A couple of years ago, my store relocated.
Lee was in the county jail at the time and obviously couldn’t help me.
Here is the “rest of the story”.
My store had been in a very cute small building, but it was out of the way and not in the shopping district.
I always had my eyes open for somewhere to relocate, but I thought I’d miss my cute building so much. We had a little garden area, and James could play outside. I could work and still see him most of the time.
One Sunday morning, I woke up with a raging headache. James does not like missing church, however, so I got up and dragged myself to church.
We were sitting at a stop light in the downtown area, almost to church. I said, “That store is empty!” It was right at an intersection, right downtown, right in the shopping area.
I thanked the Lord that I had gotten up for church that morning. Especially because this headache Sunday of mine was also and envelope Sunday.
I called the number on the sign that afternoon and made an appointment for Monday morning.
As I drove to the store, I thought, “If they let me paint it, I’m going to paint it green.” (To compliment my logo.)
I walked in to find the walls already painted green. Not exactly the shade I’d have chosen, but it was close enough.
I asked, “How much?” When she told me the price, I almost laughed. It was only $100 more than my very small quaint building in the out of the way location.
I wrote a check that day. She told me, “This has only been empty since Friday night.”
A God thing for sure wouldn’t you say?
Over the next month, I prepared to move. I had to run ads, mail to my mailing list, clean the new place, order new business cards, switch utilities, run a moving sale, etc.
A few times, I’d go sit in the empty store and pray. I’d thank the Lord for this obvious working on my behalf. I’d pray about how to arrange things or that I’d be able to find/afford the new fixtures I’d need for this location.
On moving day, people from church began rolling in before 8 a.m. Many adults and teens came. Within a very short time, the entire upper floor was dismantled and in people’s vehicles. They’d drive to the new location where my employees were directing the unloading.
They came back and took more loads. In and out. In and out. Carrying, undoing fixtures, cleaning, serving.
My heart was so full of thankfulness. I literally was overwhelmed. I could not have moved the store on my own. I didn’t have the energy or strength to do it.
At one unloading, Pastor walked past me and said, “How are you doing Mrs. Norris?”
I said, “Fine. I’m just so thankful. I couldn’t have done this on my own.”
He said, “We wouldn’t have let you do it on your own.”
I went into the store to see people from my church hanging things, arranging things, cleaning, hanging fixtures. They helped me make decisions. They hung blinds. One went and bought a mirror for the bathroom door and didn’t let me pay her back.
I fed them pizza and soda. They worked some more.
By about 2 in the afternoon, the old store was completely moved and almost ready for me to turn over the keys.
The new store still had a lot of work to do, but just a few hours of people’s time gave me a gift. It was a gift of help but so much more.
It was a gift of care. It was the gift of “We love you and we’re here for you.”
I haven’t missed my old cute building even once.
God is good to provide what I need.
I am praying now for a buyer for this store or clear direction for what God wants me to do with it. I know that it’s time for me to move onto something else.
If he so very clearly worked in finding me a new location and sending help to move, he can very obviously send me a buyer right?
Please pray with me.