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WE DON’T NEED YOUR HANDOUTS!
“Good morning Mom, how was your night?” Mom took a few minutes to answer the simple question. She looked around the room, and responded with a deep sigh, “It was ok.” She poured her coffee as always, sat down at the table with her Bible, and opened it to read her morning scripture. Ever since I have known my parents, they have been people of faith.
“Tammy… I mean don’t you tell a soul that I lost my job. I mean not a soul. What happens in this house stays in this house!” She took a sip from her coffee cup and kept reading the Bible. Because I did not respond to her, she stopped reading. She looked up over her glasses slowly and said, “Did you hear what I said?”
“Yes Mom, I heard what you said.”
“Then that is the end of that. I don’t want people feeling like they have to give us a handout during this time of year. I don’t need anything from anyone. I am not looking for a handout, because of what we are going through.”
As I pushed back my chair to get up from the table, I could feel my mother’s pain. She works hard to provide for us and I know it must be very difficult not knowing where our income was going to come from. Mom is a great provider. She worked hard for the company for over twelve years. When she came in to tell me that the company had gone under, I could see in her eyes that even though she was trusting God to provide for us, she was having to move to another level of trust and faith in her mind in God.
I am sixteen, so I don’t understand everything about life or God. Since Daddy died, mom tries hard to make sure we have everything we needed. I knew God was not going to fail her now. I needed God to show me how to approach my mother, without her feeling that I was not concerned about her and what we were going through.
“Mom”, I pause with uncertainty. “I heard the church is going to give Turkeys to anyone in need of food; and I thought maybe we could get one and that would help us.”
Mom did everything but hit the ceiling. She stood up from her chair and raised her voice like never before. “Did you not understand what I told you about a hand-out?” Mom looked at me as though I had made the biggest mistake of my life. “Did you tell anyone we need a turkey, and I was out of a job?”
“No mom, I did not tell anyone. I just heard my friend, Tasha, say they were giving out turkeys at the church; and her family was going to get one.”
“I don’t care who has to get what! Tasha’s family might like hand-outs, but there will be no hand out in this house!” Mamma walked out of the room suddenly, and went and closed the door to her bedroom.
I went into my room not knowing what to do. I had never seen my mother like this before. I did not know what to do. I could not tell anyone what we were going through, and I could not talk to my mother without her getting upset. I did not know what was really bothering her. I felt lost and confused. I had no place to turn, so I turned to God.
I fell on my knees and prayed the only way I knew. I don’t know much about prayer, but I have seen my parents pray in difficult times. I figured I was experiencing difficult times and it would not hurt to talk to God.
“Dear God, it’s me, Tammy. I am so confused about what is going on with my mother right now. She lost her Job and I don’t know what to do. I am in school and don’t work, so I have no income. My mother is the best mother in the whole wide world, and she loves you dearly. Will you help her? Thanks Tammy.”
I got up off of my knees and sat on my bed. The house was very quiet and it seemed cold and still. This was not the place that I knew. Our home, no matter what we had or did not have has always been a place of peace.
I heard my mother’s door open, and thought, oh no, what is going to happen now. Mom came to my door, “Tammy come here; let’s talk.” Mom had tears in her eyes. “First, I need to say I am sorry!”
“Mom…” I said…
“No, please let me finish. I went in my room and I was talking to God. I told Him I was afraid of what was going to happen to us. When your Daddy was living, I did not have anything to worry about. He was our provider – he took care of us. He did all of the worrying about money, bills and everything else. Now he is gone! I don’t know what to do when it comes to trusting God without your father next to my side.” Mom wiped her wet face. “It is scary.”
“Mom, can I please say something?”
Mom hesitated. In a low voice she said, “Go ahead.”
“I don’t know God like you do, but I know that it was God who provided for us through Daddy. We never went without. You have lost your job now and it is still God providing for us through His son, Jesus. I told you about the church, not as a hand-out, but I thought since you did not have a job, it was Jesus providing for us and those of us who needed help.”
“You know Tammy, you’re right. Sometimes it is hard to ask for help. It is pride that doesn’t want us to admit to others and ourselves, we are in need of another person’s help. God has and still is providing for us, and I know He will always look out for His children.”
“Mom we don’t need a turkey as long as we have each other…we have food.”
As mom thought about it, she said, “That is right. But because I am struggling with asking for help because of my pride, let’s just asked for the turkey and see what happens. We have not because we ask not!”
THE Moral of this story:
- It is OK to be scared and struggle at times about the unknown—trust God!
Acknowledge when we are wrong.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to others when we need help…We all need each other.