One of the reasons I love being a part of Cities4Life is I get a front row seat on the most unbelievable miracles of God. The past few days have been a spectacular display of God‘s abundant lavish provision.
I received a text from a fellow Sidewalk Counselor from another part of our state. They do not have the wealth of resources and network ministries that we do here in Charlotte. She had mentored a woman who was in desperate circumstances. This woman needed to get out of her old city and move to Charlotte for a fresh start. Sharon, my friend, asked me if it was OK to have the woman call me.
I knew nothing about this young woman except that she had chosen life for her child. However, I know that God always equips me so I said sure. The young woman, who I will call Zoe, phoned me almost immediately.
I asked her to tell me her situation. She spoke of a tragic life, moving from one abusive situation to the next. She lost some of her children due to her dangerous boyfriend, and found herself pregnant again by another man living a risky lifestyle only to abandon her and the unborn child. She knew she did not want to live anymore and had no regard for the unborn child’s life, considering suicide while pregnant. Then she met Sharon, the Sidewalk Counselor who started her back on her journey to hope and life.
Zoe had her child, but with the young man whom she had been dependent on out of the picture, worries and fears accelerated. She was left alone with her two young children, a brand new baby, and unable to hold down a job due to struggles with childcare for the infant. To make matters even worse, while she had good affordable housing through a housing program, the landlord was selling the home and she had to leave. When she called me she had 40 days before she and her little family would be homeless.
She knew Jesus at least at some level but admitted that she had been involved in a cult church, swayed by false teaching. She was not living as He would have her live. She hungered for God but at the point I met her told me that she was certain she was going to hell. She did not feel that she was forgiven for the many sins that she had committed and continued to commit. She said she had backslidden and at this point was in a very hopeless situation.
She knew she wanted no more of the abusive men in her life but she didn’t quite know how to extricate herself from all the terrible consequences of past choices. She agreed with Sharon that moving to Charlotte for a new beginning was the best choice for her. She even secured a new job which would start in two weeks. However, she still needed to find a home, childcare, and the myriad things that she was unable to buy because she had been unemployed with the birth of the new baby.
The first thing I did was offer a quick prayer to God, and then promised her Cities4Life would do its best to help her. First, I was going to be brutally honest with her. Her story was filled with evidence that she had rebelled against God and while she was trying now to make some good choices, I believed most of the struggles she faced probably had at their root a wavering trust in God.
It’s pretty amazing she didn’t hang up on me, but she did not. In fact, a surprising opposite reaction occurred. She told me she knew she had fallen away from God and she wanted to hear truth on how to find her way back to Him. So I shared the gospel with her. We talked a long time about what it means if Jesus is truly Lord of our life. She admitted by the end of that discussion that He had not been Lord of her life.
I asked her if she wanted him to be. She took a deep breath and exhaled with a long sigh and then she said, “Yes.“
So I prayed with her and then told her I would be silent and let her speak to God herself. She was crying by now, and spoke for the next ten minutes pouring out her soul before God for all her transgressions against Him but also how desperately she wanted Him to be her Lord and to give her strength to do what He wanted her to do and to be the person He wanted her to be.
It was one of the most beautiful, powerful prayers to God I had ever heard. My own eyes filled with tears.
Now I told her about our mentorship program through LoveLife Charlotte. I told her about our free counseling resource, our baby shower resource for her four-month-old who had almost nothing, and how we would do our best to find housing and childcare for her. She had already started the process of looking for housing in Charlotte but had run up against unanswered phone calls and brick walls. I told her to persevere while I contacted our resources. In the meantime, would she send us a list of her dire immediate needs? I would post that list on Facebook and see if our supporters could meet some of them.
Within two hours or so, I had received many messages. Every need she’d expressed was going to be met. Additionally, one of my fellow counselors, Kelly, who had presented the need to her group of friends, told me that she had a donation of money. She would know the total amount tomorrow.
She called me in the morning. $200 had been donated to meet Zoe’s needs.
Almost immediately afterwards, I received a text from Zoe. She had found what appeared to be a perfect house in Charlotte. The landlord was willing to work with her and let her pay the deposit over time once she was working. However, he had to have earnest money up front, a portion of the security deposit. He had three other people looking at the house the next morning. He could not hold off showing the house to others, and he could not hold it for Zoe without the partial security deposit.
He wanted to help her…but she didn’t have the deposit.
Guess how much it was?
How like God!
Unfortunately, she didn’t have the money for gas to travel to see the house. I explained the situation to my fellow sidewalk counselor, Angela, who stood beside me in front of the abortion center.
“Should I go look at it for her?” I said.
“This sounds like it is of God. I’ll go with you,”Angela said.
In two separate cars, Angela, her daughter Annabelle, and I drove in tandem to meet the landlord just ten minutes away. An hour later, courtesy of an unexpected vice presidential motorcade, we arrived at the house.
It was gorgeous. Amazing. We showed Zoe the house through FaceTime. When we finished our tour, I asked what she thought.
“I LOVE it,” she said.
The landlord agreed he would stop showing the house. It was hers and after the background check, we would wire the exact amount needed from the donors who had no idea how perfectly God had used them.
As so often is the case, God provided just what was needed at just the right time. Of course this story isn’t over and there will necessarily be some hurdles along the way but our staff and volunteers will continue to walk with this family through this storm.
Cities4Life is committed not only to helping moms choose life, but also to continue helping those moms after the birth of their child. It is sometimes overwhelming but we serve a powerful God who time after time meets us in those desperate places with abundant grace.
For us to continue this vital work we need like-hearted people like you to stand with us. Would commit to pray one day a week for one of our daily sidewalk counseling teams. Maybe you can give to support our sidewalk counselors financially. Your one-time or monthly gift will help ensure our loving volunteers are able to point moms like Zoe to Jesus and to practical resources. Just click a link below to get started.