I bounced a check. For the second time in my life. In fact, it's the second time in 6 months. I guess to be more accurate, I "overdrew" my checking out. Thankfully it's set up to draw from my savings account and only cost me a minimal fee. But still. There is no good excuse for this irresponsibility. When I took this job, it was a huge leap of faith for me. I moved on the same day that I mailed my first support letter. I believed and still do, that God would provide for my needs. And He has! But not always how I thought. I thought I would bring in enough support each month to comfortably pay my bills, tithe, save some money, and still be able to go out with friends or buy someone a birthday present. Instead, I find myself having to cut out all unnecessary expenses, deferring my student loans and even using my savings to make it each month. As of Friday, I had $2.90 in my bank account, 50 cents in my wallet and a week before I got paid again.
So I prayed. And am continuing to pray. For God to multiply the miles I can get out of this tank of gas. For God to miraculously meet my needs. I'm at the end of my own means. All I can do now is wait on the Lord. And I suspect this is where He wanted me to be all along. And I watched Him work.
See I ran out of milk. I love milk. I couldn't believe that I was out of milk and would have to wait a week before getting more. Friday night, I was writing cards and decided to search for an obscure piece of paper. In my search, I came across an envelope from my parents containing a $25 gift card to Kroger, the local grocery store. I could have sworn that I'd already used it. But there it was, a gift from the Lord. A gift that I'd forgotten about. A gift that came in the mail 6+ months ago but showed up again at just the right time. I can buy milk!
Saturday I was invited to join some friends for dinner but declined due to lack of funds. It creates an awkward social situation when everyone but one person is eating at a restaurant. Then I got a call. There's a guy that I know through a friend who is selling his house and was told that he needs to have a woman come in and look at the kitchen and bathroom and give advice for fixing them up. My friend volunteered my services. I was thrilled. I thoroughly enjoy interior design. I think it would be my chosen profession if I didn't feel called into youth ministry. Anyhow, this guy was going to be at the dinner party and wanted me there so we could begin chatting about his house so he offered to pay for my dinner as a pre-payment for my services. Wow! I never expected that. I figured I was just helping out a friend of a friend, no big deal. But I got a great meal and wonderful company out of it! And I haven't even done anything yet!
Then I go to church on Sunday and I so badly wanted to give something to the offering. But I had nothing to give. I prayed and told God I would give Him me. But I still felt that I needed to put something into that blue bucket when it came my way. Then I remembered the 50 cents in my wallet. It wasn't much but it was all I had. I mentally kicked myself thinking that it would be useless to give 50 cents to the church. It's such a small gift, why would it matter? And besides, it would look silly to drop some loose change into the bucket. But I just couldn't help myself, I dug out my wallet, emptied out the change and dropped it in the blue bucket as it passed by me. I still felt silly but I also recognized that I had responded to the Spirit at work in me.
Pastor King preached on miracles. He challenged us to ask God for a miracle in our life and in the lives of people we know. He said we ought to expect God to work in miraculous ways. He asked people to come forward if they were praying for a miracle and wanted to be prayed for. I didn't go down to the front but stayed glued to my seat, begging God to work a miracle in my finances. I had a vision in my head of me going down a dark road of financial ruin. I pleaded with God in prayer to help me trust Him, relinquishing control of my finances to Him. Oh, how I prayed! And I continue to pray today.
A coworker came to me a few moments ago and handed me an envelope. Said that a lady from his church wanted to give an offering to "the new person" at camp. That would be me. It had $20 written on the envelope. I smiled, said thanks and went back to work. Then I felt prompted to open the envelope. Imagine my surprise and delight to find not one $20 bill but two! I nearly wept in gratitude.
God is moving. And I'm learning to trust Him when circumstances seem desperate. He's in control. There's nothing I can do but lean on Him. What a blessed place to be - wrapped secure in the arms of Jesus!