Tuesday, March 28, 2006

An Amazing Story to Tell

You are all so incredibly sweet to be so concerned about me. In all my life I would have never guessed that complete strangers on the internet could make me feel so good. This past week has been both the worst, and the best, of my life. Because of the human condition, I think we all lose faith in caring, honest and loving people. We become apathetic, complacent and extremely cynical. (or least in my case..) This post is going to be a little different than what you are used to from good 'ol Crazydogmama. I have been forever changed by something that has taken place, and even though I am reluctant to put such personal information out there in cyberspace, this is much too important not to share.

Without all of the awful details, it was about a week ago today that my world came off of its axis. I almost lost everything. My husband and I were splitting up, and with an ever-increasing financial disaster looming over my head, it looked like I was going to lose all the things I had worked so hard for as well, including my house. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I was vomiting about every 30 minutes from the stress and I wanted to die. I couldn't stop crying either, which is not normal for me. I hardly ever cry. I'm on medication that makes me numb most of the time - but in this case, the meds weren't even strong enough. I was in a sort of a 'shock', I guess. I was going to be alone, broke, devasted and stripped of every last piece of pride I had left. I went to work, but couldn't work. I just sat there and stared at my computer screen balling my eyes out. No one seemed to notice, but I was scared that with all of this stress and uncontrollable emotion, that I would lose my job. Why not? Sure, I might as well lose that too.

I didn't tell very many people about what was happening. Not even my family, at first. I wanted to figure things out in my own head before I upset everybody with the mess that was my life. I had no idea what to do, and felt I had no where to turn. I was brought to my knees, and I cried out to God.

I didn't even know where to begin in my prayers. I was so overwhelmed. I begged God for some peace - to stop crying so that I could function. I told Him I was sorry for being an idiot and a sorry excuse for a human being. I told God that I already believed in Him, but that I wished I could feel His love. I prayed this prayer sitting on the floor in the dark in the employee bathroom. When I stopped praying, I felt calm. I started to breathe. Slowly. I cleaned myself up and went to my desk.

I went to an internet site I frequent on occasion that has Christian daily devotionals, Bible Prophecy and a forum for prayer requests. (I know what you are thinking - just stay with me here.) You wouldn't know it from reading my blog, but I am actually a very religious person. I don't go to church, and most preachers and T.V. evangelists make my skin crawl, but I have a strong faith. I actually decided to put a prayer request on this forum. I didn't know if anyone would care or pray for me - or even read it, but I did it anyway. I just typed a simple request that asked for prayer for my marriage and my finances. Nothing specific, nothing special. I emailed it from my work email. That was last Tuesday.

That night, my husband and I decided to talk. He had told me previously that he was moving out and was making the preparations to do so, but he wanted to talk before he left. We talked and cried and talked and cried. We love each other. We wanted to make it work, but we didn't know how - or where to start. We have been together for almost 13 years. Exhausted, we went to bed. I called in sick the next day. My husband decided not to leave.

I had also emailed a friend of mine that I knew from a church I used to go to a long time ago. We hadn't talked in over 3 years, but she was so thrilled to hear from me and was very sad about my situation. She asked if she could pray for me and get me on a prayer list at my old church. She also wanted to see me. I needed as much prayer as I could get right now, so I accepted, and was looking forward to see my dear friend. I don't know why we lost touch, life just takes different turns, and I don't know what made me think of her. I didn't want her to think I was "using" her or only emailing her because I was distraught. She said she didn't care why I was emailing her, only that she was so I glad I did! This woman is the sweetest person in the entire world - the kind of person you could never say anything bad about - the kind of person you want to know.

Friday morning at work I was finally starting to feel a little better. I didn't know how I was going to pay any of the bills, but at least my other half (Jim) was loving me and staying by my side. I was so grateful to God for this. After lunch, I walked past my work mailbox and noticed something in it. It was a hand-labeled card, or letter or something with a return address from the other side of the country where I have never been, and don't know anyone. There was a man's first name on it, but no last name. I don't know anyone with this name. It was made out to my work, with attention to me. I opened it. It was a card that said God loved me, and that God wanted me to know that - and that someone was praying for me. It also said that God had put it on this person's heart to send this to me even though they had never met me and didn't know anything about me. Something also fell out of the card. It was a money order, made out to me. For a very large sum of money.

I couldn't move for a few minutes and I am surprised I didn't pass out. A complete stranger had sent me money. A COMPLETE STRANGER. This was not a donation to the Red Cross, or a hurricane relief fund, or a charity. It was for ME. A nobody. This was a huge amount of money and I started shaking and crying. From the comments inside the card, I deduced that it must be from someone who had read my online prayer request. I felt the Lord all around me. He had answered my prayer - I felt His love. I physically felt it. I cannot explain it. What this person did, goes beyond normal boundaries. Goes beyond human nature. You don't just send some random person on the internet that kind of money. This is divine intervention, and there is no one, no where that will convince me otherwise.

I don't know how long I stood there, but for the first time in my life I knew everything was going to be OK. Somehow. I also knew that some day I would do the same, or more, for someone else. It kinda feels like that "Pay it Forward" movie. Have you seen that? Good flick.

I didn't tell Jim right away. This is something you don't tell someone over the phone. Jim has struggled with his spirituality for a long time now - not knowing exactly what he believes anymore. He has been fighting with the whole "Christianity" thing - the hypocrisy, the fake people, the B.S. I, too, struggle with this stuff. Who doesn't? I called him on the way home and said something like "You are going to think I have lost it, but I want to ask you a really weird question." He was curious. I asked him if there was anything that could happen in this life, a miracle if you will, that would confirm his beliefs - that would "unconfuse" him about his feelings toward God. His response was: "Huh? What? I don't know..." I laughed. I told him to think about it and I would tell him the significance when I got home.

When I got home, Jim was more than a little curious now - he wanted to know what was going on. He said he really couldn't come up with a good answer other than "If Jesus were to come down here right now and say "How is it going, Jim?" I handed him the card with the money order still in it. He looked at me funny, and I said "I have no idea who this is from". He looked at the card and the money order for a long time without saying anything. He finally said "Is this real?". I said "Yup.". He said "Oh My God.", I said "Exactly.".

The reality of this situation still has not sunk in for either one of us. It is surreal. My husband is no longer confused about his spirituality. As it turns out, one of the answers he was thinking of to my question was 'if some stranger gave us a bunch of money'. He didn't want to use that answer though, cuz he said it sounded 'greedy'. He swears that was what he was thinking, though. It blew him away.

This might all sound stupid to you, but it is big for us. Just call me Crazydogmama the Jesus-freak, I don't care. Something important has happened to me and I felt the need to share it.


midnightbunny said...

I'm so glad you have shared your thoughts, emotions, life. You are a very special person, and I'm so glad that through it all, you and your husband have found the strength to get through this. The kindness of strangers has often surprised me as well, and you just never know what is going to happen ... when you least expect it ... and when you need it the most.

You are definitely in my thoughts.


Racheal said...

What an amazing thing to have happen. It makes me believe in miracles and the kindness of strangers again.

Colleen said...

Okay, I've written, deleted and re-written this comment three times now, but I can't really figure out what to say except in a world where our faith is tested every day, it's nice to see that miracles can and do still occur. I'm a lot like you in that I don't go to church (although I have recently started going for my kid's sake), but I've always considered myself spiritual and a believer. Divine intervention is giving you and Jim a second chance and I couldn't be happier for you. I guess it's true, God will help you, all you have to do is ask.

Take care and I'll still keep wishing you guys the best.

Alex said...

This is such a wonderful thing to share with us!

Take care and I hope God will continue to watch over you...

Anonymous said...

I've been lurking here for well over a year now. Not sure why, now don't take this wrong, but all your posts were so negative...not really my thing~ I guess I just kept hoping something magical would happen to you. And it did! :)
I hope you continue to believe, not just in your own spirituality, but also in the innate kindness of people. And pass that kindness on (that will make you happier than you know)
So happy for you and take care!!
ps-You and your hubby, be kind to each other and it will work out.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad for you. You and hubby take care of each other, mmmkay?


michelle said...

What a powerful testimony! I check out your site on occasion because Skwigg has you linked. God rocks............don't discount this as coincidence.......He knows your circumstances........every detail......and he cares deeply for you and your husband. I work at my church.......would you mind if I shared your story with our staff?

Cheryl said...

Michelle - Yes, please share it with anyone you like! I definately don't think of it as a coincidence - this was an incredible experience. Thanks for the kind comment.

Anonymous said...

first of all:

you are NOT a nobody. You are a kind, gentle, and caring soul in this world and you deserve good things in life. What an amazing thing that money in the mail? and what an amazing person who's out there looking after you. One day you'll be able to return the favor to another "lost" person who will need your help (anonymously or not) and you won't even know how much you were able to change their life too. I just know it. You have good karma around you cheryl. Remember when my doggie died? You probably don't even know how much I hung on to your every email to get me through that! ~Nichole

Deb said...

Wow, that's fabulous. I am so glad everything is working out for you.