All this month people have posted on social media things they are thankful for. This is usually what happens during the month of November. I think it’s called 30 days of Thanksgiving. I kind of halfway do things when it comes to that kind of thing because I really forget about posting so even though it’s December 1st, I thought I would write about what I’m thankful for.
I live in a big city. Phoenix, AZ to be exact. I grew up in the country and loved it. Whenever I need a recharge, I just head for the woods. Something about it just gives me a lift. I also really like living in the big city. I love all the noise and the tall shiny buildings and everything being just around the corner. I would love to live in a high rise in the middle of it all. One of the drawbacks of living in a big city is you have more of an issue with homelessness. You see it everywhere and every day. People pushing their grocery carts down the sidewalk with everything they own. A homeless person sleeping on a bus stop bench. Sometimes you see a homeless person that obviously has a mental issue because they walk down the sidewalk flailing their arms and talking to the air.
Last week as I was driving to work, I noticed a homeless woman walking down the sidewalk just talking into the air. It always makes me sad and I wonder how she became homeless. Does she not have any family? Did she lose her job? Then, I’m reminded of a time in my life where being homeless was just a fine line between me and the outdoors. How easy it would have been to not have a place to live.
About 15 or so years ago, my ex-husband went to jail. It really doesn’t matter why it just matters that he didn’t care about his family or what would become of us. We had been in the Army 21 years when this happened. I was an Army wife and loved every minute of it. It also means that I didn’t have a career because, with all the moving we did, it was difficult to accomplish. So we depended on him to provide a place for us to live and food. He paid all the bills. Everything! Also, it means that we didn’t really have a place to live permanently because of the moving around which I was okay with since I’m really a gypsy at heart!
Just one phone call determined me and my kid’s destiny. I had no job and no money. My cars were repossessed, bill collectors were calling and I had to start over from scratch. I could only get a piddly job making a minimum wage. The only place I had to live was with my mom and dad. If it wasn’t for them we would have been part of that homeless crowd. Through no fault of my own, that is how easy my life changed.
Today, as I drive my nice new car to my federal job I’ve been at for the last 8 years and pass a homeless person I am always reminded of how close I came to becoming that same homeless person pushing everything I own around in a shopping cart. I am thankful to God for providing for me in the desperate times. I am thankful that God had the plan already established for me way before I knew it was needed.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. To give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11