His Name is Bert – Part VIII

Everything was moving along nicely.  My girlfriend had lovingly put together the most beautiful welcome home package; every toiletry imaginable, pyjamas, T-shirts, socks, underwear, laundry soap, and the list goes on.  Bert was collecting some of his bags of personal affects stashed in friend’s garages and I had made arrangements with work.

And the phone rang.

There was a problem.  A very large problem and unless I could get it rectified in 48 hours, the room would be given to the next person on a very lengthy waiting list.  I hung up the phone and crumpled onto the floor sobbing.  And the tear fell like rain, threatening to gut me from the inside out.  I had no confidence that I could do for Bert what needed to be done to secure his housing, within the time constraints.  This particular government agency that I needed to turn something around for me in two days, was a process for them that took months or even a year… if it could even be done at all.

How could I tell him that the dream was suddenly over?

I couldn’t.

I will spare you all the details but I can tell you that what happened over the next two weeks was nothing short of a miracle.  Last minute, something needed to be fixed in the room and it was a project that ended up taking much longer than expected.  That bought me a little time.  Something that was not on my side.  But the Lord was.

I prayed so hard for God’s favour upon this situation but ultimately I found my greatest peace when I let go.  I made a promise.  I promised God that I would do my part if he did his, knowing that he was not capable of failing, but success for me may look different from his heavenly vantage.  I promised that if at the end the answer was no, that I would be ok and trust that it was indeed the correct outcome.  And then I got down to business.  I could control my part and I was going to do everything I could to make this happen for my dear friend.  The rest was out of my hands.

After hours of waiting on hold, telling my story and being shuffled from one person to the next, God did his part.  And the phone rang.

I remember perfectly the exact place I pulled over to take this monumental call.  I still have the envelope I furiously scrawled down the information she rattled off to me on; a piece of refuse that I was waiting to recycle would end up being my bible. The miracle I had been praying for came in the way of a woman I will call Gabrielle, because she was nothing short of an angel.  Gabrielle had worked in various government offices for many years and she knew everyone and everything that I needed to do the impossible.  She did more than tell me what to do and who to call; she more than most, knew that I alone would not get where I needed to be in time  She knew intricacies of these government programs that even her supervisors hadn’t known about.  She made calls, she wrote emails, she followed up and then often followed up again.  Gabrielle was not just Bert’s advocate, she was also mine.  She believed in what I was fighting for and she was in a position to use her years of knowledge and wisdom, to help a girl she had never met. And she got results.  Blessed.  Amazing.  Life changing results.

And the tears fell.

Tears of relief.  Tears of exhaustion.  Tears of gratitude.


To be continued…

*Written with permission

4 thoughts on “His Name is Bert – Part VIII”

  1. I was thinking about Bert just yesterday … wondering how he & his pals were coping with foodstuffs & accommodation facilities…so fabulous to be reading about him today again … how are his pain levels since surgical intervention?


  2. I know the story but I want more of your written word! I want more of your story written out right here, right now. Don’t leave us hanging for Bert Part VIIII, Layna. Bless you, my beautiful friend! We are all learning as you share what you have learned . . . in what you did (and still do) for Bert, but probably more so, what God’s done through you as you deliberately take a step back and let God drive the ship.


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