it is in the Darkness…

…that God’s light shines even brighter.

To say that FOCUS training has been overwhelming would be an understatement. Trying to balance the needs of a pregnant lady (that’d be me), a toddler, a babysitter, a husband, and the expectations for classes makes my head spin more often than not. Then add in the Florida heat and humidity, and stories of alligators snatching babies and it can be hard to even leave our room some days.

Monday evening, after I put our daughter to bed, I was all set to make a Target run solo. Target is a 40 minute drive away. On a normal day that would seem crazy, but after living in this tiny town for a few weeks, a 40 minute trek to Target becomes a desirable task. All day I had been getting excited to drive solo to Target, blare my music, have a car dance party, shop at Target for whatever I wanted without anyone else wanting my attention and then drive back and continue the dance party. I got in my car and as I waited for the GPS to pop up with directions, my battery light when on. I quickly wrote it off since I simply haven’t been driving my car very often. As I backed out and put the car in gear, the power steering went out. After using more muscles than I thought I had to maneuver the car back into its original parking space, it became abundantly clear that I wasn’t going anywhere.

A call to my brother back in Colorado and a foray into the engine (while hoisting my growing bump up to see the engine properly…all in a dress at 9pm) led to a diagnosis of either the battery or the alternator being the problem. I prayed for it to be the battery – at that rate we could at least get a jump, drive it to town (again – 4o minutes away), and get it fixed. If, on the other hand, the alternator were the problem, we’d almost certainly need a tow and a lot more labor and parts.

The next day we did some further testing and, lo and behold, it was the alternator that needed the attention. Great. One more thing to deal with. 

I posted in the FOCUS training Facebook group and – as a Hail Mary – asked if anyone knew how to replace alternators and could help (and/or had tools since we are in the middle of nowhere). Do you know what happened? Someone came through, volunteered their time, skills, AND tools to not only help us, but teach us how to replace the alternator. In the blistering Florida sun, no less.

As I’ve reflected on this series of events I realized that if the problem had been the battery, we wouldn’t have needed to trust as much. We wouldn’t have gone out of ourselves and reached out for help – to God, or to others. We would have simply taken care of the problem ourselves. Instead, it was the alternator and the situation looked much more bleak. However, it is in this darkness that God’s light shined through the generosity of another, through that person’s selfless gift to aid a family in need. It was and is through relationship – that thing God made us for – that our prayers were answered. God brought us to our knees and then humbled us all the more when He gifted us with more generosity than we dreamed of. If the solution had been easier, God’s glory, and His desire to care for our every need, would not have shined through in the same way.

It is so easy to forget that God really does care for us, even in the needs that seem to be more trivial than someone else’s needs. But the beauty of our God is that He loves each of us and wants to care for each of us as if we are the only child He’s ever known. Thanks be to God for showing us His light, for letting His glory shine through, and for bringing us to our knees so that we could be even more in awe of Him.

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