Amazing Grace in the Community

During the most terrifying years in my life, beginning too young to be facing such horror, I met many angels. You saved a wretch like me.

Before I describe a situation where angels rescued me, I dedicate this song to you:

“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.”

I had been working in St. Cloud, Minnesota, commuting from Foley, Minnesota, which is a tiny rural town that I moved to because I could afford to stay in a public housing apartment complex. My old car, which was number half a dozen in a long line of junkers that I drove because they were cheap to buy, finally died on me on my way to work at a nursing home. Now there was no way I could get to my job to pay my bills, which included supporting a household of three because my roommate was my live-in babysitter. I had no other options for daycare that I could afford.

Fortunately, a woman who lived across the hall from me in my project offered to put in a good word for me at the nursing home down the street, where I would be able to walk to work every day despite not having a car.

I also would be able to eat. At this nursing home, in the break room, they had bread, jelly, and peanut butter. Every day I was guaranteed a meal. So I filled up as much as possible because I had no money for groceries. All I lived on was what I found in the break room. But it was enough to survive.

Then one day I went to the food shelf. I pushed my daughter in the stroller. She was a-year-old at this point and had survived a long list of medical issues like a brain hemorrhage, respiratory disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, the condition that causes blindness, and chickenpox that almost killed her. Down the street we went with hope in our hearts. Not hope for something big. Just hope for food. Just hope to live another day.

We met a really sweet woman at the food shelf who helped us put a box of food together. She also showed me an area where there were children’s books. Wow, my daughter could have her own books. We felt rich. We felt loved. It may seem like not much to someone else. But for us we have been saved by amazing Grace.

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