Cinderella Moment

Posted on: February 13, 2013 Written by
Cinderella Moment
      Photography by: Joshua Mort from iStock    

My greatest fear over twenty years ago was provision for my children. As missionaries, would we be able to provide for their needs? I remember back in 1994 my husband and I found ourselves doing what is so common for missionaries: we were once again loading up the old gray Oldsmobile and starting on a cross-country journey to raise our support. This time, however, I was a new mother. We had our two little girls strapped up in their car seats, with toys and books in every nook and cranny. We were listening to Adventures in Odyssey and Kids’ Praise over and over again. My husband was just finishing up with seminary, and we were once again getting ready to go overseas.

However, I found myself questioning my call. I felt worry bubble up inside me because it was now very different. We were no longer a young, crazy, newly-married couple moving to some unknown land—we were a family. We now had the responsibility of two precious daughters, both blonde with big blue eyes. They were my babies. I knew that wherever we went in Latin America they would probably stand out like a sore thumb. My motherly instincts were strong, and I wanted to provide for and protect them in every way I could.

Bottom line, I was at a crisis point in my relationship with the Lord. I was filled with fear. I did not know any longer if this was what we were called to do. After all, did we not have the responsibility to provide for our children’s needs? The unknown was the root of my inner fear.

Somewhere on that hot desert journey between California and Tucson I was talking to my husband in code about a problem I could foresee in the near future. My mother had found a lovely pair of pink, glittery cowboy boots for our older daughter, but she was not able to find a pair small enough for the little one. What were we going to do? I knew our littlest girl, then only 18 months old, would be utterly disappointed when she got to Grandma’s house in Chicago and did not have a pair of cowboy boots waiting for her. My husband, in his calm divine wisdom, said that the Lord would provide, and that we could keep our eye out for a pair as we traveled. I did not really think he understood the gravity of the problem as I visualized the tears that were going to happen over the disappointment of not receiving such a fun gift.

About two hours later we were pulling up to Mrs. K’s home in Arizona. Mrs. K, a bubbly grandmother and the mother of one of my husband’s best friends from grade school, met us in her driveway. She was so happy to see us; she ran out talking with a huge smile on her face. When she saw our youngest daughter, she stopped short.

“What size shoe does she wear?” she asked. Without waiting for an answer, she ran back into her home; in a matter of seconds she ran out with a pair of red cowboy boots in her hand.

“I think these look like just about the right size for her!” she exclaimed. Well, it was a Cinderella moment—the shoe fit.

It was also the moment the Lord spoke to me: Debbie, I will provide for all the needs of your children. After all, did I not bring them into this world? Go with peace, and trust Me.

Twenty years later I still have those well-used red cowboy boots. They have always had a prominent place in each home in which we have lived during our time in Argentina, to remind me of His provision. God has provided for all the needs my daughters have had over the years, in His perfect timing and wisdom. He has healed them both emotionally and physically. He has provided a good education and life-long friends. He has provided grandparents and aunties on the mission field. He has provided that they are very close as sisters; they both find themselves walking close to the Lord and studying nursing in the United States.

I find myself often gazing at those red cowboy boots and thanking the Lord for His daily provision for our family. I can now see that His will was and is perfect for our daughters. My girls have been richly blessed growing up on the mission field. If you were to ask them they would not exchange that opportunity for anything. I am richly blessed by the Lord’s gentle way of dealing with my unbelief and fear.

© 2013 Thrive.

Questions to Consider: What were your greatest fears as you left home for the field? How has God provided in ways that calm your fears?

About the author

Debbie Miller graduated with a BS in Elementary Education and an Early Childhood minor from Illinois State University. Two years after graduation she found herself married and packing boxes to fly to Hoima, Uganda. It was in Uganda she learned to drive on the other side of the road in a big Toyota 4X4 and carefully mount and dismount a motorcycle while wearing a dress. She became competent at daily tasks such as getting a truck unstuck and killing spitting cobras. After three years in Uganda Debbie and her husband, Bill, returned to the US to attend seminary in Southern California. Two babies later they found themselves packing boxes again and flying to Argentina where they now call Mendoza, Argentina home. Debbie’s passion is discipling women and helping them grow in obedience. She can be found meeting young women at a local coffee shop, Skyping with her daughters who are in collage in Indiana, opening their home for ministry, singing in the choir or playing with her two Airedale Terriers.

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  • jani

    I love this story.
    I’ve got my own long story of doubting God’s ability to care for me and His perfect answer.
    Love that you still have the boots.

  • melissa

    In a season of worry about God’s provision, this is just what I needed today as we finish our furlough and move on. Thank you!

    • Debbie

      I am thanking The Lord for His timing in your life with this story. He is our provision in all our needs.

  • Heidi

    Great idea keeping the boots! Now I think I may need to hang on to some light sabers for the same reason. 🙂

  • Claudia Aanderud

    What a good lesson! Thank you for sharing this.

  • Liz

    Appreciated this today as our family questions whether our new mission field will be a sustainable place for our family to stay long-term! Still don’t have answers but this is a good reminder that God does – and we need to trust Him to provide for ALL of our needs.

  • Wendy

    Loved your story! Hits home to me now as we consider what to do with kids schooling for next year. Will trust Him to provide for our needs.

  • Susan

    Your story brought tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for sharing! When my husband felt God’s calling to come to Africa the second time, I wasn’t as ready to listen. I just didn’t feel it was the right timing for us or our children. Our son was just beginning his first year of college, and our two girls (12 & 8) were ecstatic because we’d just moved to the mini ranch of their dreams where they had their own horses, baby goats and other pets. Many tears were shed by all three ladies of the family as we slowly accepted that God truly was calling our family to move away. Looking back we see how He has provided for all the kids’ needs and even their wishes. The girls have been able spend several years taking riding lessons, they became the best of friends, they’ve developed wonderful friendships with other homeschooling teens here in our field of service, they’ve been able to continue their love for music, and they now have treasured pets on two continents — as well as having experienced cross-cultural living and the joys of service firsthand in numerous ways . Our son was envied by classmates to have annual, exciting trips to Africa over school holidays. He’s been blessed beyond measure to meet a young lady who shares his love for God, travel, and service; we’ll be celebrating their wedding soon.

    Our next eldest is experiencing her first year far from home – it’s been a tough transitional year for all of us to be so far apart. We have another big move coming up soon. But rather than worrying about all the unknown details, we have only to look back at how God has provided for our family’s every need, how He loves to give us precious gifts and surprises, and to know without a doubt, that the happiest, best place to be is truly where He has called us!

    • Kandake

      Susan. Thanks for sharing. I have a very similar experience but in reverse. A few years ago we began to feel that God was calling us back to the US for a while. It was the hardest move I ever made. Much harder than going to the field (for me anyway). I am beginning to see the blessings of being back even though readjusting to this culture has been difficult at times. I am curious if you have made your new move yet and wondering how God is meeting you there.