A homeless man stood on the corner of the up ramp leading to the interstate. He held a sign in his hand that stated, ‘I will work for food’. A tiny, brown, shorthaired dog stood at his feet and looked up at the man. He smiled lovingly at his dog. The dog was wrapped in a dirty plaid doggy coat and the man wore a coat that looked weathered from the outdoors. It hurt me to see them standing there together begging in the cold. I wish I had a job to give this man. His life made me think how close each of us are from being just one step away from homelessness.
I suppose this story means more to me than most people because at one time in my life I lost everything. I fell in love with a woman when I was married to a man. What should have been the happiest time of my life turned out to be the worse? It was especially hard when you are a Christian. The church preaches that homosexuality is wrong and they turned against me. Even my parents who were supposed to love me unconditionally did the same thing. When I was divorced I won custody of my three children in court because I was found to be the better parent, but soon I found out that society didn’t like gay people either. An evil judge, my ex-husband and my former church plotted to take my children away and they did. So in an attempt to stand up to them I took my children and ran. Unfortunately the law caught up with me and I was put in jail and I lost every worldly possession because I had no one to help me. One moment I was loved by my family and church and the next moment I was thrown away and despised because I was gay. It took every worldly possession I had to fight back against the injustice I was dealt in the courts and that is the reason I became homeless. In my most desperate time I called out to Jesus Christ and He helped me when no one else would.
Hebrews 13: 5b&6: “For God has said, ‘I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.’ Let us be bold, then, and say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?’”
Jesus led me to an attorney and after hearing my story and how much I suffered from the hands of Christians, he took my case on pro-bono. It was a huge child custody and criminal case, but Dobbs did not care even though he had to travel an hour both ways from his office to fight for me in court. He believed that everyone had the right to justice no matter what their sexual orientation was and he was eager to show me I could win. My pockets were empty and my future unclear but just when I needed help the most Jesus provided me with what I needed at the right time.
Hebrews 11: 6: “No one can please God without faith for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him.”
My attorney fought for me and I regained joint custody of my children. My faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior gave me the faith to stand up to what was happening and to move on to another place where I could blend into society and live my life without the intense persecution I had faced in the small town I left. I started my own upholstery business and God blessed me giving me back everything I lost and more.
Hebrews 12:15: “Guard against turning back from the grace of God. Let no one become like a bitter plant that grows up and causes many troubles with its poison.”
When I was suffering for being gay, I refused to give up my faith and blame God. I refused to become bitter and hate the people who hurt me and took away my children. Instead I held tightly to my faith and trusted that God had a plan that was better than the suffering I went through. This is the reason why I was blessed. I stood firm in my faith that Jesus loves me.
Looking back at that time, I now see the miracles God preformed in my life. I also saw how much I grew as a Christian. It was not God who hurt me during that terrible time in my life, but people. As a result I became more unconditional in how I loved people and I did not judge them. When I was shaken from my safe world I grew from my experience. I did not freeze and allow my emotions to make me give up and accept my homelessness. Instead, I fought back and I was given a better life.
Hebrews 12: 27-29: “The words ‘once more’ plainly show that the created things will be shaken and removed, so that the things that cannot be shaken will remain.
Let us be thankful, then, because we receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Let us be grateful and worship God in a way that will please him, with reverence and awe; because our God is indeed a destroying fire.”
Maybe you are going through something really hard. You lost your job and now you can’t pay for your house. You don’t know what to do and no matter how hard you try no one will hire you. Don’t be afraid and don’t give up. No matter how close you are to homelessness. Believe and trust in your Christian faith. God is always ready to help you even when it looks like there is no hope. Maybe it’s time for you to look at changing to a new kind of job. Or maybe God wants you to expand your job search to a new city. Don’t give up and allow your life to become hopeless. Fight back and believe that God has a plan that is far better than your present life. We go through hard tests in this world that shake us to our very core, but if God is on our side it is only temporary.
Read Hebrews chapter eleven and see the faith each of us must have in order for us to overcome the problems we will go through in this world. Below are the concluding three verses.
Hebrews 11: 39&40, “What a record all of these have won by their faith! Yet they did not receive what God had promised, because God had decided on an even better plan for us. His purpose was that only in company with us would they be made perfect.”
It is important that Christians everywhere remember that the problems we have on earth cannot be compared with the rewards we will receive in Heaven. We must hold tightly to Jesus Christ and learn the lessons that this world has to teach us. When I see a homeless person on the street I remember the lessons I learned from being homeless. The simple truth is that all people are one step away from homelessness if they don’t hold tightly to Jesus Christ and believe that he can save them and give them a better life.
Linda C Dipman author of I WANT TO KNOW MY FUTURE http://lovinghandsministry.com presents I WANT TO KNOW MY FUTURE It will put you on the edge of your seat as you read each vivid detail. You will feel terror and experience love like nothing you have ever read before. Find out what happens when God fights for you! 5.0 out of 5 stars a powerful and very much recommended read. Midwest Book Review: I Want to Know My Future With nothing left, not even family, God may be the only thing left. “I Want to Know My Future” is a Christian memoir from Linda Dipman who ponders her rough journey when she was thrown in jail and forgotten by her church and family. When all seemed lost she relates how God was still there for her and she hopes her story will help other readers remember this important fact. “I Want to Know My Future” is a powerful and very much recommended read. The Christian Author Radio Show http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow-LDipman.html