A sower went out to sow…. (Matthew 13:3)
Most of us know the Parable of the Sower well. It is one of my favorites. Perhaps the reason I like it so much is because I am an avid gardener and I love to grow things pretty much any place I can. Or maybe it is because I love stories and the way that they can bridge the gaps in age, language, and even educational level. These parables were told by our Lord for just that reason; to help the crowds – many who by the standards of the world were uneducated – understand something profound through a simple story.
Due to facing a bit of a housing crisis over the past few months this parable has recently taken on a whole new meaning for me. My lease was up, and my rent was going to increase $200/month which was unaffordable for me. With the cost of rent already so inflated, finding suitable housing turned out to be quite challenging. I applied for public family housing, but the waitlist is over five years and to qualify for emergency help you must meet certain criteria which I did not.
I had many concerns with the move. I worried about the emotional impact it would have on my daughter who has already experienced so much loss in her short life. I was also concerned with the move date being so close to the start of both my summer job and my daughter’s summer program. In fact, I was so anxious about my daughter having to go to a new school, that I even considered moving to a campground for the summer and becoming essentially homeless just to prevent the school change. I was praying, even begging, God to show me the answer, but it felt like my prayers were falling on deaf ears. The problem was I would pray and even though I could clearly hear God saying, “Just trust me,” instead my gardening skills took over and I began to try to “sow” my circumstances on my own on “good soil.”
I was so desperate that I began to just jump into whatever situation I could find. I found an apartment that was less money, but it was split onto two floors, and I realized my daughter would never be able to navigate the stairs for the bathroom during the night. Then I saw a place that was small and partially underground, so it was very dark, and the rent was not much less than the one we were leaving. I even considered staying where I was despite the fact that there were so many reasons beyond finances why this apartment was no longer a good fit. Through it all, I knew God was speaking to my heart against these options, but I was trying to make them work because my faith in His providence was wavering under the pressure.
Finally, as time was drawing closer to my moving date, and I still did not have any idea where we were going to live, I decided to just let go and surrender it to God. I got a storage unit and began moving stuff there temporarily. I found a hotel we could rent for the summer weeks. Slowly but surely, I began to pack up our lives. As I did this, a peace washed over me that was surreal. People kept asking me why I was not panicking, but I knew God would not abandon us.
A few weeks before we were scheduled to move out of our place, a coworker told me about an apartment that a friend of hers was renting. It sounded too good to be true! I was hesitant to get my hopes up, especially after seeing it and how perfect it would be for us, I was afraid it would not work out. Thankfully, God’s answer to my prayers was this apartment and the reason I believe we did not get any of the others is because He had this place in mind all along.
Loving, generous, providing God, we thank you so much for always hearing and answering our prayers in the way that is best for us even when we struggle with letting go of control. Thank you so much for the “good soil” in which you have planted us and for showering us with your blessings and grace. Please allow us to continue to grow closer to you every day and bear much fruit for your kingdom. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Christine Dufresne has been a Promised Pauline Cooperator for 5 years. Originally from New Bedford, MA, she served at a mission in Kentucky for 16 months before moving back to MA where she currently lives in Norwood. In addition to being a foster parent, she has been working with children in various ways for the past 25 years, helping with the children’s program on retreats and with the Holy Family Institute group in Boston, and is currently a nanny for several families. She serves as a Eucharistic minister in her home parish of St. Catherine’s in Norwood. Most recently she has completed her studies and is awaiting graduation with her Bachelor’s in Psychology/Human Services. She has embarked on latest part of her journey to adoption from foster care of a sweet seven year old little girl. God is Good!!!