Sunday, October 27, 2013

When my life was a mess, God sent me a widow

I was nervous driving up to the house on the hill. When we pulled into the dirt road I noticed a small pond in front of the porch. A thin white-haired, blue-eyed woman greeted us at the door. Her name was Zella and she attended the same church that my  birth son’s parents attended. Nancy, my son’s adoptive mom, had shared my situation during a prayer meeting at church. I needed a place to stay for the remainder of my pregnancy and wasn’t sure where I, along with my 2 year old, could go. After the prayer meeting Zella approached Nancy and offered her home. She had recently lost her husband and had the space in her home (as well as in her heart) for a broken 19 years old and her toddler. I was nervous and curious about meeting her. She knew nothing about me except the fact that I was placing my baby for adoption and that I’d already had a child. My circumstance was not an ideal one at all. I waddled into her home where she invited us to sit in the back yard. She brought a tray out with lemonade and cookies. As she brought out the tray I noticed one of her arms was a bit paralyzed and she walked with a bit of a sway. She immediately set me at ease with her soft spoken manner and her gentle wrinkly eyes. She asked a little about me and she shared about how her husband Ernest had passed away 6 weeks prior. At the end of our meeting she offered my son and I a temporary home. She had a fruitful garden near the front of the house and it seemed so peaceful there. I was relieved to have a temporary place to stay. I didn’t know it at the time, but GOD had sent me to the home of a widow for my provision. Emmanuel and I moved in with Zella and she would cook meals for us and I would watch her make a salad with things she had grown herself. I was impressed with how she knew so much about so many things. After staying there for a few weeks she played a cassette tape of her husband’s funeral. We both sat in the kitchen and quietly listened as one by one people spoke of her husband. At times she would quietly wipe her tears and at other times she would smile. I was sad for her and at the time thought to myself how fortunate she was that they lived to be married so long. After the tape ended she went on to share how they had planned to do things after his retirement and all that changed when suddenly he was gone. Besides cooking and keeping a home, Zella showed me unconditional love. If she ever had an opinion about my life choices she certainly didn’t treat me with any disapproval. She treated me as if I was an important guest and not a teenage girl in chaos. As the day approached to have the baby she was the one who helped me with Emmanuel. When I returned home from the hospital I was able to lock myself in the room and just recover emotionally as well as physically. She quietly tended to Emmanuel and would bring me food on a tray. I would lay there weeping and she gave me the space to do that. When the time came for me to move back home I left with a deep appreciation for Zella. I admired her, she was no longer this grandma that opened her home, but she represented what I wanted to become. A loving, upright woman of high character. To me she embodied Proverbs 31 all the way through. As the years went on and I grew up I was proud to call her and share with her my victories. When I went to visit my birth son for the first time she was there. A few years ago I went back to visit my birth son  and we were able to have lunch with Zella. She had gotten older, moved a little slower, and had added a few more wrinkles around her blue eyes. Her gentle manner was unchanged as well as my admiration for her as a woman of God. Today, I got the call from Nancy informing me that Zella had gone home to be with the Lord. I admit that I am sad at the loss for such an amazing woman. I am so thankful to the Lord for allowing our paths to cross, especially at a time when I can honestly say my life was a mess. I’m thankful to Zella for showing me His love when I desperately needed it. I can say that she had an influence on my relationship with God. She loved the Lord and it was evident in the manner in which she lived. I'm thankful, so thankful for this amazing woman!

Proverbs 31: 30-31 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

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