I was struggling at the time and felt that if I decided to focus on my walk in faith that just maybe I'd get closer to God, closer to where I wanted to be.
You know they say not to pray for patience because things will happen that test your patience like never before. I'm finding that it happens like that with faith too.
Last year I said that we would need faith to make it through 2013, and I couldn't have been more correct. Just to sum up the big pieces: I quit my job in January, Ronnie had wisdom teeth surgery in February (had complications and he missed work), Ronnie and the kids got sick with flu and strep (he missed more work), we had a baby (perfectly healthy, Praise the Lord!), and in November, Ronnie quit his job.
We started out the year with some nervousness about going from two incomes to one, but we felt secure because we had saved up some money and got a surprisingly nice tax refund. I felt like I had stepped out on faith by quitting my teaching job, but I was still depending on what I had built up. I kept getting reminded that true faith is relying completely on God, not ourselves. I wasn't ready for that yet. Throughout the year, things went well, but it seemed as though our money was running out fast. Too fast for my comfort. We did all we could to keep our savings, but it eventually had to go. I was devastated. How could we make it on just the one income that had proven itself to not be enough? Thankfully Ronnie reminded me to not worry, to have faith.
I did my best to trust God. I would look at our bank account and stress, but then I'd remind myself that God is in control. I read and reread verses on faith. I continuously thought of Luke 1:37, For with God nothing shall be impossible. At times I believed it was impossible to pay our bills and buy food and gas, but there was always a way. One time in particular, we were low on funds and a friend of mine wanted a photo shoot. I went to her family and had a great time with them. At the end of the session she gave a small gift bag which included a rubber snake and a check. The check was more than I charge and definitely more than I would have ever asked her for. But you know what? That check was just enough to get us through to the next pay check. Isn't my God amazing?!
Around that time I realized that God was working on breaking me, making me realize that I need to get out of the way to let him work through me. About two weeks later, Ronnie quit his job.
If this had happened before this year, I would have flipped out. Don't get me wrong, I was upset, I cried, and started to wonder how we would make it. But I went back to the verses that had been bringing me comfort. Matthew 6:25-34.
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25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Wow! Think how much more God loves us than the birds in the sky! That gets me every time!
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
He's talking to me...I'm the one of little faith. Jesus knew that I would need help trusting Him, and He told this story so that I could see that God won't forget about me.
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Why should I worry? God knows what I need before I need it!
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Trust God! And He will make sure you have all that you need!
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Don't worry about tomorrow. You have enough today so why think about something that's not even here yet? You can handle tomorrow when it gets here.
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It's been almost two months and Ronnie doesn't have a job yet. I'm still not working, but you know what? We have more food in our pantry/freezer than we have in a while, we have clothes on our backs, we have paid most of our bills (and are working with the people on the other), and we're healthy. The amazing part, though, is that God has known our needs. He has spoken to others and they have listened and have helped us tremendously. Our bank account went into the negative unexpectedly and someone showed up with more than enough funds to get it back in the black. We didn't have the money to get our kids' Christmas, but someone paid our lay away. Plus others gave the kids small gifts. Our deacons and preacher decided to help us out without our asking. I went to pay our light bill only to find it had already been paid. Someone anonymously gave us money in a Christmas card. Let me say this - we have asked NO ONE for any help at all! Our God has known our needs and supplied them!
I did need faith to make it through 2013, more than I've ever needed before. And though my life may look bad to others, it is looking more beautiful than ever to me. When Ronnie quit his job, the old hymn ran through my mind, "God will take care of you/through everything or all the way/He will take care of you/God will take care of you." Yes, He will, if you have the faith to let him.
One of my favorite sermons by my husband: Faithfulness