When our business closed, I really struggled and became angry with God. I had been enjoying my life in a completely different state when we felt God leading us to this small town theater. Once we made the move, we worked so hard to keep the theater open–a business that I believed with all my heart would succeed. I felt strongly that God was guiding us, and therefore believed that we would one day own the old fashioned theater and make it a success; and that we would have live community theater, and fill the empty rooms around the theater with local businesses. I felt God had lead us there and whenever I prayed I felt like I was doing the right thing and to just move forward. So I gave it my all. We fought hard to keep going for over 3 years and we faced many obstacles, but saw many miracles; such as when we received a grant for the digital projector to keep the theater open and were able to continue to show movies–while small town theaters across the nation were closing. There were many times we didn’t have enough to pay our bills that were due the next day and a crowd would walk through those doors or someone would want to pay to advertise on the screen and we would have exactly enough to pay the bills due. Miracles like these kept us open month after month and with time we just knew that God was taking care of us.
But then it all came to an end.
God told us we had done enough and that we were done. It didn’t make sense to us. We tried to keep going, but it was clear we couldn’t make it on our own. God had left us.
A kind man heard about our struggles with the theater and the landlord and he didn’t just stand by. He hired a lawyer who quickly walked in and looked over all we had been through and all that was going on. He saw I was having a baby soon, our 5th child and that I could no longer handle the pressure of working multiple jobs while trying to keep the theater open and continue fighting the same fight. Though I can’t go into details the lawyer swiftly took a stand with our landlord and advised us through a difficult situation. God was there then, it just didn’t happen the way I had expected.
It is easy to ask where he had gone. Why he had led us into this situation and pushed us to keep going–only to tell us to stop and then seemingly abandon us. I’ve struggled with that for years. I still don’t have all the answers, but he was there, even when the doors closed. I don’t know God’s plan. Every once and a while I get a glimpse of why those years had to be so hard, and why it ended the way it did. I certainly have many unanswered questions, and have had many moments of anger, sadness, and complete despair. I was angry with God, the town, the landlord, life. In the end, all I can do is look back and say God was always there and then do the hardest part…move forward and TRUST IN GOD.