What Have I Gotten Myself Into? by Paula Rose Michelson

~~~~~~~~~~~~Reflective Questions

What motivates you?

Are you afraid of failure, success, or never trying?

What are you willing to give up to achieve your goal?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Text

Since she did not know how to answer, she thought of her needs. “Excuse me. May I ask some questions?”

“If you must.”

“What is your name and how long will it be until I can leave?”

“Those are the same questions every one of you asks.” Tía poured another cup of tea for herself. “Those I have business dealings with call me La Señora. You are to call me Tía as all my girls do. Vida is my given name, but few have permission to use it. It breeds familiarity. Do you understand?”

“I suppose so.”

Tía looked at the girl, motioned for her to say more, and waited.

A moment passed before Naomi understood what the old tía had implied. When she did, she asked, “This is a business arrangement, right?”

“Correct, a business arrangement. But nonnegotiable since you must stay here or be picked up by immigration and deported.”

“I understand.”

“Good. Now, so that no one will suspect what we are doing, it is best for you to call me Tía, as Victor said. This will make it easy for others to believe that I really am your aunt. Our little ruse will make sense to immigration and the community, should they choose to investigate our situation.” She eyed the girl. “I have given you something you could not get without my help. Now you will give me payment.”

“All right.” Naomi’s heart raced at what she might have agreed to. “How do I pay you?”

“Since you are fifteen and a minor, you will work for me until you are twenty. That is a good age for a woman to be on her own. Before then, I believe someone might take advantage of you. During these five years, you will be able to pay me back for what I have done for you. At the end of that time, you will have your freedom, the skills you need to make your way in this country, and five hundred dollars—one hundred dollars for each year you are with me, a good amount for a young woman to begin a new life with.”

Even as Naomi nodded, she wondered what the old woman would ask of her and wished that the woman who looked like her tía Rosa was actually her sweet aunt. However, she knew that the resemblance was only an illusion. “I have nowhere to go and no one who cares. I will give
you what you ask.”

“Good. Then welcome to mi casa.” She picked up Naomi’s suitcase. “Now come.” She walked to the bedroom across the hall from the kitchen, opened the door, and gestured for Naomi to enter. “Many have been happy here. You will be too.”

Naomi looked around the sparsely furnished room that was to be her home.

Tía pointed to the wardrobe. “In there you will find everything you need.” She walked to the wall cattycorner from the bedroom door, pulled aside the yellow drapes, and flipped on a light switch. Naomi looked through a lovely pair of French doors that opened onto a large patio. A fountain, much like those in Spain, with chairs around it, as well as a loveseat and a few scattered side tables, were directly in front of her. Off to the right was a wrought iron dining set, which could accommodate eight. She drank in the beauty and serenity of the place and her breath caught for a moment. The old woman’s unspoken words were clear; she would be able to sit by the fountain and gaze at the garden below.

“As you can see, I have chosen not to treat you as a servant but as a guest in mi casa. I ask that you do what I require and respect my privacy, as I will yours. And you must at all times remember your place. Now, I will leave you to change into something acceptable for one who works for me to be wearing. When you come back to the kitchen, we will eat and discuss your duties.”

Naomi sat on the old iron bed, took a moment to think about her situation, and wondered, What have I gotten myself into?

~~~~~~~~~~~~Author’s Comments

In Hosea 8: 1-3 the reaping of the whirlwind is prophesied for Israel, for the Scripture says, “Put the trumpet to your lips! An eagle is over the house of the Lord because the people have broken my covenant and rebelled against my law. Israel cries out to me, ‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’ But Israel has rejected what is good; an enemy will pursue him.

Just as the above prophesy is for a season, so is Naomi’s indenture. And, my friend, this is true of whatever trial or hardship you are going through. So take heart for God will never leave you for he wants to be your friend. Trust in him for he loves and paid the price for you. 


~~~~In light of this truth take a look at your answers to these questions:

What motivates you?

Are you afraid of failure, success, or never trying?

What are you willing to give up to achieve your goal?

Is there something you need to add, remove, or reframe? Life is all about learning, for it is in the process that we know more, and knowing more causes each of us to rethink what we assumed were our bottom line absolutes. 

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