Before we left for CT, Charlie and I constantly prayed that the Lord would care for the details of our transition. We knew there were things we would overlook and our prayer was that He would go before us (and before even all my OCD planning) to prepare our path. We saw that prayer answered over and over in terms of insurance coverage (a story in itself!), tax help, etc. I saw Him answer that continuous prayer again yesterday and today as He led me to the place where I will volunteer.
I went to church for the first time yesterday, and while I was excited to be there, I was also a little anxious about this morning’s meeting with two ladies at New Haven Home Recovery where I hoped to volunteer. After a great time worship and affirming that God stays the same through the ages (meaning He is the same God we knew in Auburn and is with us here in CT), a girl about my age stood up to tell her story. A year ago, the Lord moved her and her husband across the country to New Haven, where they knew no one, for her husband to attend a year of graduate school. That was fine for him, since he was able to meet people in his classes, but she felt lost on her own. As she described going crazy in their little apartment during the hours he was at school, my jaw started to drop. She was describing exactly how I’ve been feeling. Then she said the Lord just encouraged her to start showing up to things. If she was ever going to feel the sense of community and purpose she longed for, all she needed to do was start showing up and letting Him unfold His plan for her in her new home. So she started going to everything the church offered and, with time, became a very connected volunteer with the support of a great faith community.
It was the exact encouragement I needed to just show up today. Not knowing anyone to hang out with or much of anything to do while Charlie’s been at work for a week straight has been hard. I set up a meeting for this morning with New Haven Home Recovery, which helps homeless women and children gain the skills necessary to gain self-sufficiency. While I knew this is definitely what I wanted to do, I felt an unexplained nervousness about going. But the Lord held my hand while this girl spoke and reassured me that all I needed to do today was show up.
So I did.
And it turns out, they not only need someone to serve as a part-time afternoon receptionist (what I originally went in to talk about — answering phones and helping clients connect with their case workers), but they also have some large fundraisers on the horizon. When I told them about my PR background, we realized I could help in a lot of other ways. I showed up expecting one small thing (to help answering phones) and the Lord had something much greater planned. I’ll be helping there a few times a week, and hopefully serving at their furniture co-op on other days when Charlie works (and hopefully with him on his days off as well!) Homelessness is an obvious issue in this city, as evidenced any time you walk through downtown, and I’m so excited to be working with an organization that serves the whole family to not only get them off the streets for a night, but help them gain a better permanent living situation as well.
Tonight, I’m “showing up” at a book club in the next town over to discuss The Help. Can’t wait to see what community the Lord has waiting in this one!
Sidenote: Church started at 10:00 a.m. yesterday and didn’t let out until 11:50 a.m. Didn’t even notice!