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  • Nov30Wed

    Kelli's Heroes

    How a mom of a single mom is learning to let go. November 30, 2016 by Jeanette Levellie
    Filed Under:
    Faith & Friends
    After a year as a single mom of three, our daughter, Kelli, was gaining some of her former confidence back. We even heard an occasional note of hope in her voice when we chatted every Sunday afternoon. How I wanted to close the 500-kilometre gap that separated her from me and my husband, Kevin, so we could babysit, run errands and cheerlead in person.

    I recalled how just a few days after we brought Kelli home from the hospital 30-some years before, Kevin had hoisted her up on his shoulders, calling her his “little elf.” He carried her around like that dozens of times in her first few years. Now we needed to depend on God to carry her.

    My heart crumbled when Kelli told us of signing up the kids for the charitable Angel Tree gifts at Christmas and the free lunch program at their school.

    “I wish there was more we could do to help her,” I lamented to Kevin. “But I don't see how we can give more than what we're sending now.” I suggested dipping into our savings to help.

    “I'm not sure that'd be wise,” said Kevin. “I know it's excruciating to stand by and watch her suffer through these hard times. But we have to trust that God will make a way for her and the kids.”

    Although I longed to swoop down heroically wearing a cape with a huge SG (Super Granny) emblazoned on the back and rescue Kelli and her children, I knew Kevin had a point.

    Perhaps the lesson in trust was as much for me as for Kelli. Maybe I might not be the hero Kelli needed. Maybe she needed more than I could provide.

    Back Me Up, God!
    Within the span of a few weeks, my trust “lesson” had turned into a major final exam!

    In short order, Kelli got sick at work, ended up in the hospital and totalled her van in a car accident. Shortly afterward, her ex-husband lost his job and cut back his child support, then quit giving her money altogether.

    Nevertheless, God brought Kelli heroes, one by one. Several people from the church my husband leads sent her money to provide a new car. The board of deacons at the church where I work as administrative assistant sent her a large cheque, along with a Valentine's Day package full of surprises, including a heartshaped box of chocolates. Since this was a new job for me, these people had never met Kelli—they simply wanted to help a struggling mom and her three kids. I wept with joy and gratitude when they told me what they'd done.

    She, too, was overwhelmed with a new appreciation of how much God loved her. I had the fun task of adding a note from her to our church's website the following week: “Thank you so, so much for the package you sent with the cheque to help us. I am using it to make payments on a new-to-us car. And the box of chocolates was an added surprise! May the Lord richly bless you all.”

    Although Kelli was able to pay off her car with her tax refund, there was little money left over for fun things to do with the kids, such as eating at a fast-food restaurant or buying a Slurpee when they filled up with gas.

    “I feel awful when the kids ask for something new,” she told me. “I tell them I'm trying to keep us from becoming homeless.” I had to choke back the tears as I said, “Don't worry, honey. God has brought you this far. Look at all the creative ways He's helped you. He isn't going to leave you now.” Back me up on this, God! I silently prayed.

    Heroes Wanted
    When a friendly hero gave Kelli free passes to an aquarium, she and the kids decided to go on Mother's Day. She called us the following Monday, excited to share the newest hero God had sent her way.

    “We were standing in line to pay for a little something Dawn wanted to buy at the gift store—a slimy neon worm only a 13-year old could love,” she said. “Then Mark and Karen ran up to us with some Legos that they couldn't live without.” Kevin and I smiled at the picture Kelli was painting for us of our 10- and eight-year-old grandkids and their building-block addiction. “I told them they'd have to use their birthday money for them, as I didn't have any extra this month.”

    Kelli said that she must have been discussing her lack of funds with the kids a bit loudly, because the lady behind her in line suddenly placed a bill in her hand and chirped, “Here, Happy Mother's Day—get them what they want.”

    “When I realized she was giving me money, I thought it might be a ten or—if I was lucky—a twenty,” continued Kelli. “Then I opened my hand and saw it was a hundred dollar bill! I tried to find her later to thank her, but she was gone.”

    I was speechless as I listened, my eyes filling with grateful tears. God was not only proving to Kelli that He can provide but He was also showing me that He had plenty of kind and generous people positioned to help our daughter—heroes when she needed them the most.

    These days I'm learning to be OK with not being Kelli's only source  of help. Because it's delightful to  see how many different heroes God can  use.

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