I haven't shared this with you before, and frankly, it's not easy to share now. But I suspect I'm not the only one who struggles with hard life issues. I'm probably not the only one trying to figure out how to live out my faith when the going gets tough.
I really wanted to wait to share this with you when all was said and done. When I could proclaim God's glory. When I felt like shouting from the mountaintop. The thought that others may need encouragement too, others may need to know they're not the only ones hesitating to take the faith step, that others may need to know life isn't difficult just for them, these are the reasons I decided to share now. Well, that and the nudging hasn't gone away. It's been two weeks. Yep, time to tell it!
Some things didn't go as planned this summer.
Oh we had some fun that's for sure. Time with the girls, our staycation, laughing, and swimming! Oh and ice-cream!
What didn't go as planned is this. The Husband is a very hard working man with a full-time job. He also works freelance on the side to bring in extra income. The extra income is necessary. It pays for our family's healthcare costs as his full-time job offers no healthcare benefits, and it covers our second mortgage payment. The second mortgage is all we have left from some pretty significant debt we incurred several years ago. Some of the debt was from poor choices on our part. Some of the debt was from circumstances we could not control. Well, that freelance work, which the Husband's clients began to plan to have him do late in the spring, it never came through. We have no idea why. While freelance work is unpredictable, some months are crazy busy and some months are very slow, no freelance work (sorry there was one small job) has come in for months now. This is not the norm.
We have relied on this extra income for 6 years. Now it appears to be gone. YIKES!!! And last year we had to replace our furnace and A/C, as well as our fridge which died, and we had major car repairs as well as braces for Miss Sofia. Whew!! It's cut pretty far into our small savings. Double yikes!! It's looking very tight my friends. VERY!
And it's scary. S.C.A.R.Y!
My first reaction, as finances are getting tighter, is to decide to put the brakes on our giving. Sounds pretty wise doesn't it?
Than I read this in Proverbs. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths. And then this...Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. (Proverbs 3:5 & 9)
Now we don't have a barn, or wine vats for that matter, but God is saying He will provide. Not just provide, but provide in abundance.
So here it is my friends. The moment where faith is tested.
I don't necessarily think God is testing me. I think life is hard. Things don't go as expected. I believe God saw it coming and has a plan to work it out. The question is, "Will my faith be bigger than my fear?"
The test is one I'm giving myself.
The test is this, will I trust by continuing to give faithfully even when it looks like it won't workout and see what God will do or will I hold back in fear and miss out on watching God work and receiving His blessing.
Will I follow God?
Will I trust Him when He says in Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,(He says try me now!) If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it?
Will I trust God that it is more blessed to give than receive? Acts 20:35
Will I trust that God is good and knows all of my needs and that He will provide for them? Matthew 6:32
Will I remember that as the Husband and I began to seek God's wisdom in dealing with our finances, we found wonderful godly guidance in a book called Your Money Map, that God has already brought us out of a huge amount of debt?
Will I remember that, though it is still tough, sometimes getting to know the Healer is more important than the healing? Thank you Beth Moore for that truth!
Will I start to grumble as Israel did when God brought them out of bandage in Egypt? When they didn't know how He would meet their needs. Exodus 14-16 Or will I ask Him for what I need and trust He will provide as He has always done for His people?
Will I be "Ye of little faith?"
I will move forward! I will walk by faith! I will take God at His word. I will unclench my hands. I will tighten up my belt for this time if need be. I will remember all that God has done for me in the past - it has been so good! I will trust in His promises! I will let my faith be bigger than my fear because the Father's love for me is great! And I will ask Him to meet all of my family's needs.
The Husband and I will seek God's guidance as to what to do from here to provide for our family!
We will let this be a time to let our faith grow!
It's may not be easy, I might shed a few tears along the way, but I will trust and it will be worth it!