The piece below is by one of our readers, Grace Newhart.
Good Morning God,
God is for me!
What I seek is seeking me.
I give thanks for unknown blessings already on the way.
I commit to living the highest vision possible for my life.
I was made for more.
In Jesus’ name!
Thank you God for poets and philosophers, otherwise I might have never come up with this life-giving mantra. I’ve been reciting this with my dear Gabrielle every time we meet with you and meditate in front of my altar. I’m so grateful she’s still willing to spend this time with me. She’s growing up so fast! She’s going to be in 7th grade next year.
What a year! I can’t believe I uprooted my family and moved them 500 miles south to Atlanta, a place where I didn’t know a soul. It seems like yesterday the VP announced we were closing the building. I can’t believe my reaction was so delayed! When the VP said some of us could move on the company’s dime (to other states), I thought, “Wait a minute, they are closing the department.” I went numb and was stunned!
But God you already knew I would hear this news didn’t you? And you were preparing my heart before it even happened. I thank you for finding the most creative ways to communicate with me. There have been times you communicated with me via license plate, just in the nick of time. So on Monday, February 11, 2014, when a car pulled in front of me and the license plate read “God is 4 U” something deep within my soul jumped for joy. I didn’t know why; but I also remember thinking, “I wonder if God is preparing me to hear bad news!” Little did I know the very next day I would be told my job was being eliminated.
I was numb, angry, and scared! Phil and I had been married 16 years at this point and had been treading in rough waters for many years. Not to mention Everett was almost done with 10th grade, and Gabrielle was trying to get into a Performing Arts Middle school. Thankfully, Phil works for himself and has a portable business, so moving wouldn’t adversely affect his livelihood. We prayed that night and chose Atlanta for 2 reasons: One, it’s a decent driving distance (yeah right!) from where we were. And God-forbid I lost my job, it’s a large city with an ample amount of job opportunities. My best friend Jillian discouraged me from moving to North Carolina (where she lives) because job prospects aren’t the greatest.
Hitting the submit button was so hard. I DID NOT WANT TO MOVE to Atlanta. I didn’t know a soul. I was really, really, really scared. All kinds of questions and “what ifs” plagued me. What if we can’t handle the stress and Phil and I end up splitting up? Where the heck are we going to live since the area is so spread out? How do I choose the best school system? Wasn’t there a school cheating scandal in Atlanta? What if my kids don’t make friends? On, and on, and on..
Thank you for placing it on Jillian’s heart to tell me about one of her dearest friends who lives in Atlanta. She suggested I give her a call. I was like, um no, I don’t think so. So weeks went by, and I began to search for apartments, school systems etc. One day my daughter and I found a list of the best neighborhoods in Atlanta. Out of the blue, Gabrielle said, “I don’t know why, but this particular city and zip code are speaking to me!” Little did I know that’s exactly where we’d end up!
I eventually called Jillian’s friend Pam who told me to give her daughter, Teresa, a call. Of course I was reluctant – but I shouldn’t have been. Teresa was clearly sent from above. I never expected such warmth and kindness. She invited me to visit Atlanta and stay with her. She showed me around and introduced me to her extended family and friends who had kids that were around my children’s age. I was so grateful to You, God, for giving me such tangible hope. I began to feel a little better about the move, but You were just getting started!
While sitting at my desk one day, I heard a small voice say: “Why don’t you look at other positions within your company in Atlanta?” I’ve trained myself over the years to act when I hear Your voice because sometimes You don’t say things twice. Next thing I know I have a promotion with weekends off (Praise God – I can finally feel like a normal person again) and was given 3 days notice to start my new job in Atlanta. Teresa offered to let me stay with her until my family moved when the school year ended. Not wanting to overstay my welcome, I stayed for a month and looked for a permanent place. Before I moved, Teresa sat me down and had a “talk” with me. She wanted me to know I’m part of a community now, and my family has a place to go to celebrate holidays etc. Wow, God! Wow!
My family was visiting over Easter break, and You placed it on my heart to check out a specific apartment complex. We were approved immediately (no deposit – another answered prayer – Amen). At Easter dinner, I was chatting with Teresa’s aunt. I shared how excited I was about finding a place and happy that my family could go back knowing they had a place to live. Her eyes got big because it turns out she was my neighbor below. God You were indeed showing off when I later found out Teresa’s brother and friends were moving into the apartment below Teresa’s aunt as well – during the SAME weekend as I was. Everett had already hit it off with these young men. I was floored. It was the same city and zip code Gabrielle said was speaking to her weeks earlier, and in one of the best school districts, too!
When it was finally time for the family to move, it was rough. Yes, God, you already showed your Hand and Face, but the kids were brutal in letting me know how much I had ruined their lives. Knowing it was their fear talking didn’t make it hurt any less. I found solace in the altar I had created. God, before I moved, I asked for a place where I could build an altar, so I can meet with you often. The apartment we found had the perfect area. That’s our sacred place, and it continues to bring me peace. I used to sleep in front of it before my family officially moved.
Phil and I have had some high highs and low lows. But we have continued to pray together regularly. We have been going out on a regular basis – so often that Gabrielle keeps saying “Why are you guys going out so much?” I just chuckle. You already know God. You are the only reason we’re not a statistic! Everett and Gabrielle have made some really good friends and even had some friends over. It’s finally starting to feel like home to them.
God, one of the best gifts you blessed us with this year was Silvio. You know how the kids and I have been wanting a dog for the longest time. We searched quite diligently for a rescue. Remember the day I asked you to scan the whole Atlanta area and connect us with the ideal pooch? One Sunday morning at church (thanks again for the amazing way you led us to a church) Teresa texted me that a friend was giving away her puppy. We met the family, and they were not really considering giving the puppy away, but they believe God put it on their hearts the day before to give it to us. Of course, I’m sure you remember that ugly cry. He brings us smiles every single day.
You and I both know how often I have prayed Genesis 50:20 this year. God, I love you, and I really appreciate the work you’ve done in me and for me. Moving to Atlanta has strengthened our bond, and it has made me brave! I now truly believe all things are possible, and I have new found courage to take on things that are bigger than me.
Most importantly, there’s a new “flow” in my life, and I am more confident than ever that the time has come to fulfill what I came to this planet to do. I think I know what it might be, and I can’t wait to get started.
In Jesus’ name.
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