I am going to tell you a story about what has happened to our family. I am not telling it to make anyone feel sorry for us but it's a story of a miracle I believe so that is why I am telling it. That and you learn a little bit more about me.
In February of 2004 we moved into an apartment complex. We had been in a really small duplex before then and really needed a little extra room. So we moved to a new town into an apartment on the second floor. We have always rented but this was the first time we decided to get renters insurance (I tell you the Lord was with us.). About a month later March 13, 2004 Hubby and I decided to go see the movie "The Passion of Christ". So my mom babysat for us while we went to see the movie along with hubby's sister. On our way home I was talking to my sister-in-law about different things and I had said we really need to get a fire proof box for pictures and things because you never know. Also on the way home I told hubby let's take my mom out to eat since she babysat for us. So at the last minute we decided to do that (again the Lord was with us).
So we took my mom to Applebee's along with the boy's of course and ate a nice dinner. We go back to our apartment and are just talking. Boy's took their shoes off as did hubby. My mom still had her coat and shoes on because she was going to leave soon. I hadn't taken my shoes off either because I was talking to my mom. Nothing like the TV or radio was on (Yet again God was with us). All of a sudden I hear a smoke alarm go off from the hallway below us. I remember thinking someone must have burnt their dinner or something. But I open our door and see smoke starting to come up the stairwell. Then I hear someone yell, "Someone call 911!". My mom grabs Jarod and his shoes and coat and I grab Chord and his shoes and coat. My husband runs out without his shoes or coat and I still had my shoes on but no coat and my mom still had everything on her. Hubby had grabbed our cordless phone on our way out and called 911.
We get outside and I remember feeling calm at first. I think I was just in shock and in a mode to just get out with our family. I run to the side of the building and I see the neighbor just below us window break open from the fire. It then went directly to what was my boy's bedroom window and broke into that. That's when I lost it. I kept thinking that's my boy's room! What if they were in there? I had many what if questions in my mind like what if it was at night time? What if we hadn't heard the alarm?! I remember just crying with all these thoughts going through my mind. Then what made matters worse we heard three explosions coming from that downstairs apartment.
Later we found out that the elderly lady below us was on oxygen and had left it on and a cigarette lit when she went to the bathroom and it caught her bed on fire. The neighbor across from her had to get her to leave her apartment because she was trying to put out the fire herself. So glad everyone made it out of the apartment complex alive and unhurt. All though the neighbor next to us had to climb down their balcony as did their kids. But Thanks the good Lord everyone was safe and unhurt.
We lost pretty much everything in the fire but it was ok because we were all alive. People had asked us if we would sue the elderly lady or if we were angry with her but honestly what good does it do to be angry and suing her we wouldn't get what we lost out of it. Besides that she was an elderly woman and probably on Medicaid or something like that so it wasn't worth it anyway. (not that we would have). We just knew we were blessed to make it out there alive.
The story doesn't end there though. We got all our money from our renters insurance without any problems. We had people give us money, furniture, clothing and even toy's for the boy's! Someone from Hubby's work even gave us some bunk beds that they weren't going to be using. A friend of hubby's also gave us a TV. The place I worked at before I became a SAHM even raised money to give us. It was all such a blessing.
One woman that my mom was working with at the time gave her $20 dollars to give us. That was probably the one I remember most. I cry every time I think or talk about it. See this woman didn't have much. She had fought cancer twice and was taking care of her husband who had Alzheimer's. No one would have said a word to her if she didn't give us anything but she went up to my mom and said. "I don't have much but I wanted to give your daughter something." She then handed my mom the $20 dollars. See even just writing that I teared up. That is the best, most loving $20 dollars we have ever received.
I even had people from an online group I was in send us some money and other things too! I had chatted with a lot of these people for years but it still amazed me that even people I had never met in real life was giving to us. It was the most humble and loving experience I have ever had. People from all over those who knew us and those who didn't help us out in some way or another.
We stayed with my mom for about a month before we found the place where we live now. We were able to fill the house (we rent) with things and not worry about where the boy's would sleep or what we would eat because of the many people that blessed us! With the money we received from people and money we got from our insurance we were able to replace the things we needed and even a little of what we wanted.
It's so true that what Satan means for your harm God means for your good. We could have been bitter about the fire. We could have been unforgiving but because we relied on God and let him lead us to where we should be and just let God he blessed us ten times over. So even though we lost somethings we can't replace like the boy's first hair cut clippings and pictures we got so much more! I don't think I ever or have since felt as blessed as I did during that time! I could go on and tell you other stories about this time but I think this post has gotten long enough LOL. I just wanted to share that part of our lives with you.