In Which Our Faith Is Strengthened by Unexpected Visitors

Read In Which Our Faith Is Strengthened by a Friend first.

* * *

Throughout Saturday afternoon, I kept checking the two fifties to make sure they hadn’t disappeared. Every time, they were still there. Every time, I was amazed all over again.

Several hours after the mail came, an unfamiliar car pulled in the drive. Jenica bolted for the door, curiosity flapping in the breeze behind her, followed by Tarica. Linford went after them, more slowly.

I was putting some laundry away upstairs, and by the time I peeked out a window, the car was already empty. Probably Jehovah’s Witnesses, I thought. Whoever had come was standing on the porch out of my sight. I gave in and went downstairs.

Linford met me on my way to the door. “You need to come out here,” he said, an odd look on his face.

I stepped outside and saw the most unexpected people on our porch. Remember the doctor that took x-rays of Tarica’s elbow? I called him “almost a friend.” Well, I was wrong. It takes more than almost-friendship to show up on a Saturday afternoon with what they did.

I looked from Dr. Chris and his wife, April, to the basket on the porch. The girls were already rummaging through it, pulling out treasures and exclaiming over them. The basket held chips, granola bars, travel games, a lap desk with coloring pages, crayons, fruit snacks, and caramel popcorn.

“It’s for your trips to and from Pittsburgh.” Dr. Chris pulled an envelope out of the basket and handed it to me.

I tucked it under my arm and groped for words of thanks. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: It’s humbling to receive. We don’t deserve such generosity, such thoughtfulness, and if I cry at all these days, it is tears of incredulous joy.

We thanked them. We talked, of epilepsy, of Christmas. We thanked them again. They left.

“I can’t believe they did this,” I said to Linford as we looked over the basket.

“What will you do with it?” he asked.

“Save it. For Pittsburgh,” I said. “It’s why it was given, and I want to honor that.”

Back in my kitchen, I remembered the envelope still tucked under my arm. When I pulled it out, I noticed its curious fatness. I tore it open and found a Christmas card. I opened the card and—

“Linford,” I said, “you need to see this.”

The card held $200 in cash and a $50 gift card for Sheetz, a common gas station in our area.

I swallowed hard. My chest felt constricted, as if the breath had been slammed out of me. “I can’t believe this,” I whispered around the tightness.

Above all that we ask or think. 

I groped for words of thanks, knowing it’s not enough, knowing, too, that He understands.

* * *

I tell you this story because I don’t want to forget it. Sometime in the future, when I feel like God is ignoring our distress, when the darkness is thick on every side, when it seems as if epilepsy has swallowed us whole—I want to come back and read this story of God’s extravagant provision.

If He could do it once, He can do it again.

He will do it again.

Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

9 thoughts on “In Which Our Faith Is Strengthened by Unexpected Visitors

  1. Stephanie, I’m so glad God confirmed His message to you… three times. Wow! He sees and cares! Thank you for sharing. It blessed me very much.

  2. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us all…reminding us that God is faithful! Right down to the details of providing enough so you could fulfill that desire to give to your sisters….. thanks for your inspiring blog. My heart goes out to you in your journey!

  3. amazing, how God cares and sends just who/what we need when we need it…when we feel we are sinking he is there to pick us up…all things happen for the good for those who love the Lord!!

  4. Clicking on links and reading old posts………..

    The tears started in the first post of this series, and the lump in my throat remains. There is nothing quite like throwing oneself on His grace and finding Him faithful! I know, because I’ve been there. Different circumstances, different story, same God. It’s good for me to read your story and remember. Much as we want to have “easy” lives, and remove all the hard things, I never want to forget the feeling of leaning completely on Him and finding Him rock solid. Every time.

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