Jennifer Allison has another fun and poignant God story for us!
It was a typical 90-degree summer day and here in the South that always goes hand-in-hand with extreme humidity, which makes simply walking outside feel like you’ve been bathed in honey. And it was time to mow the lawn… again. Ugh!
This is a task I do not particularly enjoy. In fact, I could honestly say I’d rather get a series of rabies shots at my doctor’s office than have to work an hour in that kind of heat walking back and forth across the yard every single weekend. I try and keep myself motivated by hoping I’ll shed a few pounds in the process. But, usually I just grumble.
As I began laboring up the hill on this thick, sweltering Saturday I began thinking, “Oh, Lord help me. I hate this. I’m tired. I’m itchy. This just sucks.” Then, BOOM!
The Holy Spirit blindsided me with a very vivid flashback. In my mind I was suddenly transported back to a moment 20 years ago in my life. There I was—24 years old and 6 months pregnant with my son. At that time I lived in a tiny, run-down shack of a house. I was not married. I had been a rebellious wild child all of my life. God was pursuing me. Parents were praying for me. I was in the process of breaking, but I had not surrendered quite yet as I fought to stay self-sufficient. My shell of a home had no refrigerator, no stove, no a/c and certainly no cable TV. I was made even poorer by the fact I could not continue my job of cleaning hotel rooms any more while I was pregnant. I was alone, scared, and totally broke. God was trying to get my attention but apparently I’m a slow learner, and strong-willed to boot.
I had just been visited by a strange man who let me know my neighbors were all complaining about the knee-high jungle that was growing in front of my house. In a firm and condescending tone he informed me if I didn’t mow my yard immediately I would be fined, or my landlord would be notified and I would be asked to move out.
So, now I had a real problem. I had no lawnmower, no money to hire someone to help, and I was pregnant. So, I began a sheepish appeal to God under my breath saying, “Oh Lord, help me!”
Next thing I know a friend drove up to my house and said, “I happened to see this $30 lawnmower at a garage sale today and I thought you could use it.” I’m sure they were just embarrassed to visit me in my forest of weeds. So, they left me the lawnmower and went on their way.
I began to think, “Well, that was an amazing coincidence. Okay, okay, maybe it was a miracle. Thank you, GOD, that I have a lawnmower now. But how am I supposed to take care of this thick overgrown brush with my fat baby belly? I can’t risk harming this child… now what?” Well, I had no other options so I figured I’d just take it reeeeeeeal slow and take a break between each pass across the yard so that I didn’t overdo it.
So I started up the mower and set out to accomplish my daunting task. I quickly realized the job would’ve been more successfully tackled with a machete. This was way more difficult than I could handle. I felt like a complete idiot. I was humiliated. I had no idea how I was going to build a future for my son like this. I had lived such a reckless and rebellious life that I didn’t have anyone to call for help now, except God. I was defeated. “Okay God. I get it. I can’t do this by myself.” Then out of nowhere a young boy about 12 or 13 years old walked up to me and said, “Ma’am, I’d like to finish your lawn for you.”
For the first time in my life I became fully aware that God had His big, loving arms around me, despite my constantly trying to run away from Him. Tears filled my eyes as I became embarrassed at my persistent arrogance at believing I was the one who was in control of all things. I finally felt grateful.
BOOM! All of a sudden my flashback ended and I was back in today’s reality. I had been so caught up in the memory of how God pursued me and provided for me that I had not even been aware of the last hour I spent plowing across my lawn. I began to praise God. I was giddy. First I thanked Him for reminding me of His faithfulness, and provision in my life over the last 20 years. I have a very nice house now with a well-manicured lawn. My son and I are healthy and able. I also thanked Him for never giving up on me, and for relentlessly pursuing me. Then I laughed out loud at myself and thanked Him for helping that day’s chore go by quickly and effortlessly as He kept me distracted.
I believe God likes showing up and showing off for us if we’d just pay attention and relinquish control over to Him. He truly is in control of all things.
– Jennifer Allison
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?