Something big is happening in my life.
I was once warned by my pastor that when God has a plan that is taking action, when big things are happening your life, that's when the devil will come after you the hardest.
I tucked that bit of info in the back of my brain and moved on. I don't give a lot of thought to that devil guy. My focus is on my faith, my God, my life and not on what the tricky one has up his sleeve.
But I have noticed that my pastor's warning has been spot on. Whenever there is something big about to happen- whether it is known to me or not- evil forces keep stepping in and trying to stop me.
Let me share with you the events of the past few days.
I posted on Thursday about Teaching My Children To Be The Light.
Friday evening, a good friend of mine from church asked if I wanted to go with her to volunteer with the IHN families. Jeff was ok with staying home with the kids so off I went.
I was incredibly blessed to be there. While most of the volunteers from my church already had jobs to do- playing with the kids, preparing the food- I hadn't thought I'd be there so I had no assigned job. So I sat down in the common room with the adults. I started chatting, asking names, and asking how long they'd been in the program.
I spent a bit of time talking to 2 women. To protect their confidentiality, I'm going to call them Sue and Mary. Sue and Mary have been a couple for almost 4 years and have seen more than their fair share of hardships. The story is long and complicated but it's a story that could truly happen to anyone. Sue works a 3rd shift factory job. Mary has 2 kids. One bit of bad news hit the family and then another and another and another and they ended up here in Indiana (not their home state) and without a home. We spoke about their experience in other shelters and programs. We spoke about what they've learned from their experience with homelessness.
And what I learned is that dignity is something that should be protected and provided whenever possible. And that dignity can come from the little things that are so easy to take for granted- like a good cup of coffee or taking a shower.
I left that evening and knew my spirit was on fire. We already had our family plan in place to celebrate Labor Day as a labor of love day by making blessing bags, taking them downtown, and finding people who are homeless. I was ready to take on the project full force.
Saturday morning, the kids and I headed to the store and bought the items we needed for the bag. We got to the check out and my bank card wouldn't swipe through when ran as credit. Tried 3 times as credit then ran it as a debit card and it went through. Got to the car, got to the next stop on the errand list and got an email from my bank letting me know there was an issue and I needed to contact loss prevention. I went directly to the nearby bank branch, spoke to them, they made a call, they said I was fine, I left.
Now, there were a lot of panicked moments in that sequence of events. I am going on a trip this week. I am flying away, staying in a hotel, and won't have my husband with me if I need assistance. I need access to my bank account.
We get our bags put together, pick up Jeff, and head downtown. We drop off donations at 2 places. We then head into downtown, trying to figure out how to find homeless people. Because I have no clue what I'm doing and I was really up front with my family about that - I was going on faith to guide us. Driving downtown is not our strength because we rarely go downtown. So we're going in circles and getting confused about the street directions and trying hard not to get mad at ourselves.
But we did find people and we did give and it was a very positive experience for our family.
So we went for pizza at a local place downtown and the forces of evil struck again by giving me a parking ticket. An undeserved parking ticket.
We get to Sunday. And I go to get gas in my car. And my bank card is declined. So I call loss prevention because now it's Sunday and I can't go to a bank. And the bottom line is that the bank branch didn't call the right place and the account was still under alert and the charges were internet based for a dating service in the UK and I'd have to dispute the charge that went through and they need to cancel my card and send me a new one.
I leave my house at 4:30 Tuesday morning. Banks are closed for the holiday on Monday. I will be travelling with no credit card whatsoever. I was able to get cash from the ATM before they shut down the account. And the bank lady helped me come up with a back up plan for in the future. And my travel companion is helping me out with the hotel piece.
I'm feeling quite strongly that there are forces trying to tempt me to choose to not go on this trip. I feel that if I had given up on our family mission project because my card was declined or because we couldn't find people or because we were driving in circles... it would have been the start of a shut down. I feel like fighting through this credit card issue and whatever issues are still to come is truly something trying to stop me from going on this trip.
Because this trip is about God. I'm not going on vacation. I'm not going for a getaway. I'm going to a worship conference. And I am now convinced that something is going to come from this trip or this conference or the time with my friend that is a big part of God's plan for my life.
So to those evil forces out there trying to stop me from going, trying to tempt me to cancel, trying to entice me to just stay home... it won't work. As a friend of mine said, "That sneaky devil... let's kick his ass!!"