It's been a while since I've written anything. For whatever reason, I just haven't had the words I needed to fill the page. But a couple of things have happened lately that have made me remember something that happened in 2006, when we finally found a buyer for my mother's house, and somehow it feels like it's a story I need to share.
My mother got sick in March 2004, and although we hoped that she would be able to resume living independently once she got well, she never got well enough for that to happen. So in 2005, I cleaned up the house and got it ready to put on the market. A year went by without a single offer. We lowered the price a couple of times, and I was beginning to wonder what we'd do if we couldn't find a buyer at all. Finally, in August 2006, I got a call from the realtor, who told me she had a buyer for the house and they wanted to close within thirty days.
Although I'd gotten some of my mom's things out of the house by then, and had cleared out the attic, there was still a house full of stuff that needed to be sorted through. I knew we'd have to have a house/yard sale, but with my only brother living in California, my son in Tennessee, my mom walking with a walker and not up to much physical labor of any sort, and no other close family to help, the bulk of the work was on my shoulders, and I had no idea how I was going to get it all done, especially when the realtor called again and said that the buyer had some kind of issue with his financing, and the sale could only go through if we could close in twenty-one days!
I remember being in shock, thinking there was no way in the world I was going to get it all done. I went to see my chiropractor because my neck and shoulders were so tight my head felt like it would explode, and he asked me if I'd sent out a request for Reiki and prayers to help with everything I had to do. I told him I hadn't even thought of it, and he thought that was pretty crazy, since I was always sending out requests for everyone else.
So I went back to my office and wrote an email asking everyone on my email list to send Reiki and prayers to help me get the house and its contents ready for sale. I've never been very good at asking for help, so it wasn't an easy email to write, and I was relieved when I finished it and hit the send button.
I had several other emails I needed to write to let folks know I was closing up the office for a week and that I wouldn't be around. I finished those and then noticed that there was still an unsent email in my outbox. When I checked to see what it was, I was surprised to find out that it was my request for Reiki and prayers for myself. All the other emails I'd written had gone out, and they were written after my Reiki/prayer request! That just didn't make sense to me, because usually if the first email doesn't go out for some reason, the ones you write after that won't go out either.
No matter what I did, I couldn't get that email to leave my outbox. I tried retyping it, I tried reformatting it, I tried everything I could think of. That darn email wouldn't go. I even wrote a couple of extra emails for other things and tried sending them, and they went! But my Reiki and prayer request wouldn't leave.
I finally gave up and headed home. I packed what I thought I'd need to get all the work done, picked up my mom, and headed for Hermitage, PA. (That's the city her house was in, and the city I grew up in. Funny, isn't it, that I now live in Hermitage, Tennessee.)
When I walked into my mom's house that night and looked at everything that was still there (three bedrooms, living room, kitchen, garage and full basement all crammed full of stuff from over fifty years of living), I was overwhelmed with such feelings of hopelessness and impossibility that once my mom went to bed, I sat at the kitchen table and cried. I couldn't figure out how I was going to manage to sort, price, sell, and clean out everything that was in that house in one week's time.
And then I heard this quiet little voice in my head (I've come to call it my God voice.) say, "Just pick a place and start. Any place at all, just start. It will be all right." So I dried my tears, blew my nose, opened a cabinet in the kitchen and began pulling things out, pricing them and putting them to the side as I continued with the next cupboard and the next one after that, working my way through the house, one room at a time, over the next few days.
There's a lot more to the story of course, but the important thing is that I started all that on a Monday evening, and by Friday afternoon (with only some intermittent help from my son and two very special friends), everything was ready for the sale, and by Monday, only seven days after I started, the sale was over, the house was empty and cleaned and the closing took place. As I left the realtor's office after the closing, I truly couldn't believe it was all done.
I took Tuesday off work to recuperate, and when I went in on Wednesday morning, the first thing I did was turn on my computer to catch up on emails. And as soon as I opened my email, I got a message that my email had been sent. When I looked at my sent messages folder, the message my computer had just sent, was my Reiki and prayer request, the one that wouldn't leave my outbox the week before, no matter what I did. I remember laughing and shaking my head, and wondering to myself why that email could go out now, when all the work was done, but it wouldn't go out when I needed/wanted it to.
And then I heard that same small quiet voice in my head again, the one that I'd heard that night in my mom's kitchen when I felt so overwhelmed. This time the voice said, in answer to my unspoken question about why that email wouldn't go out: "You needed to know that I had your back. You needed to know it wasn't everyone else's prayers for you that were being answered, or all the Reiki that they sent. You needed to know this was between you and ME. You needed to know that I heard your prayers. and I answered."
I haven't thought about all that in a long time, but I think it came to mind now because a couple of doors that I thought God had opened for me, just closed, and I was wondering why He opened them in the first place, if He had no intention of keeping them open. But just like He wouldn't let that Reiki/prayer request leave my outbox in 2006 because He wanted me to know He answered my prayers, and not everyone else's prayers for me, I think God closed these recent doors because I was counting on other people to answer my prayers, and God wanted to make sure I know that what happens next is because He's the one who has my back!