The past week or so I have been ruminating over this past year of life. One tends to do that at the end of a year, and this year is no different. I have had a metric ton to think over, sort and sift through, but one main theme stands out; my God is overwhelmingly faithful.
So today I want to share with you how abundantly God has provided for my little family over the past year. Some of these stories I may have shared here, some I have not, but now is the time.
Late in 2012, about 2 months before the Captain's tumor was found, we decided to begin looking for a new church. It might be one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. When we came to the decision, I literally felt grieved, like I had lost someone precious to me. It was crushing. Also that year, I started my bible study (BSF) in a different location, different side of town, different church, different ladies... it was all new and slightly scary. Not long after, we discovered the tumor was back and growing. I will not lie, I was terrified. Here we were in a really hard and needy place, and we had just stepped away from the only outlet I had ever seen God care for us from. I had no idea how we were going to make it... how God would provide. It was a true act of faith on my part to trust Him... because I had no vision of how or from where provision would come.
At this point I took my questions and doubts to God... I prayed for a peaceful heart that would trust in His promises to provide... but I admitted I was nervous...
to which God responded...Game on.
About a week before Christmas (2012) I received a letter in the mail telling me that because we were so far behind on our mortgage our house was not only being foreclosed on, but had an auction date set for early January 2013. I was stunned. Here I am trying to take care of Andy, get things in order for this uncertain new road we were on... and I get this letter. I had NO.IDEA. Andy had always taken care of the bills, and with this massive tumor growing in his head for the past year, he dropped a ball or two... understandably. We had about 3 weeks to pay 15,167 and change or our home was gone.
I panicked. I fell to my knees and cried.
Then I got a call. A family, whom I had never met, had prayed about giving us a gift. When asked what we needed, the man they asked replied "Just pray about it and give whatever you come up with."
That family wrote a check for $15,000.
Some days, when I am standing at my sink full of dirty dishes, staring out my tiny kitchen window while the kids make a colossal mess at my feet, I start to cry... because it is all happening in my home, that some generous, loving family so graciously saved for me, and I am beyond thankful. I can never say enough about what they have done... or the encouragement and faith they build in me that day.
God is faithful.
In the same vein, a lot of money has never been a problem we were burdened with. And now with Andy ill, me taking care of the boys and no income coming our way for the first 6 months of the year, there was some concern as to how we would live. Well God began His thing. He rolled up his proverbial sleeves and started throwing money at us from everywhere. Gift cards, a trust set up in Andy's' name, a benefit dinner to fill up the trust, checks, food, and all other manner of provision.
And since that time, money has been the furthest thing from my mind. I have not worried how something would get paid, or if the house would be warm, if we could afford dinner... God has continually come through, Just last week I got a card in the mail with some $ and a note saying $350 had been credited to our gas account... so we would be warm for the winter and I cried. Because every time we have a need, God comes up with the cash. Amazing.
God is faithful.
This summer I received a call from the leader of my bible study group. They asked if I wanted to join leadership. I accepted in a very small role, but God not only gave me a score of new faithful ladies to walk alongside, He gave me unity, comfort and a feeling of belonging. He took the scariness of a new place and made it feel like home.
God is faithful.
I have picked up a lot more responsibility in my role as wife and mom over the past few months. My time is stretched thin some days. I fill many shoes and wear many hats as some would say... and I also drop many balls... and lose lots of sanity.
The sweet family of a girl I went to high school with, gave the gift of house cleaning once a week all through the spring and summer months. She not only gave me a clean house, but she gave me time. Time that I would have spent sweeping and scrubbing was instead spend wrestling with the boys, lounging with the Captain and having coffee with friends. She not only gave me a clean house, but the ease that comes with knowing your home is clean and others can come over whenever... When she was no longer able to continue, 12 amazing families pitched in to finish off the year. It has been just another small thing God has given to help encourage me and give me rest.
Also, BEST.GIFT.EVER! (outside of my Salvation)
God is faithful.
I know Andy and myself are always getting cards, texts, notes, emails, comments and hugs of comfort and encouragement. We are being told in many ways and with beautiful words how much we are loved, cared for and prayed over. It is the thing that gets me through most days... because being a mommy is hard. Being a good wife is difficult. Being a homemaker and caregiver and errand runner and chauffeur and medicine sorter is wearing. These words of edification and encouragement are like water for my soul. They heal and bring peace.
A couple weeks ago I went to the grocery store after bible study. The boys were hyped up on life and I was tired. We finally get in the store and they start running circles around the produce section with me whisper screaming at them to "stop! for the love of all that is holy, please, stop!" And just when I reached the point where they were defeating me and I started leaking and melting... a precious lady from my bible study walked over to say hi to the boys. They bounced around her and told her about their morning... about the store... about their whole little lives it seemed... and then she hugged me and told me I was doing a good job.
God sent Rhonda to the store to help me that day.
God is faithful.
These are just a few of the hundreds of things God has done to bless us and care for us over the past year. He is faithful to the point of awe. He provides.
So my response to God, who so long ago took my worries, my doubts and my fears and said "game on."
Well, played, Sir. Well played!