True Hope During Tough Times

A stranger answers a woman's prayer, igniting her faith.

By Yvonne Willis, Chesterfield, Virginia

As appeared in

You know the saying: “Two steps forward and three steps back”? That pretty much summed up my life as a single mom. I was raising two teenagers on a teacher’s aide’s salary.

It wasn’t nearly enough to cover the bills, so I moonlighted as a waitress. Every time I thought that I had found a solution to my money worries, something would fall through and I would end up feeling worse off than before.

The latest setback? The new job I’d applied for—the job I’d prayed to get, the job I just had to get—went to someone else.

I don’t know what to do, Lord, I prayed that night, sobbing in my family room. Please tell me things are going to be okay.

The next evening at the restaurant I tied on my apron, wishing I could be home with my kids. I walked up to my first table. A cheerful older couple. The woman gave me a smile that warmed me. I couldn’t help but notice her unusual glass ring. “What a beautiful ring,” I said.

We chatted for a minute then I took their order and left. When I came back with their drinks, the woman held out her ring. “God told me to give this to you,” she said.

“Oh, no, I couldn’t,” I said, embarrassed.

She gently placed the ring in my hand and closed my fingers around it. “It’s yours,” she said. “God also wants me to tell you things are going to be okay.”

Right there at their table in the middle of the restaurant I broke down in tears. I told her that I’d asked God for those very words. “Thank you for giving me hope,” I said.

Long after that night, that sense of reassurance stayed with me. I knew the right job would come in time.

Nine months later it did. I got a better position at another school and I started waitressing at a restaurant where I worked shifts that allowed me to spend more time with my kids.

Now in these tough times, I have money worries again, but they don’t get me down. I know things will turn out okay. And when I wear that unusual glass ring, I’m reminded I’m not alone. I know God is always one step ahead, providing for my every need.