My husband and I moved to Calgary shortly after he donated his liver to his dad. We had no job, no place to live and very little money.If all that wasn’t hard enough I was about 6 months pregnant, my husband was still recovering, and neither of us could lift very much.
In our lives we have been so blessed to have amazing people where ever we go.
#1. Strangers welcomed us into their home.
We always knew we wanted to be in Calgary. My husband had a plan to attend the University of Calgary since he was in grade 8. When he was accepted it was such an exciting day and we knew it was meant to be.
But after the surgery there were doubts of if we should go, and if we did, how would we survive. We were young newlyweds, expecting a baby, and going to school. Education is important, but it would be a very big sacrifice to take a step into the darkness. We knew no one when we came but my husband’s uncle, who I had only met once before. His family was so full of love for us and we are ever so grateful for their sacrifice of allowing us to live with them and become a part of their family.
#2. Strangers offered my husband a job while he attended full-time school.
After a month of looking for the perfect, flexible job that would give us income while my husband was in school, we started to feel discouraged. One Sunday a man in our church approached us knowing we were in need and offered us what later turned out to be the perfect job.
My husband was able to provide for our family, go to school, and make some lasting friendships. We have since moved on to a new job, but we know if we need a job his previous employer would welcome him back with open arms.
#3. Strangers trusted us.
After a month or so of looking for our own place we finally found it. The basement suite was small, but perfect for our needs. When we turned in our rental application, we knew we were not the best qualified. Just barely starting a new job with little in the bank and a very short financial history does not look good to a potential landlord. However, when we met with this stranger he saw our need and within a few hours of the first meeting he accepted our application despite others offering more than full rent. It was truly such a blessing to us. Slowly, we knew we were meant to stay and thrive here in Calgary.
#4. Strangers helped us survive.
Our financial situation was stressful. Even with the new job, we had many other things we needed to start this new chapter in life. People we had just met offered us food and other necessities that helped us to save our money for other needed things. By the time we got our first pay check we had just enough to truly get on our feet. At the time, it was stressful and felt like it took ages to be able to see the blessings, but they do come.
#5. Strangers stepped up and helped us move in.
When we were finally able to move into our own place, we had one small problem: we both could hardly lift anything. We knew we needed help so we asked around our new ward (church group) and we were a bit discouraged by the lack of response. However, the day of the move finally came and the blessings just poured out. People we had only seen in passing had shown up to help us move all our belongings into our place. They even helped us set up everything so we could start living there that day. I was so overwhelmed with the love these people were showing to us. Some of them never knew the struggles of our life then, and what that day did for us, but it changed our world to know that even when we feel like we have no-one, there are people who still love us.
#6. Strangers made us feel important again.
Our baby was coming soon after we moved to Calgary and we had nothing for a baby. We started to plan financially, but it was very stressful because it meant that we would have to go without some things that we needed every month. It’s true that my husband’s employer was very flexible, but bills never stop.
As I became more pregnant, I made some new friends and they all wanted to help. A particular lady even went above and beyond to throw me a baby shower. When I found out that a baby shower was going to be thrown for me I cried. I cried just thinking about how loved we were and knew our upcoming baby was also loved that much by our new friends. Never mind gifts from strangers… I couldn’t expect a baby shower at all. I was still so new to our ward (church group) that I didn’t think anyone would really care, but they did. It changed the way I felt about others and how I felt about myself. I was important.
Not only did my friend throw me a baby shower, she and many others donated furniture, clothes, and other baby necessities to me. This was the answer to many prayers.
#7. Strangers and Christmas.
Our first Christmas started with a bit of family early on in the month but they all went on vacation during the holidays. I knew it was going to feel lonely. I love holidays so much and always want to be with my family. It was a bit depressing for me to not have that normal large family gathering.
As the days passed I never expected Christmas to be any better, but someone saw our need for family. A family in our church invited us over for a Christmas celebration. We hardly knew them. We didn’t know what to expect, but when we got there the feeling of family on Christmas was so overpowering that it was hard to feel that this was not our family. We sang Christmas carols and ate yummy food. It was exactly the Christmas I had wanted and needed. The love from these strangers was perfect in the face of our trials. I don’t think, to this day, that they know what impact that little dinner invite made in our lives. This may sound cheesy but that was one of my best Christmas memories of all times. I will never forget their kindness in our time of need.