When courage is the only option
I would like to tell you a story, about a young woman that touched my heart. She is twenty-five (25) years of age, live’s with her boyfriend and has two small children.
Her boyfriend had a hard time keeping a job, They barely made ends meet. Being poor became a lifestyle. The young woman beyond everything that they were going through, stayed in good spirits, and never gave up hope that one-day things will change.
The children wore clothing that was passed down from other families in the area with the help of the women at their community food pantry where she received food for her children. She was always very gracious, thankful and grateful for everything she was given, even if the clothes didn’t fit too big or too small she made it work.
One day, early afternoon her boyfriend came home from work. The kids were excited to see their dad. He gave a quick hello and proceeded to their bedroom. She knew something was wrong. He didn’t say one word to her. She followed him and asked him what was wrong, and he didn’t look at her and said he lost his job. He took out a duffle bag from the closet and began to pack it with his clothes, emptying his drawers. She asked him, “what are you doing?” he didn’t say a word, and handed her $15.00 dollars and some change in her hand and left.
The children jumped up when the door slammed shut and hugged their mom while asking her what was wrong with dad. She cleared her throat and answered, that everything is alright. We are going to make it. Her mind was racing. She knew that the next trip to the pantry for food wasn’t for another couple of days. She needed to think quick on her feet. The children will need dinner tonight and breakfast in the morning.
She figured, she can get to the store, and buy breakfast food, she would be able to make french toast for dinner, and scrambled eggs in the morning, until she can make a plan on what to do next. She dressed the kids, and put them in the truck, and started off to the store. Now the truck was very old. It had different size tires on it, the passenger side window was taped with cardboard, but she didn’t have any other options. She didn’t even have time to think about her boyfriend. Her mission was to take care of her kids.
She pulled into the parking lot of the store and parked the truck, and got out. Grabbed the nearest buggy and put the kids in it and began to walk towards the entrance. As she was pushing the carriage, she watched people point fingers at her, and laugh, they were making fun of the way the children were dressed. She did the best she could with what they had. Nothing fit. The dress was too big, and the socks didn’t match. She looked at her kids and said we are going to make it. An elderly gentleman was walking by and noticed what was happening, and said hello to her and the kids, and told them they all look wonderful. Then continued to walk to the deli next to the grocery store.
She knows she only has $15.00 dollars and needs to be careful about the prices of the items. She picked up a dozen and a half of eggs, a small milk and a loaf of bread, butter and syrup. She did really well at check out and had some money left over. She had a sigh of relief.
As they were exiting the store, it began to rain very hard. She didn’t have an umbrella to cover the kids. She looked around and grabbed some outdated newspaper that was outside under the awning and told the children to hold them over their heads, and they were going to play a game. On a count to three, they will run to the car. They laughed and smiled and had so much fun.
She put them in the truck and pushed the buggy away, and as she was looking back, she noticed the elderly man who walked by them earlier, staring at her through the window of the deli. She got into the truck and tried to start it. She tried several times, but the truck wouldn’t start.
The kids noticed that there was something wrong. She began to cry. The kids were hungry and cold. and started to become upset, and cry. She laid her head on the steering wheel and asked God to please help them. She told him she didn’t know what else to do. She begged him to please help her and the kids. It didn’t seem like there was any help in sight. She began to lose hope.
She heard a tap on the driver side window. She hesitated to look up, she heard it again louder this time. It was the elderly man. He told her not to worry. I’m not here to hurt you. I noticed you are having trouble getting started. He explained, he bought the children chicken fingers and french fries and chocolate milk and bought her a sandwich. She couldn’t thank him enough. He told her to open the hood of the truck so he can give her a jump start so she can get home. She began to tell him that she doesn’t know how to repay him. He told her he is here to help and is not looking for payment.
He jump-started the car. He told her to be careful driving home. He handed her money to buy a battery. She thanked him and said, I can’t except this. You are very generous. He told her to please take it. She told him she was very grateful for his help. She didn’t know what to do if he wasn’t there to help her. She thanked him again and drove off, and they waved to each other.
The children ate all their dinner and were so excited to have their bellies full. It was like going through the drive-through. She felt so blessed and happy to see her kids smiling and alright.
They pulled up to the house. She took the kids out of the truck, and the bag of groceries. She took off the children’s damp clothes and put on their nightshirts, brushed their teeth, and put them to bed. The oldest child looked up at his mom and said we are going to make it. She smiled and said, “yes we are.”
Our strength goes beyond physical strength. The power within us is our courage to never give up and to face our challenges. Our inner strength helps us to stand tall when all else fails. Our strength comes through prayer and believing you can overcome.
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