This season of life doesn’t allow much time for writing though; it has allowed me ample time for reflection. As I pack moving boxes, unpack stored items, cook for my family, hold a sleeping grandson, and walk about my neighborhood, my mind is free to wander through memories of past seasons in my life. What a journey it has been!
Over 20 years ago, God revived my heart and soul. Before, I was a Class A, fanatical control-freak, hyperactive workaholic with more strongholds than victories. After years of daily praying, “Lord, Change me!” I can now celebrate over a treasure trove of testimonies. I am proof He can take weakness and mold it into His likeness.
Lesson #1; God proved He could be trusted. He used our livelihood as His teaching tool. He lead Mike to leave the security of a regular and more than sufficient paycheck to become a private consultant for a software firm. We were called to survive on the inconsistent commission checks. In other words, we had less and prayed more!
Testimony #1; Mike was away on a business trip and I was down to our last few dollars. It was Sunday morning and the kids and I were at church. I was new in this lifestyle of hearing His voice. But when He spoke, I knew it was Him.
Sitting in that service, I clearly heard Him tell me to empty my purse. I was to give every cent to the offering. My heart skipped a few beats as I pondered what we would have for lunch. But when that plate came my way, I gave the two bills from my wallet, a $5 and a $1. For good measure I even dumped the small amount of change without counting it.
Then I worshiped, truly worshiped. I can still remember the freedom and joy of knowing that now I’m in His hands. I’m His responsibility. It’s up to Him to feed my kids.
As we left the church and walked to our car, a young friend asked for a ride home. She immediately hands me a $5 bill and insists I take it as repayment for a previous loan. I started to resist but felt His nudging that it was right. She needed the blessing and well, He was up to something.
Now in West Virginia, it is not uncommon to see debris blowing across the road. No one pays any attention so for me to notice a small piece of paper blowing right up the middle of the road was unique. When I announced to the kids, “Look there’s something blowing towards us!” They looked at me like I was crazy and shrugged a ‘so-what’.
Now their eyes are huge as I leap from the car and catch the $1 bill flying toward me. I didn’t care how stupid I looked standing in that road, with tears sliding down my face, and beaming a thank you to the heavens. Before I could get home, He had restored to me what I was willing to give to Him. I knew then I could trust Him.
I also knew I would need to be alert and open to His mysterious ways. This would require a constant openness to His voice so that I never miss His plan. I smile as I anticipate the next stories to share with you. Oh the wonders I have experienced! He never ceases to delight and amaze.
It’s been a thrill ride and not for the faint of faith.
I heard an interesting discussion the other night. Young godly couples sharing their strategies for money management, tithe first, budget everything else. Their goals are to pay off their mortgages, live frugal lifestyles, and save for their children’s futures. I was impressed with their wise and godly objectives.
But I sensed one major ingredient was missing, day-to-day trusting in the Lord. They know their lives are in His hands. They acknowledge that He provides their jobs and overall care. They sought His wisdom about the homes they bought, cars they drive, and their big item purchases.
Yet I sensed a stress level in each of their lives that should not be there. Their budgets cause them to micro-manage every penny, every detail of their lives. I wanted to ask them the following question and then encourage them to take the challenge of ultimate trust.
Which is more terrifying to you: One, to be in total control of every budget penny and know where the money is coming to pay every bill or two, to let go completely, live your life to the fullest and trust God to meet your every need?
If God told you to marry that beloved one He provided,
If God provided that job in answer to your prayers,
If God lead you to buy that home,
If God blessed you with that child (or children),
If God allowed that illness,
If God knew you needed that vacation,
If God loves to bless His children then would He not provide, could He not be trusted, is He not the One to put in complete control?
These past twenty years as I’ve walked with my Lord, I’ve learned to yield my will to His, to minute-by-minute seek His advice, and to trust Him to provide for my every need. If He has called me to a ministry that honors His name and brings Him glory then He will provide my daily bread. We learned to pray The Lord’s Prayer as children, yet we often don’t live it out in our daily walk.
Mike and I don’t budget, we pray. We have been tested along the way. We’ve had seasons when money was tight and we were clueless where the provisions would come. Yet He never failed. When we are obedient, He is faithful. Actually even when we fail, He is faithful. He can be trusted to always care for His children. He deserves to be trusted. He deserves to be praised for His faithfulness.
I will use my next few blogs to share testimonies of His goodness. I hope to encourage my readers to learn to walk by faith, to let go of the control panel, and jump into His outstretched Fatherly arms. The secret is to find that perfect balance of complete trust and immediate obedience.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Romans 12:1 in the Message