Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Loved and Kept Child

I do not want to be labeled as a religious person. However, I cannot live my life without acknowledging a Person in my life in whom I live my life. Without Him, I cannot thrive. Without Him, I cannot love or receive love. Without this Person, I literally would not be alive today. I am not religious. I am just a lover of One whom I know is real and I long for others to know Him too. Simple as that.

As I have mentioned in other posts, my husband lost his job in 2007 without severance.Our hearts were already broken as we had just lost a second baby to miscarriage weeks before. We struggled for 9 months and lived on practically nothing while he searched for employment. We lived on grace and we made it to the other side of that hurdle. However, once we had jumped over it, we still had to recover from many months of struggle.

When we moved to AZ last year we found ourselves still asking how things were going to work out. Many who have been through financial set backs know what I mean. It takes time to mend. We needed many things and we moved West with a lot less than we had. We gave a lot of our belongings away because the truck we rented would not hold it all.

Now here we are months later and I can testify over and over of how the Lord has provided for our family far and beyond John's paycheck. During my time of worrying, I took a piece of paper and wrote down the things I was concerned about and I even wrote down hopes and dreams. I do not share this with the intention of making Jesus look like Santa Claus. However, when we delight ourselves in Him, He gives us the desires of our hearts. I would sit in my prayer chair with the list. First I would ponder an all of His benefits. I would thank Him for all He had already done for us. And I would express my gratitude for just knowing Him and belonging to Him. Then I would lay the list down on the floor as if laying it at his feet.
Sometimes the answer to our prayers do not look like we think and they may not come in our timing, but He is faithful to go way beyond our limited thinking. So I would like to open to you a place I have kept secret for 9 months. Here is the list I wrote last September.

Keep in mind that at Thanksgiving my husband's check was drastically cut in order to cover the taxes for our move out here.

1. Income to meet our needs and bills over the next two months.
2. Healing in our family and marriage. (There was much stress on our family relationships from the move and financial strain. Also, we had come out of a lot of church conflict)
3.Dental work for our family. (This was a biggie!)
4.Finances for Christmas gifts. (This was not looking too hopeful with the cut in John's check)
5.Work on the van...air conditioning needed repair. (And you gotta have it in Arizona!)
6.Church or spiritual family in our new community.
7.A second car
8.Clothing for the children (we left a lot of that behind)
9.New Baby ( A hope and dream)
10.Money to pay off van title. (When John was out of work, we had to sell our van title to buy food.)
11.A Big Bonus from John's new employer
12.For discouragement, depression, oppression, and disappointment to be lifted from our family.

As I look back over this list, I see that God has either answered each petition or is in the process of doing so. There has been healing and refreshment in our family relationships.The bills are being paid.The van title has been paid off.Dental work is well on the way. John received a 2000 dollar bonus which covered the rest of Christmas and helped us to pay our bills for the month his check was cut. We were able to get our other car out here from Atlanta.The air conditioning is repaired in the van. Some precious new friends have given us clothing for our children. We have two babies on the way. And we are building new friendships with God loving people in a new way.Also, the clouds of disappointment, discouragement, and depression have lifted.

And I need to also add that I have been concerned about baby items. Yesterday, some sweet friends of ours brought over mounds of baby things. Even though we have had many children, we have no baby things. When I awoke from my nap, I walked in the living room and there were clothes, blankets,towels, a car seat, port-a-crib, baby swing, bouncy seat, baby tub, and much more. All I could do was cry. Another friend loaned me all of her maternity clothes so I will not need to purchase any of those either.

As you can tell, I am blown away by the goodness of God flowing through so many venues. However, the most uplifting is His kindness flowing through others. This is what binds people together. Furthermore, I would like to testify that there is nothing special about us that would cause these prayers to be answered. It is about how kind, good, special and able the one and only true God is. I want others to know Him and to see that He is gracious. His loving kindness is better than life. I have to boast in Him. He hears our cries in the hidden places and He says, " I am taking care of you. Do not worry." And he gives us a hug instead of scolding us for worrying. He is Father. He is love. He is real!

Many people are going through a season where they a wondering where He is or if He is real and alive. I have doubted His goodness so many times. But His grace always prevails. He will come through. He will provide. This is His Father's nature....to be the ultimate provider in our lives.

I am thankful for the rough spots in my life. For when they come, I can be assured that He is going to show up and help me. Hopefully, someone will be encouraged by this testimony. There is a lot of hopelessness in our world. Maybe my little candle will light a dismayed heart with the warmth of who God really is.



Karen said...

I have been brought to tears reading your post. Thank You so much for sharing this. It is such an encouragement to see how God works in the lives of his people.

We have experience difficult times too and God has been so Faithful to see us through.He does tell us to ask and sometimnes I wonder if he gets tired of me asking! Thanks for sharing your list and it has inspired me to make a list of things that I need for God to help us with. I believe it also helps us to better remember and give Thanks to the one who the Thanks is due.

You are in my prayers,

September said...

Ange- Now I am fully convinced that the Lord directed me to your blog weeks ago for a very special reason... other than the fact that we both have larger families...

I am in tears after reading your post. Thank you for sharing like this. My husband is a self-emplyecd contractor. This past winter was the worst for us ever. He has work now, but it has taken its toll. We sold almost everything too. We are still waiting to see if we can keep our home. It aches so badly, and the strain it has on life is difficult some days.
Your post has given me just another reminder of not being anxious... My Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Ange said...

Thank you so much Karen and September! I am so happy our paths have crossed. I am encouraged that the body of Chirst is bound tightly together more through what we suffer than anything! It is comforting to know that we are not alone. Or course we have the Lord, but it is a gift to have siblings in the Lord who understand us!

September,we lost our home several years ago. I thought things could not get worse. But the Lord brought us through that and healed us from that loss too.Be assured that HE will provide for you either way. He has to. HE is your DAD! I am praying!

You ladies are precious. I praise the Lord for you both.