In an earlier post, we told you about the miracle of “Zoe”, a woman who was about to be homeless with three young children, escaping a life with an abusive boyfriend, with no money or hope. She had seen the power of a God who loves her immeasurably. The woman was referred to our Cities4Life Counselor (me) through Sharon of Happy Warriors for Life, a ministry of The Upper Room. Sharon and her friend had been working with this woman, “Zoe”, for months. They had helped Zoe out of suicidal intent and desperation over her unplanned pregnancy. However, with limited resources and the need for Zoe to leave her home and her city in a matter of weeks, Sharon contacted Cities4Life to help.
Zoe was determined to start a new life in Charlotte. She had even found a job, due to begin mid-June. However, she had no money, no home, no childcare, and a litany of strikes against her from her past, due to poor choices and limited options.When she called me, the first thing we did was discuss God. I shared the Gospel, and explained that rebellion from God is often the root of most of our struggles. She agreed, and during that initial discussion committed her life to the Lord.
Childcare fell in place, free for all three children. Safe Families, an organization that takes children into loving Christian homes while the mother gets her life in order, found placement for her children. An amazing home was found and money raised by supporters to pay the security deposit. Other supporters sent supplies for Zoe’s children. LoveLife Charlotte provided a mentor who would be an emotional and spiritual support. Sheryl Chandler of Truth and Mercy Prolife Ministries planned a baby shower for her young baby. So many loving Christians and ministries rallied in support of this one desperate mother. Everything was perfect. That was the finale of the last post we sent out about Zoe’s story.
And then it fell apart.
Unknown problems from her past came to light in a background check, and the perfect little house was yanked away. All the other pieces of gluing her new life together in Charlotte were dependent on a place to live. She worked frantically to right all the things that had been exposed in the background check. She had less than a week before she would lose the commitment from the other elements of the plan that had been so perfect.
Over the next week, a roller coaster of victories from God and attacks from the enemy of her soul threatened to derail her vision. At one point, just three days ago, she said, “I’m done. I am defeated. I can’t do this. I knew it was too good to be true. Nothing good ever happens to me. I knew it would fall apart.”
Zoe had lost hope. I was surprised she called me. Her voice was dead as she told me the impossible situation she now faced. There was not enough time, money, energy, or hope left to accomplish what would need to be done. Not in three days. Not in a lifetime. She was finished. God seemed to have lured her to a point of victory and then kicked the chair out from under her.
“If you give up,” I told her, “You give Satan the victory. You committed your life to Jesus. You need to follow Him and honor Him from this moment forward. Satan can take everything from you, except God. Don’t let Satan destroy your faith. So often, Satan attacks and we give up. He strikes hardest when we are on the verge of victory. Don’t give up. Love and trust God, and follow Him, no matter what.”
Remarkably, as we prayed, she calmed down. She thanked me. She told me she received the prayer of hope and she would trust God, though she could see no way out of this mess. We worked out a list of the things she was to do, despite every one of them appearing hopeless. Sharon also contacted her, and urged her not to rely on her past method of dealing with adversity, but to move forward with God-honoring actions.
So she did. She contacted each agency with a blot against her on the background check and worked out an honorable plan to make it right. She would trust God, though honestly none of us saw a solution to the immediate problem.
Then, the director of Cities4life, Daniel, suggested I call Life House in Rock Hill for potential temporary housing. This is a new facility that had just opened. In fact, I had been to their open house a month earlier. I told him I had thought of them, but they were a maternity home for pregnant moms. Zoe’s baby was already here.
Meanwhile, moving forward expecting a miracle, one of our Cities4Life counselors, Allen, offered to move all of Zoe’s possessions to Charlotte. Two other Cities4Life supporters, Crystal and Beth, responded within minutes to my Facebook plea for a storage place for Zoe’s things while she was in temporary housing…which was as yet, nonexistent.
The wonderful job would start in two weeks. Everything else was in place: Safe Families placement for her children, childcare, a mentor, moving assistance, storage for her possessions, supplies and donations for her children through loving Christians…but no home.
That night, with no other options, I decided to contact Life House as Daniel had suggested. The worst they could do was say no, and perhaps they would have other ideas for us.
The Life House director, Elaine, listened to the story about Zoe’s plight. She could make no promises, but wanted to talk with her board of directors after gathering more details. After speaking with me, she called Sharon of Upper Room Ministries, and then finally Zoe herself. She told us the Life House board of directors would need to interview Zoe the following day as this was not the typical situation they were designed to deal with. They would then convene and decide if they were willing and able to take on this unusual challenge.
Our team of several ministries all prayed and held our collective breath.
Then Sunday night, one day before the deadline necessary for all the pieces to be able to be implemented or all would dissemble, Life House notified Zoe of their decision.
She was accepted into their program.
When the first housing option fell through and Zoe’s background check revealed unknown issues, she felt as though her world had collapsed. Why was God doing this to her right after she had made a commitment to follow Him?
In all honesty, I could not answer her. All I could say was I knew God was trustworthy, therefore, trust Him. And now, He had engineered something that was completely unexpected but would provide life skill training, spiritual counseling, financial counseling, parenting training, and a safe environment…all for free.
When He had closed the first door, He opened a far better one.
The group text I had sent in the morning to all the players in this incredible drama now exploded with cheers as Zoe told us the good news. Praise God, praise God!
“I am so excited,” Zoe said, “God is so very faithful. And arrived just in time. Thank you all so very much for your prayers, support, willingness to help and for being obedient unto God by allowing Him to use you. For a time such as this!”
As a ministry Cities4Life functions not only as a voice for the voiceless but also as a bridge from the abortion center to resources that many of these women don’t know are available. Over the years our staff and volunteers have dug to find ministries and organizations that meet these families’ needs. Through our LifeNetwork we can confidently say “What ever need a mom has, there is a resources to meet that need.” However the fact is, if our volunteers weren’t there many of these women would go into the abortion center never hearing about these resources and sadly many would choose to abort. Please help make sure a Cities4Life sidewalk counselor will be there. Click one of the links below.