Saturday, March 12, 2011

Overwhelmed. In a good way.

I hate that my lack of blogging keeps many regulars from coming by regularly, but somehow my days, weeks, and months slip away from me quickly right now. You might wanna get my blog sent to your email so you don't miss it. *wink*

So much has happened since my last blog post and I want to share as much of it as I can. I pray that you are as encouraged by God's hand in our lives as we are...

I told you last post that a friend sent a $50 gift card telling us that God was using us to show her that her money wasn't hers. Well that card arrived on Wednesday. On Wednesday we needed gas in our vehicles as well as a few grocery staples. Badly. We were able to get those things and had a little left over.

We were expecting our federal tax refund to deposit into our account on Friday. It didn't deposit. We overdrew the account because a few of our bills are set up to automatically withdraw.

Friday was Dwayne's MRI and Friday night some friends came into town that we haven't seen in a year and wanted to take us to dinner. They bought dinner for us and the kids and we had an amazing time praying with them and encouraging each other. As we were leaving they put some cash in our hand and told us that God told them to give this amount to us. When we checked later, the amount was just a tad over what we needed to get our bank account back in the positive, including the overdraft charges.

Saturday morning we woke up to find out that dear friends of ours had a son in the hospital. They needed help. We prayed and felt led to take them donuts for breakfast at the hospital. Dwayne went to get in our car and the battery was COMPLETELY dead. Ouch. So he took our SUV, brought them donuts, and came home. While he was gone it was decided that I would help take care of the friends' baby. She would need to be brought back and forth to the hospital every three hours to nurse because there was no other way for her to be fed. I knew that the Lord was calling me to this and so I embraced it. But our SUV gets terrible gas mileage. What was left of the $50 gift card saw to it that I had gas to and from the hospital three times that day.

I also got a phone call Saturday morning from a friend at church. She told me that she and her husband had read my blog and prayed and that God was calling them to give us $300 to pay for Dwayne's MRI.  I was absolutely in awe of the Father.

Saturday night I had this message in my Facebook inbox from another friend:

Shana, after reading your blog last night, I KNEW instantly that M and I needed to help you and Dwayne financially. I wrote you a message about it but didn't send it because M was asleep and I wanted to talk to him first. So, I went to sleep and woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and immediately He brought you to mind again and again I KNEW that we needed to help you guys out. So, this morning, M went to work while I was still sleeping so I didn't get to talk to him again. Again, you came to my mind while I was walking this afternoon. I FINALLY was able to talk to M when he got home from work and told him everything I'm telling you and we prayed about it and would LOVE to help you out!!! We know that the Lord prompted us for a reason so we just want to obey Him. We would like to give y'all $500 to help with the MRI and groceries. God blessed the office this week so we have extra and KNOW it's supposed to go to you...

Wow. I mean what else can I say?

Sunday we went to church and were just rejoicing at how God was bending the Heavens to provide for us. I keep thinking about our pastor saying that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He does! It is ALL His!

After church a friend came up to me and handed me an envelope. She told me that she and her husband had read my blog and felt led to help us and that they hoped the money could help with groceries or whatever we needed. Inside was $300. Yes you're reading this right: just over $1100 in two days.

The reason I'm mentioning amounts is because this is significant, not just how much God was providing but how it applied to our lives right then. We needed gas. He provided gas. We overdrew our bank account. He provided a way out. We needed money to pay for Dwayne's MRI and to survive. He provided.

But wait, there's more...

Sunday night I was able to go to the grocery store and get more than just bread, bananas, and a few other staples for the first time in weeks. We were out of everything: toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, FOOD... God had provided through friends and I felt complete peace to get what we needed. As I was leaving the store though I was still wrestling with the coming weeks. We were behind on a few (critical) bills. We had to buy a new battery for the car. And I knew too that Dwayne's paycheck basically covers our bills, but we have no extra (including money for food and gas). I was worrying (can you believe it? After all He had done?!) over how we would survive the month of March.

My phone rang. I immediately recognized the voice of a friend of ours that we hadn't talked to in months. I immediately felt bad because I figured he had heard about Dwayne's health issues and was worried. I told him the story of what had happened and he asked what we needed. I told him that we had been struggling financially but that God had provided significantly in the last 48 hours. He asked me how much we still needed. I hesistated. Could I really ask for more? Should I? I didn't even know what to say. He wouldn't let me back out of it. I told him I would go home and get all of the numbers together and let him know the next day. 

I got in the car and just started bawling. I told Jesus I was so sorry for my weak faith. Even as I was wrestling with where the future would come from, He was providing. I told Him that I really understood for the first time what He meant when He said: "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6:26). I praised Him. I told Him He is GOOD. I asked Him to completely wreck me from that moment on so that I would not doubt His goodness or His provision anymore.

I crunched numbers on Monday and we needed a little over $500 to get caught up on bills and we would need about $500 to get through the month of March with groceries and gas. I was praying constantly about what to tell our friends. My friend's wife called. I shared with her the two different amounts and told her I knew that was a lot of money and that I genuinely wanted them to give (or not give) exactly what the Lord wanted them to. She put me at such ease and said, "It's okay honey. I'll talk to my husband and I'll call you back in a bit." She showed up at my front door with a check a while later and I couldn't open it right away. I did a load of clothes and then finally looked at the check... $1100. Exactly what we needed to get caught up and survive the month of March.

I'm so overwhelmed as I write this. Overwhelmed with His story. Overwhelmed with His goodness. Overwhelmed with the fact that He wants to use us and nothing can or will keep Him from that. Not finances. Not sickness.

Something funny happened last Friday. Our tax refund deposited. I wondered why it was a week late and then it occurred to me: If our refund hadn't been late, there would have been no reason for God to provide miraculously. We would have just kept right on walking in the natural. He wants us to walk in the Spirit. He wanted to use His people and His resources to provide for His children. And I believe He wants to use our refund to help us get out of debt, to help us get into the house He has provided, to have an emergency fund, to provide for others as He has provided for us...

His purposes. His timing. His plan.

This is the song that I sang in the grocery store parking lot:

You are good, You are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love 
On display for all to see
You are light, You are light 
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy 
You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life, 
In You death has lost its sting

Oh, I’m running to Your arms, 
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here
In Your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I'm letting go

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

My heart will sing 
no other Name
Jesus, Jesus

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

1 comment:

  1. I always enjoy reading your posts Shana. And I'm always encouraged by the Lord working in and through your life. Cody and I have seen the Lord's provision so many times I have lost count. He is so faithful and never ceases to amaze me with His goodness.


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