Sebastian has been sick for a few days now and this morning he was complaining that his ear hurt. I called the doctor to get an appointment and the earliest they had was 11 am. I scheduled the appointment and then had to decide how we were going to kill a few hours in town after dropping the older kids off at school. I decided to fall back on a fairly reliable time killer - the play place at McDonald's.
We drove to the east side because that play place is always empty in the mornings. After we all ate some breakfast, the kids ran off to play and I sat and played some games on my phone. After awhile, a little boy about Sebastian's age came in and started to play. A few minutes later, his mom came in and sat at the table next to me. Now, as a little side note, I have discovered that God often sends people to me who, without any encouragement, will share intimate details of their lives. This happens to me all the time - in the line at the grocery store, in the bank, at the gas station. This morning in McDonald's was no different.
No sooner had this woman sat down than she turned to me and started conversation. I am in no way an extrovert and I am very uncomfortable making conversation with complete strangers (one of God's little jokes, I think) but I always do my best to at least be polite. So, I answered some of her questions about my kids ages, etc and that led to my hearing her entire story.
Jessica has just moved to Lancaster from San Diego. She and her husband and their two children had been living with her mother up until her mother died a year ago. She and her husband were struggling to keep up with the bills and house payments when he lost his job. They then lost the house and were forced to live with her sister - all four of them had a bedroom in her sister's 3 bedroom, 900sq ft house. Her husband had great difficulty finding a job until finally he was offered a job up here in the AV. They had never been up here, have no family here, but they decided that this was their best chance, so they up and moved here a few weeks ago. Once they arrived, her husband found out that he did not get the job they originally promised him but a much lower paying job in the same company. He took the job, feeling there was not another option. Jessica had hoped to get a job somewhere, but her youngest is only four. She is trying to get him into Head Start, but there is a waiting list and any job she could get wouldn't pay for the childcare. But, she said that there have been some good things about moving up here. Her husband, a Jew, has found a synagogue that he really likes. And she, a Catholic, found this great church where everyone is "real nice and welcoming." (Yes - she was talking about Sacred Heart!) She told me that she knows God brought them here to the desert for a reason. She said, "Even though I am so discouraged and scared for what's going to happen, I know God's got my back."
This was a reminder that I was so desperately in need of. I have been really worried about Jason's health and the Internet has been most unhelpful - it helps me find just enough information to have me really worried. In my more sane moments, I know that God is there for us. However, it is all the other moments, the moments when it feels like the worry may eat me alive, that I need to mentally slap myself and remember - God's got my back, no matter what.