75: Help from Heaven

75: Help from Heaven

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Help from Heaven

By Monica A. Andermann

Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.

~Psalm 5:2

That morning, I awoke feeling even more overwhelmed than usual. Exhaustion had become my constant companion in the years through my mother’s illness when I became caregiver to her and Dad, all while meeting the demands of a job and my own family. I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock so I could gather a few more precious moments of rest as I reviewed my day: eight hours at work, accompanying Dad to the doctor’s office, returning to his home and preparing an evening meal, then finally returning to my own home for dinner, dishes, and laundry. It would be a light day by my usual standards, yet I felt I could no longer face even that schedule. I lifted my leaden feet out of bed and laid them on the floor. “God,” I called out in a moment of sheer desperation, “I can’t do this anymore. Please help me.”

I managed to drag myself to work where I was called into the department director’s office. I was informed of a department-wide layoff, given a cardboard box for my personal items, and told to pack up and leave. In the numb moments afterward, as I cleaned out my desk, I remembered my earlier plea. A simple call of help to the heavens had so often been the most effective prayer when other words had failed me. But losing my job was not exactly the answer I had expected. Somehow, though, I sensed it was. I just had to trust. So I did.

Soon, I discovered that my unexpected “vacation” had left me feeling so relaxed that I became a better caregiver to my parents. I barely worried about my stack of unpaid bills or the dead ends that greeted my job search. However, money was a real concern, and to that end, it seemed that I now required a college degree to stay competitive in my field. I had wanted a college degree for so long, but had never had the time to pursue this dream. Now I had time, but no income. I felt stuck at a crossroads between my needs and my desires, wondering why God had led me down this path only to be met with disappointment. I found myself again praying my one simple prayer: Help!

And help came again.

Within days, I discovered a college program specifically designed for adults with demanding lives like mine. I was able to garner credits from life experience and set my own schedule, which allowed me to continue caring for my family. Tuition money came from a variety of unexpected sources, too, as did funds to pay bills. Several times, I actually found money in the street — one time, a fifty-dollar bill! God had heard my prayer that desperate morning and provided fulfillment for His answer every step of the way. He forged the path, and I just went along for the ride. And what a wonderful ride it is when we trust in His plan.

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