Today we welcome Mary Sue Hubbard as our guest blogger. She loves tending to her rose garden and surprising loved ones with a fresh bloom in a pretty bud vase, losing track of time in old libraries while working on genealogy, cuddling with her man and their two pups on the couch, scrapbooking with her girls, and spending every spare second that she gets with her four children and nine grandchildren. Her abiding joy, deep faith, and love for the Lord are evident within seconds of meeting her. She is my friend, my mentor, and my sweet mother. I know that you will love her instantly. -Rebecca
Early in the 1980's my life was like most busy Christian wives and mothers of today. I delighted in my family and church as well as working part-time in the local hospital as an RN. My husband had just received his second promotion in his postal career. It required him to drive 70 miles round trip each day until we could sell our house and move to the new community where he was assigned. He had worked hard to earn this promotion and we were thankful God opened the door for him.
We were already thinking ahead to the time when our children, ages 4, 6, 8, and 13 years would be driving and considering colleges. The increased car insurance costs for teen drivers and college fees would require us all to work hard to prepare for the future.
It was at this point when our seemingly blessed family began to feel the strain of our circumstances. Our house, on the market for months, was not selling. Gas prices were climbing to the point that the cost of fuel for those 70 miles round trip daily became noticeable. Our oldest son's glasses frame broke at school. My husband, being a true handyman, used a small copper wire to discretely wire it together until we could afford to replace the frame.
Then, the real blow suddenly hit our financial security–I developed a bulging disk. Conservative therapy and anti-inflammatory medicine was tried and failed. Chiropractic treatments, braces, and steroid injections likewise failed.
I tried to work when I could because, as a part-time employee, I received no sick-time. On bad days when I was debilitated by the pain, our church family stepped in to help and take our children to special activities.
My husband was away from home 10 hours a day and would arrive home to start supper, do laundry, oversee baths, help with homework, and pack school lunches. We had always purchased day-old bread for the children's lunches but now all we could afford was generic peanut butter to spread between the slices. Even jelly was too expensive.
I think those sandwiches became a symbol to me. I knew our children were so tired of eating dry peanut butter sandwiches day in and day out. But, they never complained. They just did their part to help out.
After months of pain and failed treatments, my disk ruptured. The pain was so excruciating that I had to be carried to our car for the trip to the hospital. When walking inside the hospital with my husband's support, I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror and thought it was someone with polio looking back at me. It was an alarming sight.
After a lengthy surgery and hospital stay, I was so thankful to return home. Our finances, however, remained at a point of crisis. One day while I was recovering, a Lion's Club representative phoned saying that our son's name had been submitted as needing new glasses frames. That was a tough call for me to accept. It proved even tougher for my husband because he had been the postal supervisor of the man who called.
Then, the day came that changed my heart and mind forever. Our pastor's wife came over bearing grocery bags. I was so thankful as she pulled various food staples out and placed them onto the counter. Suddenly, my heart leapt when I saw the item that she pulled from the bottom of the last sack–a jar of homemade jelly.
In that instant, I felt the presence of my Heavenly Father as He gently said, "Here is the jelly to go with their peanut butter." Tears of gratitude ran down my cheeks as I asked our pastor's sweet wife, "Who sent the jelly?" She replied, a bit puzzled, "Well, I don't really know."
But, I knew who sent it. It came from my Father. He heard the innocent, unspoken desire of both my heart and my children's hearts and answered it in the most touching way. I'll never forget it.
Our Heavenly Father cared and provided my children with jelly during a time of family crisis and faithfully guided us all through the subsequent years. Just as He has cared for my family, He cares about you and every little need that you and your family have as well. You can trust today that, "Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." Ephesians 3:20
In later years, God blessed our four children with college educations and loving Christian spouses. They are now parents with children who have all accepted the Lord as their Savior. My husband and I were blessed to have had long and fulfilling careers–his as Postmaster with the US Postal Service and mine as an RN for 44 years. The provisions and blessings bestowed upon us by the Lord during these years have been too numerous to count. I could fill books. Each story tells of His attentive love and guiding Hand throughout each and every season. My entire life speaks of His faithfulness.