Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Miracles Are Possible

Mike Engel, receiving his pin for nursing!
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

I don't believe I've told this story from the beginning. Today is a very special day. It is the fulfillment of part of a journey that was destined by God...because His Word is true...apart from Him, we can do nothing.

Outside the New Journal Center before graduation
My husband has a BA in History Education....but did not like all! As a former public educator myself, I'm proud of my husband for leaving education...we don't really need more teachers in the system who don't like their job. So he started working with coffee...with the hopes of maybe owning his own Coffee House. Mike had worked for Starbucks in management...(yes that is where the addiction for good coffee started) for 10 years. In fact when we moved to Florida the company transferred him to a store in Ormond Beach. It wasn't long until the top paid management figured out that Mike was still making his NJ salary but living in FL ...and he was capped out and experienced a cut in pay. He would never make enough money to raise a family of 5 on Starbucks salary. So when one of his customers handed him a business card and told him that he would be a great addition to his company...Mike took the chance to do something different. He became a sales representative for medical equipment and surgical supplies.
The weather was a tropical storm just during the graduation!
He actually loved learning about what he was selling and thoroughly enjoyed being in the Operating Room and talking to the surgeons. This invigorated him...far more than closing a deal. Sales, just was not his thing. His company had a freeze and he was let go. So thankful for this opportunity. After that, it was one job after another. Each one however, taking something and learning from each situation. All the while, Pop's dementia was increasing and he was requiring so much more care. I did what I could while schooling my children, but it finally had gotten the best of me and Pop would only respond to Mike. It was then his family decided that they would compensate Mike to be Pop's sole caregiver so that we could still make a living (albeit meager). Mike did this tirelessly for over a year.
The only man that participated in graduation. The last to light his candle, the last to receive his pin...he said he was the  exclamation point! Here they are reading the Florence Nightingale Pledge.
Then something happened. I won't go into the details, but suffice to say that in the midst of this terrible circumstance that the Enemy was trying to throw in my husband's face....God made something beautiful.

We were at a point where we thought we might lose our home. Pop was placed in a nursing home (best thing for him) but unless my husband could find full time work, there was a possibility we might not have a place to live.  I calculated that we needed at the very least just for living expenses...$32,000. So I began to PRAY BIG! Only God could do this...with man this would be impossible...with God all things are possible. I had no idea what the next day would bring.
We couldn't be more proud of him at this moment! He has worked hard and given God all the Glory!
It brought a letter from Daytona State College saying that Mike was accepted into the LPN program. He had taken the prerequisites for the RN program and had applied, but because they transferred over all of his grades from 18 years ago when he was in college...they transferred over some lower ones that didn't calculate to a high enough GPA (ironically enough that class he received a low grade in wasn't even a class he was all a numbers game). Even though he had straight "A" as DSC, his GPA was shy by a few points. We had no idea he would even be accepted into the LPN. The timing couldn't have been..."worse". There was no way, he could go to school order for us to survive...he needed to work. I was determined to see what God would do. So we prayed.
This journey would have been far more challenging without the love and support of so many friends. These are two special friends that joined us for Mike's graduation. I know Mike would have wanted his Mom to be there, I was so touched that these two braved the storm and cheered him made it so special!
I received a phone call the day after this letter came into the mail from a friend who lived in a different state. She said she was saving up some money to send for my boys and I for a summer vacation..but felt like the Lord was prompting her to send the money for Mike to go to school. It was $750 dollars. I remember her saying that it wasn't much and we both prayed that if this was God's will, that Mike go to school, then he would multiply it. Only she, myself and God were privy to our prayers that day. I told her that I wouldn't say a word to Mike that we would just pray. She sent the check.
We celebrated with a Thai dinner at my favorite Thai restaurant in Daytona! YUM!  Do you see Dave's plate?  Wait keep reading...
The very next day I received another phone call, from a couple who had inherited an investment. They called to say that they had an opportunity to have a check cut, to roll it over or reinvest it...they decided that the Lord put it on their hearts to reinvest it...they knew a guy who would make a great nurse someday...they were investing in the work of the Lord that someday, I believe, my husband will be a part of. That $750 multiplied and grew to $20,750. When my husband came home that day after I had received that phone call, I sat him down along with my children and told him what had happened. We all held hands, we were so humbled, we were witnessing God's miraculous and mighty hand...and have continued to witness his miracles. Five loaves and two fish...pretty much sums up how we've lived. We continued to be faithful to the Lord giving back to Him and giving to others sacrificially. You see, you can never out give God!

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:19

Only by the pure Grace of God is my husband walking up to receive his pin today. Someone told us recently that Mike did it..against all odds. We tell you today...with Christ the odds are always in our favor. My children have been so fortunate to watch their Dad study hard and give 100% to everything, the Lord, family, work, school...and it has paid off. "Everything you as unto the Lord"

Mike Engel...I am proud of you! We look forward to what God has in store for all of us. Make no mistake...He has got a plan..and its a good one.

Remember when you think that there is no way...if it is His will...He will make a way..."With God all things are possible!"
Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp! Beautiful & Delicious!


Karen said...

SOOOOOO proud of you both and praising God for His unfailing love and mercies...they are indeed new every morning!! May His name be praised!
Karen & Anna, Lauren & Mark

Michelle said...

Yippee!! What a big day for you all, God is always for us, the proof is in the pinning :)

Simply Dani said...

I couldn't think of a more deserving family! I love love love this story!

Simply Dani said...

I couldn't think of a more deserving family! I love love love this story!

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