Everyone Has a Story
His Timing is Perfect
By Diane Robertson
It was a difficult and humbling transition. Previously I had lived in a spacious, comfortable home. My backyard had been my sanctuary where I puttered in both my abundant vegetable and glorious flower gardens. Now I lived in cramped quarters where the carpeting was well-worn and the refrigerator needed monthly defrosting. My plants and a few herbs were housed in a container garden on my patio.
But the biggest disappointment was that I had no one my own age to talk with. Most of the people in the building were caring, but what did we have in common?
The lupus had stolen my strength and vitality, and I prayed daily that with proper rest, nutrition and moderate exercise, I would eventually lead a more useful, social life. For now, however, I wrote stories during my awake-time. And every month when I defrosted my refrigerator, I again became motivated to search for an apartment I could proudly call home. It wasn’t easy. Every prospect appeared blocked. A few apartments allowed me to add my name to their waiting lists, but a lag time stretched ahead.
“You remind me of my daughter,” my neighbor, Betty told me one day when we met at the mailbox. “She lives far away, and we seldom visit.”
“That’s too bad.” I sensed that Betty wanted to get to know me, and that scared me. What if she saw me as a substitute for her daughter, and began to rely on me? She would feel terrible when I found more suitable digs and left this community behind.
A year flew by. My health gradually strengthened, and I was able to spend more time out of bed. I suddenly had a strong desire to be useful, to find some meaning in my life. Lord, what will be my purpose now?
As my focus shifted off myself, I began to look around at my neighbors and saw them with fresh eyes. Many were slow-moving, and unsteady on their feet. Most were unable to drive, and dependent on other people. A good portion had no family at all, and relied on buses and taxis. And the majority appeared lonely.
As much as I wanted to move to a more youthful, healthy community, I began to see God’s Hand in this. He had led me here for a reason. I sensed that He wanted me to reach out to the older adults around me, and bless them in small ways. So the next morning I felt led to knock on Betty’s door. “I’m going to the grocery store,” I said when she answered it. “Can I get you anything?”
She looked surprised to see me at first. Then her face lit up in a magnificent smile. “That’s awfully kind of you. I do need some bread.”
After that, I poured myself out as much as my own health allowed. My friendship with Betty grew, and soon we began holding Wednesday potluck luncheons in the clubhouse. Everyone brought something, and all enjoyed the camaraderie. Many people became acquainted with their neighbors for the first time. There was no reason for anyone to be companionless anymore. I felt richly rewarded by my new friends. Their philosophies were, generally, deep and meaningful, and they often offered a different perspective for me to contemplate.
I realized that I now enjoyed my life as it was. Though it was not exactly what I wanted, I made the best of it. I even ceased my attempts to find another place to live. I trust You, Lord. You’ve got a plan for my life. Another year went by, and my body gained even more strength.
One day I received a phone call from an apartment manager who said, “Two years ago you put your name on our waiting list. Are you still interested?”
What an amazing development. I had forgotten all about the place. “Yes. Can I come over and see it again?”
I changed my clothes, washed my face, hopped into my car and drove to the complex. During the drive over I prayed, Lord, help me. Please give me some kind of a sign if this is Your Will for me.
When I walked into the office, the manager laughed. “You made it here in record time.” She took me over to another building, and showed me my potential apartment. The unit was huge, and more modern than what I had lived in for the past few years. A large patio stood off the living room. The kitchen had a washer/dryer and a dishwasher. What really sealed the deal, however, was the brand-new, frost-free refrigerator. I knew that was God’s answer to my prayer.
“What do you think?” the manager asked when I’d walked through the entire unit. “Do you like it?”
“I love it and I’ll take it.”
Thank you, Jesus. I’m so glad I surrendered to Your Will and stayed where You wanted me for those two years. Your timing always produces the best fruit.
Diane Robertson is a freelance writer living in Venice, FL. All rights reserved © 2010 AnswersForMe.org. Click here for content usage information.