Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Real Stories from Real People
You can read part I here
It’s September of 2009 and the shock of hearing that my husband suddenly, without any warning has been laid off from his job is really beginning to sink in. A million questions are running through my mind about how we are going to make things work… what we are going to do to support our family… and as always when things get tough I try to lean on my own strength and understanding instead of leaning into God’s hand of grace and provision. Amongst all these questions, I hear over and over again in my head… “Well if you didn’t tithe… and if you gave up your sponsorship money to world vision than that would be more money that you could live on”… but that was not God’s plan and he reminded me of that in my quiet time on several occasions.
He spoke to me and said, “Ashlie do you think I have forgotten you, because I haven’t. Do you remember several months back when you began to save money on your groceries and you wondered what to do with that money? The reason I allowed you to save the money you did on groceries all of those months was to prepare you for this season of your life… when you would have less to spend, and I still wanted you to be able to give to those who needed it.” And it was with that conversation that my husband I began to try and lean into God during this difficult time of our life and hear what he desired from us. Now I’m not here to say that this time was easy because it wasn’t, but I am here to say that we made it, and not only that, we grew closer together. God provided for our family in many ways during this time period… and allowed us to continue to sponsor our two children through world vision in the countries of the Philippines and the Dominican Republic, which we consider one of our greatest blessings.
God also showed me several different people that I could bless with groceries that I had gotten for next to nothing with coupons, and help to provide them with nutritious food in their times of need. Pretty soon a job opened up at a local technical college with very limited hours and a HUGE pay cut, but through prayer we decided that my husband should take this job; trusting that it would lead him on to better things… and once again God provided despite our lack of trust at times. Not only did God provide a job for my husband, but he also provided the promise of a better job in the future if he could finish his degree, so we set out on the journey for him to finish his degree. My husband began working on his degree part time while he taught as an instructor at the local technical college, and God continued to watch over our family. In August my husband will graduate with his associate’s degree… something he never thought he would do, but it was only by walking a difficult road of learning to trust that we got to this point. It was through these times that God taught us the valuable lessons of trusting in His plan, whether it matches up to our plan or not. In February of 2010 we welcomed little Hope Elizabeth in to our family, and she has served as a constant reminder to us of God’s provision and that He is our hope in time of struggle. I will close with a verse that God has used to encourage our family many times in these trying times, “Let us hold unswervingly to the HOPE we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”—Hebrews 10:23