Little Joy grew up and realized that how she lived was not “normal”. How children are brought up–the conditions in which they live in, that is their “normal” until they learn otherwise.
When Joy married for the first time, she had some nice things, and later on in the marriage, she had even nicer things. She had a nice 4 bedroom house with 2 & 1/2 baths, all the shopping she wanted to do, and an in-ground pool in a nice neighborhood in a nice part of town. (In all honesty, at that point in her life, Joy would not have even considered visiting the type of neighborhood she now resides in….but Joy was not a Christian at that time, and now she knows that the people she lives amongst and are now friends with, are “just as good” as she is.) Oh my, the roads our Redeemer takes us down!
Fast forward to Joy’s second marriage. She is now a Christian (read “How I Came to Know Christ”), and all that horribleness and brokeness is behind her, and she is married to a man who God has used to make up for the years that the locust have eaten. A man who would not even think of letting Joy sleep in a bedroom that had a leaking roof, nor a house that had mice, rats, or bugs. She is now married to a man who does the best he can to provide for and take care of her. His talents are many, his heart is loving, he has shown Joy what normal is; that people do have screens on their windows, that the windows can open and close and be air-tight, that broken doors can be fixed, that a house can be wired correctly and safely, and yes, even Joy deserves a fan and air conditioning.
Joy’s husband has re-modeled a kitchen and bathroom for her. He shovels snow, he cuts the grass, he rakes leaves, he paints the house, he takes care of car maintenance–he wouldn’t allow himself to sit on a couch and have his nose in a book while I struggled to do these things. He takes care of the house, the cars, the yard. If something is broke, he fixes it. We don’t live in sub-standard housing, and he doesn’t think I don’t deserve nice things.
And one of the best things ever is when Joy’s husband is eating a meal with her, he consistently offers her the finest cut of meat, or the only remaining slice of meat or dish, putting her needs and wishes ahead of his. You see, when Joy was Little Joy, her father got first choice on all foods at the table. If there was one item left and someone wanted it, the children were last in line. If my child was hungry and wanted the last piece of food, and I was hungry too, I’d give my child the food and find something else to eat or not eat at all.
When Joy and her husband are out in public, her husband reaches for and holds her hand; that makes her feel safe and loved. And a really sweet and tender thing he does is if he gets out of bed before her, he covers her up and moves quietly about.
When God looked and noticed how Little Joy and her mother and brothers had to live, He had mercy, He had a plan, He knew what was in store down the road for all of them. All of Joy’s brothers take care of their homes and their (singular) wife. None of us would live like we lived when we grew up, if we can help it. Joy’s Mother has gone on to her reward in heaven for being a faithful Christian wife–no doubt all her needs are being met now.
What I have been learning more so now than ever before is that without a doubt, God absolutely, positively, knows what is going on in the world, in our homes, our lives. I knew this before, but since I am older and have more years to look back on, I can see how my needs have been met and how God is working in my life and those around me. He assembles puzzle pieces together with perfect precision, no detail is missed, no bad or good deed goes unnoticed. He knows our hearts, he knows our intentions. He loves His children and He will work all things together for good for those that know Him, and are called according to His purpose. He can use us to help others who are going through the trials He has brought us through. Nothing is wasted in God’s Kingdom. Where there is God, there is hope, love, promise. We may not see all of our prayers answered in our lifetime, but we who are saved–who have called upon the name of Jesus Christ as our Savior, we know glory awaits us.
Now I need not fear, as I have a new Father, an Abba Father who takes care of me.