Hands

11:10 PM

I think that I have always believed in angels, even though I might not have understood how they carry out God's work here on earth. As a little girl, I remember learning about the stories of angelic visitations in the scriptures. Believing in angels was an easy thing to do with the faith of a child. As I grew into adulthood and started to experience the storms of life, I didn't expect angels to visit me. However, I did pray to God and He did send me help and sometimes he sent it before I knew I needed it.

I am sure many angelic miracles occur around us daily without our knowledge; guiding our car around an icy curve, helping our child cross a busy street. God sends us Heavenly help in a myriad of ways. I am sure that my Heavenly Father has helped me on numerous occasions without me even being aware of it. However, I knew on this particular day He had sent help and He did it in the most unexpected, obvious, and loving way.




It had been almost a year and a half since the girls and I found shelter at the Women and Children in Crisis Center. After that night things changed rapidly and once the courts were involved the civil and criminal proceedings rolled along on their own accord. I now spent most of my energy on trying to provide for my daughters while dealing with the roller coaster of events that continued to play out in the legal system.

Despite the thousands of dollars I was still having to pay my attorney and also being solely responsible for supporting my daughters, I was still better off financially than when I had been married. I had my own bank account and access to my paycheck and the bills were being paid. My self-respect returned and I felt empowered. We were happy and safe, but there was absolutely no extra money. In fact every month there was a deficit, but it always worked out in unexplainable ways.

One of the first things I did to try and make our house a home was to paint every room. If your house is 800 square feet, paint is a pretty inexpensive way to clean things up and change a room. Also, it's cheap therapy. Initially, the entire house felt dingy and dark. It had needed to be repainted for years and since I had never been allowed to be creative before in my own home, I went all out. 

We worked together and painted each room was a different color. The girls helped me choose the colors. We painted red walls in the kitchen, yellow in the hallway and green in the living room. We painted the bathroom orange. I made curtains for all of the rooms. We found second hand furniture that we could paint and restore. 

It finally felt like a home for the first time in over ten years. They girls were so proud. They wanted their friends over for the first time. Our home was not only a peaceful and happy place, but now it was bright and cheerful inside and I loved having it full of the girls and their friends.

The outside was a different story. The 50 year old siding was falling off in pieces. Some of the old original windows had still not been replaced and the ones that had been were not framed in properly. Some of the rooms were without electricity and I had to drag extension cords around the house. All of these factors definitely increased the cost of utilities in both the winter and summer months. Our neighbors and fellow church members noticed and came to me asking me if they could help as part of their yearly service. I humbly agreed and was very naïve to the depth of the project they had in mind for me and my family.

I never considered having the outside redone because I knew that I just couldn’t afford it. Now, I felt like I would be getting a new house completely. I had no idea the love and healing that would occur within my heart and also, that my Father in Heaven was the motivating influence behind this project. That is until day arrived for the service activity to begin on my home.

Their plan was to rip all of the old siding off, put up the foam board, and then snap into place all of the plastic siding. Some new windows were to be installed and electrical lines repaired. They would install trim and gutters after that. Even now, years later and while writing about it, I can't stop myself from crying and feeling so humble and blessed. 





It is difficult sometimes being on the receiving end of service but I guess I had gotten to the point in my life where I absolutely knew I couldn't do it on my own anymore. I had completely surrendered and accepted and prayed constantly for God's hand in my life. I was so grateful for anyone who reached out their hand and offered help and support.

I hadn't prayed for my home to be repaired but I had prayed for Him to give me strength to help me continue supporting my girls. I prayed asking Him to blessed my daughters and protect them from the effects of the poor choices made by others around them. I wanted them to feel His love and to be strengthened by it. I needed my Savior more than I ever had in my life. And then he answered my prayers just as he always did, so unexpectedly and so powerfully.
I felt His love with every pounding nail and smile and hug. My heart was over flowing with gratitude and warmth and since I couldn't stop crying, I wept and walked around inside my house cleaning and organizing, while so many hands helped cover the outside of my home with insulated foam board, new bright siding. Gutters were installed on the eaves and trim placed where it was needed. I never felt judged or pitied, only loved and blessed and cared for more deeply than I ever had. I felt warmth, protection, and the healing love of God. 

I wanted to repay these earth angels; my neighbors and friends who had spent so much of their own time and resources to help me. I wanted to do something to show my gratitude while they worked so hard outside. So, I decided I would feed them. I looked in the fridge and freezer and I had nothing to offer but hot dogs. I got to work heating them up for the volunteers. I knew my words could never match what my heart was feeling and so I could only pray that they would all know how grateful I was when they heard my simple thank you and saw that large pot of steaming hot dogs. It was meager compensation for their generosity.




In the end, my little house was more beautiful than I could have imagined. That wasn't all that was beautifully repaired that day. My heart was soothed and comforted. I was strengthened to continue pressing forward in order to fulfill all of my motherly duties and teaching responsibilities, despite the stress of all that was happening in the court systems. 



More importantly, my daughters saw the Hand of God in their lives. They felt His love and they knew that He was watching over and providing for them. The hands that my Father in Heaven used to bless our family that day were the hands of  His other earthly children. And I think that is the most beautiful part of the story, we are and can be angels for each other. We can be God's hands and we can love and serve each other just as He would if He were here on earth. 



A very special thank you to all my Cascade 6th Ward friends and family!



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2 comments

  1. Wendy, Thanks so much for taking the time to articulate these experiences. You are putting warmth, love and faith out in the bloggersphere that touches my heart.

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  2. OH MY GOODNESS what love they showed you! That is so inspiring. And the photo of you and your tiny girls! SO PRECIOUS! Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. You deserve every bit of love the world has to give you.

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