Their music was mostly about God’s love, abstinence & how to keep the faith.  We had the pleasure of opening our home to them between gigs.  In a very short amount of time we got to know them & love them.  Within a few days, after careful consideration & prayer, we helped them out in a big way.  I won’t go into details but we felt like God had addressed us directly by putting this group in our life.  We know that what we did changed their lives & certainly helped their career but it is doesn’t compare to how our lives were blessed by this gesture.

Again it appeared that God was looking at us directly…”Be not afraid!”  Easy for Him to say… it wasn’t his bank account!  🙂 Or was it?

A few more clicks on my computer & I came across an ad for a converted van that was for sale.  It didn’t seem possible but that van had everything we needed and more!  The sweet part was that it was less than $11,000.00!  Of course Scott was skeptical… had to have a catch… had to be something wrong with it…must have a gazillion miles, mustn’t have an electric chair lift, etc…  But the pictures (worth a thousand words), showed no flaws!  That’s not all.. this gem was at a dealership in Crossville – less than 30 minutes from our house!

Scott headed up there as soon as he could on Monday to meet the seller & to see for himself if this was indeed an answer to our prayers.  Well, Scott was beside himself with excitement!  Not only was it perfect, but the seller agreed to let Scott take it to our Ford dealer for a complete inspection & he would pay for it!  Scott called me as he was driving to Dayton & I could tell in his voice how excited he was & how much he was praying that it was as perfect as it appeared.

God has a way of making things come together… he put the right vehicle right under our noses and knew we had the funds to acquire it.  The decision rested on us…  It was almost like he was challenging us…  Here it is, it’s affordable, it’s perfect… so – do you trust Me?

Did I hesitate to write that check?  Not at all.  I know that God will continue to bless us as He has been for the last several years.  We truly believe that when you follow God’s plan for mankind, as described in the manual He left for us, you will be blessed in more ways than you can count!  Does that mean that we will never suffer?  No, not at all.   It means that by following his plan we will receive the graces that will give us the strength to overcome any hardship.

We’re so excited about our new ministry!  Now we’ll be able to bring Robert to Mass regularly and bring him to other events such as the Knights of Columbus meetings!  God’s plan for us is to to make this service available to any other parishioner that needs this kind of transportation.  We know of many that will be thrilled to be able to come home again…

We’re debating on what to call it.. it’s not just “a van” or “the van”… it’s the Catholic Coach, or maybe the Church Chariot… how about the Mass Mobile?  🙂

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