God works in unexplainable, amazing ways!

I had originally planned to write about things I have learned in the first six month of being a parent. But yesterday a song came on the radio, and I felt compelled to blog a testimony of sorts. This won’t be much about being a parent, but when I was crying my eyes out going down the road listening to the song, the only thing I could think about is how much I needed to write this to be able to get out my feelings.

My favorite Christmas song has been Christmas Shoes by Newsong since I first heard it performed in a play probably 10 years ago. It has always kind of been mine and my mom’s Christmas song, because it just has such a beautiful message.

In case you are not sure of what song I am referring to, here are the lyrics:

It was almost Christmas time
There I stood in another line
 Tryin’ to buy that last gift or two 
Not really in the Christmas mood

Standing right in front of me was
 A little boy waiting anxiously 
Pacing ’round like little boys do
 And in his hands he held a pair of shoes

And his clothes were worn and old
 He was dirty from head to toe
 And when it came his time to pay 
I couldn’t believe what I heard him say

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my mama, please
 It’s Christmas eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, daddy says there’s not much time
 You see she’s been sick for quite a while 
And I know these shoes would make her smile
 And I want her to look beautiful, if mama meets Jesus tonight

He counted pennies for what seemed like years
 Then the cashier said, “Son, there’s not enough here”
 He searched his pockets frantically
 Then he turned and he looked at me

He said, “Mama made Christmas good at our house
 Though most years she just did without
 Tell me sir, what am I going to do
 Somehow I’ve got to buy her these Christmas shoes”

So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out 
And I’ll never forget the look on his face when he said
 “Mama’s gonna look so great”

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my mama, please 
It’s Christmas eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, daddy says there’s not much time
 You see she’s been sick for quite a while 
And I know these shoes would make her smile 
And I want her to look beautiful, if mama meets Jesus tonight

I knew I’d caught a glimpse of heaven’s love 
As he thanked me and ran out
I knew that God had sent that little boy
 To remind me what Christmas is all about

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my mama, please 
It’s Christmas eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, daddy says there’s not much time
 You see she’s been sick for quite a while
 And I know these shoes would make her smile
 And I want her to look beautiful, if mama meets Jesus tonight

I want her to look beautiful
If mama meets Jesus tonight

Well, when the song came on the radio yesterday and I really listened to the lyrics, it really resonated with me. If you haven’t my blogs about the passing of my father, I would suggest you read those, but the short version is my dad died suddenly in April with Liver Cancer. He died a month before my son Turner was born. I have tried to spend the last couple of months mourning in private. My two sisters are very different and post publicly about their struggles with his death on social media, but I try to keep it to myself. Well, after hearing that song, I just need to share this.

Last year, Andrew (my fiancé) and I went to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to do some Christmas shopping. I think it was the weekend before Christmas, nothing like last minute shopping. The first store we went to I had a bunch of presents for all of my family, and when I got to the check out counter, the cashier told me my card had been declined. Knowing that was impossible, I called my bank. Well, I ended up finding out that my bank had mixed up my bank account with someone else’s that had one number different. While they were figuring out the situation, my account was frozen. So although I had not done any Christmas shopping, and Christmas was days away, I didn’t have access to any money other than my credit card, which I didn’t want to max out for the holidays. Andrew, being the amazing man he is, offered to foot the bill until things could get straightened out and I could still get my family Christmas.

We continued our shopping trip, and at various shops I got things for my mom, my sisters and my niece, the normal crew I bought Christmas presents for. My dad, being the only man of the family, and an adult of course, I don’t think we ever got him gifts for Christmas or his birthday. We would get him practical gifts, like tires for his truck, but never anything extra or surprising. Well, after we had finished shopping for everyone on our list, we drove by a Carhart outlet store. My dad LOVED Carhart, and after mentioning that, Andrew didn’t hesitate to pull right in. I told him we didn’t have to, because not only did I not have any money, I had already gotten my dad something practical and it wasn’t necessary. Well, Andrew insisted. So we went to the shop and I picked out a couple of shirts, some overalls and a sweatshirt, all things I knew my dad would just love. Without even thinking twice, Andrew paid for it, and was happy to do it. I remember apologizing to Andrew for the mix up and thanking him so much for picking up the bill for Christmas. He just brushed it off and assured me it was no big deal. Neither of us knew at that moment what a big deal it was going to be, but I know that God did and that is exactly why he had things lined up the way it did.

Christmas morning after we had all opened our presents, I gave my dad his. It was so unexpected, he starting saying how I shouldn’t have, and Christmas wasn’t for him and he just wanted us to be happy. But as he opened his present, he was glowing. He was so grateful and overjoyed with every item he pulled out of that bag. Hugging the clothes in a joking manner, I could tell it made him happy. For the next few months of his life I could swear he wore something I got him at least every other day.

None of us could have predicted it was going to be our last Christmas together. There was nothing to show that I needed to do something extra for him that time, but I am sure God led me to do it. He knew what he was doing. He knew he was creating a memory for me to always hold so dear.

So when I heard the song last night, about the little boy not having the money to buy his mother something to make her look beautiful for when she met Jesus, all I could think about was God putting me and Andrew in that store last Christmas, and sending us to that exact point and that exact moment for me to be able to do the same thing for dad. Those Carhart put a smile on his face, just like the song said. And even more, the song talks about the shoes were just the right size. Well, my dad was a large man, so finding clothes to fit him was rare, and something he couldn’t do in our small little town. But the store we just happened to walk in that night had special sizes, just for my dad.

My dad started to get sick, even though we didn’t realize it by February. We didn’t know what it was, but when Andrew and I took my dad and mom out for their anniversary dinner in February, dad couldn’t eat because he was sick. But that night, the last happy night I got to spend with my dad, he was wearing the clothes I got him on Christmas, still smiling and bragging about what a great present it was for him.

There isn’t a doubt in my mind that the events of last Christmas were orchestrated by the hands of God. God wanted to give me a memory, he wanted to give me something that I could keep forever. I am sure that 10 years ago when I first heard that song, and every year since when my mom and I would turn that song up in the car and share a love for it, were the foundations of what the song would come to mean to us. I am sure God worked to get the bank accounts mixed up, so Andrew would have to loan me the money, so the song would have that much more of a meaning and purpose in my life. It was all part of his plan. Something I certainly couldn’t even begin to understand at the time, but last night, listening to it in the car, it all hit home and made sense.

We had my dad cremated, as were his final wishes, but before making that decision (actually it wasn’t a decision, the day my dad died, we found a note he had written years ago about his final wishes in a box of old pictures, another gift from God.) we had talked about having my dad buried in his Carharts because of how much he loved them. If we hadn’t been cremated, I am sure that is how we would have buried him, so he would have been wearing them when he finally got to meet Jesus.

Last year’s Christmas, the note we found the day my dad died, and how God has held my dad’s hand to lead him back to church in the final months of his life, are all true miracles. Things that didn’t seem special or even mentionable at the time, but now, are beautiful miracles that I will cherish forever.

Not only do I have a memory to hold on to, but I have a story that I can pass on to my son about his Papa. Something that one day, I will be able to share with him as well. It doesn’t matter how small something seems at the time, trust that it is all part of a greater plan. Love with everything that you have, learn to forgive and forgive as if its the easiest thing to do. Never pass up an opportunity to let your loved ones know what they mean to you, because you never know when it might be the last chance you get.

If you feel compelled to do so, please share this message. Thank you for taking time to read it and letting me share my story with you.

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6 thoughts on “God works in unexplainable, amazing ways!

  1. What a story you have! It’s truly amazing how things work out and we may not understand their significance at the time, but it’s all part of His plan. Loved reading this!

  2. Brittney, I came across this post on Facebook accidently and wanted you to know I am sorry that you lost your father and that your mother lost her husband. Please tell her how
    sorry I am. I lost my husband almost 23 years ago. In case you don’t remember me I am the manager at Dillsboro Crossing in Dillsboro where you and your mother lived for a while. Betty Blanton

  3. Pingback: Turning my relationship strife over to God. | Adventuring into Motherhood

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