MERCY AND GRACE

By Suellen Fry

…On my knees before the Lord, my body hunched over, my spirit calls out to the distant heavens praying for a miracle…

It has been five months now since the police finally arrested my husband. The terror I lived was over now. There was finally peace in my home. There were no more unkind words being spoken. There were no more threats to kill me and no more hands around my neck. My little boy’s hurt and anger were finally being replaced with hugs and kisses. He had stopped crying. He had stopped worrying about his mommy. Most of all…my heart was mending in ways I never thought imaginable.

I too well remembered the time I lived in fear. I remembered the courage it took to grasp my little guy’s hand, our bags packed….leaving for the shelter for abused women! But most of all….I remembered the night I woke up out of my slumber feeling forgiveness in my heart! I had received the gift of healing through the arms of Christ as he held me tight each night. It was HE WHO wiped my tears. It was HE who covered me with his wings and protected me and my son. How could I forgive the man who hurt his own wife? It wasn’t me…It was Christ! Through Christ I was able! I was jolted in the middle of the night. I sprang from my bed in upright position. What was happening to me? The pain was gone! The anger lifted. It was as if all the hard drive was erased.

Still………The Lord my God had something else in store for me!

He had yet another lesson for me to learn along the way! Little did I know how powerful his mercy and grace really are!

However, while my husband was still lurking around my home….he had established quite a reputation! New owners had taken over my apartment complex and things were changing. In a conversation with the landlord one day, I was told that he (my husband) was to stay away or else it would cause problems for me! He was not living the lifestyle that appealed to apartment mangers and landlords. “I will have none of that around here”, she said. “I do not want trouble.”

But there was trouble….my husband did not respect the restraining order. He was determined to stalk me and cause problems!

Now, finally was arrested! However…..that didn’t seem to matter to my landlord! She still wanted me out! She even refused to accept my rent money!This had been going on for months now. Letters kept coming in the mail telling me I was about to be evicted. My 7-year-old son would cry asking me, “Are we going to be homeless like those bums on the street?” “No,” I would tell him. “Don’t worry, Mommy is here and I will always make sure we have a roof over our head.”

Five months had passed. And still there was no legal eviction notice on my door! What was happening? Why was the landlord not evicting me? I never knew from one minute to the next what was going on. So I decided…maybe I should look for another place and get out while I can. Everywhere I turned the doors seemed to close right in my face. Now what was I to do? The truth was, my husband was incarcerated and every responsibility now fell upon me! What a burden it was to carry.

One day in the midst of all the chaos that crowded my mind, I made a call about an apartment. Little did I know the man on the other end of the phone would be a messenger directed from God himself. After telling this person my story he proceeded to inform me that his boss was my current landlord, one and the same! “Don’t tell anyone I told you this,” he proceeded. “You know that phone number on the sign on front of your apartment building? That’s your landlord’s boss’s number! Give him a call,” he said.

The next day I called the number. After hearing my story, he told me first to pay what I owed. Then he told me to open my front door and to look outside at the sun shining and realize that it was a new day. Wow! The burden had been lifted. I could stay!

But where would I come up with all that money? Most of it was spent. I hadn’t managed my money properly, plus I had other expenses. Maybe I would just have to suffer the consequences for all of this. I had 48hours to come up with the funds!

Okay…this is where our merciful Lord kicks in!

So where did I begin this story? Oh…I was on my knees praying before the Lord. Yet my faith was somehow shaken. I began to break down, gasping for air…I was in a full blown panic  attack! But that wouldn’t stop the Lord from trying to reach me! As the Holy Spirit intervened and spoke to the Lord through me I could feel myself being cleansed.

The next day came. I woke up, took Nick to school, came home and got back in bed. I hadn’t been physically well now for weeks. I had lost 10 pounds and felt weak at the knees. It was all I could do just to get my child off to school.

I managed feverishly to run through the yellow pages. I had to call someone for help. I wanted to call some churches. In a panic…I was trying to get help! The doors closed in my face.

With only five hours to go, I felt completely helpless.

Then I heard Him speak. “Lie down and rest. I’ve got it covered! Have faith!”

Thirty minutes later my mom called. “How much do you need? Okay. I will mail it today” Still….where was my faith? Okay…now let’s see you come through, God!

The Lord then told me, “Thou shall not test the Lord thy God.” What did that mean? I did not know at the time. I fell to my knees and praised Him for having mercy on me and for being there for me once again!

A couple of days later it hit me on the head like a ton of bricks!!!

It was already done! What was I waiting for? Why does God have to prove himself to me? Who was I to question God himself for proof of the miracle? He had my back the whole time! Despite my seeming doubt, despite my poor money management, He had His arms wrapped around me the whole time!!!

Oh, that’s what He meant when He said, “Do not tempt the Lord your God!”

Why must we always have to see the proof before us? Shouldn’t God’s Word be enough?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

I had nothing to do with the miracle! Mommy didn’t take care of anything! Our Lord, my Sovereign Father scooped me up from my own mess and proved once again that His mercy and grace are sufficient!

Thank you, Jesus!

Suellen Fry-Washington was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1957. She now resides in Bradenton, Florida with her and 8 year old son. As an aspiring Christian writer she hopes that her stories will touch someone’s heart and perhaps change the direction of someone’s life!

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