Yes, God continues to be faithful.
Every week, I ask God to lead me in what area of our lives He wants to speak to as I prepare the Devotion and Journaling Guide and this week’s focus on God’s faithfulness through the stories in our lives was no different. What’s funny is how He always picks an area I need to be reminded of His presence.
This past week, as I reflected on the above Scripture passage, God kept reminding me of how He has been with me/us and carried us through so much in the past eight months…but still struggle to remember I don’t have to do everything all by myself.
There are SO many, many examples of God’s faithfulness in my life in the past eight months…since our whole lives changed the moment the car behind us rear-ended us at a speed of 85 miles per hour. One thing remains the same. God is faithful.
Sometimes I forget that He wants to take care of me in every area of our lives and I struggle with the stubbornness of thinking I should be able to handle everything myself. LOL I have to chuckle, you have no idea how hard it was for me to type that last sentence. When I would say to Will, I know I shouldn’t be so stubborn. He used to say to me…”You, stubborn. Noooooo…” and wink at me. I would give him a playful shake and he would kiss me. I always knew he would be there to help me as I struggled to let go of control issues, which he helped me learn are actually “trust issues”.
This past week, God reminded me that He is with me…that He is faithful in the every day matters of life, not just the big things.
I shared last week, how I struggle with being a widow and accepting help and not holding onto the belief that “I can do it myself” (kind of sounds like a little kid when I read that over– Ouch!). Sometimes God allows us to walk through certain challenges to remind us that He is with us…He is faithful and will care of all of our needs…at least He does that with me! LOL
This past week, I was struggling. Our utility bill was quite a bit higher than usual with added heating costs and I had minor car repairs/work that had to be done as well. As I looked at my budget and my bank account, I wasn’t sure what I would do. I made sure that the rent and utilities got paid first. After buying household supplies for the month, budgeting out my other bills, food and gas expenses…I didn’t have enough. At first I panicked.
Then I asked my prayer warriors on Facebook to pray with me that God would give me wisdom and that He would provide all of my needs. As I prayed, the Lord led me to call my Pastor and ask him to pray and have him ask the other prayer folks pray. This one was tougher for me. I don’t want people to look at me as needy. God is helping me to heal from this old issue from my first marriage to a man who always jumped at the chance to ask people to bail us out of financial situations and not find paid work. He often demanded that I go to our church or any church or organization and told me that they would trust me and want to help me…especially if I brought our young son with me. Sigh…(tears) I hated doing that. The feelings of humiliation from doing this season after season, year after year still have a residual effect on me…which I am working on releasing more and more every day. That marriage had a lot of other issues that God helped me to leave (it was a domestic violence marriage).
I left that marriage almost five years ago and a lot of healing has already happened, this one area is one that is taking a bit longer than the rest, I admit. Will knew about all of that and we both believed in the importance of paying for our own bills. We lived a simple life together, but we paid our bills and I never had to worry about not having things we needed.
I am not the only one who went through the trauma of life with my first husband though. One of Josh’s first concerns after the first shock of the accident and losing Daddy was whether we would be OK or if we would end up back in homeless shelters like we had with my first husband at times. Sigh…he shared that concern with me one afternoon during our one-on-one time at their rehab hospital while Michael was taking a nap. (tears) I promised him that we would be OK. He didn’t need to worry. God is faithful in all things. He knows that God provides for our needs. I told him that I have enough income for a simple life without a lot of extras but enough to get us through. The relief in his eyes and face was huge. It was the reassurance he needed.
So I aim to keep that promise and God is teaching me that this won’t always look the way I would like it to, sometimes He takes care of us through others. This is something I know. He has sent others to help me and I am so thankful for the many ways they have blessed us. It is just hard to admit when I need help.
He reminded me of this promise in Scripture once again…
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
this is God, whose dwelling is holy. Psalm 68: 5 NLT
After having everyone on Facebook praying and calling my pastor and in tears asking for him to pray with me on the phone and to ask others to pray telling him I know God will provide. He asked me if I felt comfortable sharing with him the amount I was short this month, I hesitated but God (or my new guardian angel Will LOL) elbowed me, and I told him. He told me he would pray and took the time to do that right then with me on the phone.
I felt so much better and even more peace after he prayed with me on the phone and I took a short nap.
Later that afternoon, I heard someone walking up the ramp to our porch and a knock at the door. It was one of the dear deacons from our church. He told me that he had heard that I had called our pastor. I told him it was a rough day, but we would be OK and I really appreciate their prayers. He reached out his hand and handed me a check and said, we hope this will help with part of the challenge. I look up at him and said, “But you don’t understand, I wasn’t asking you guys for money, I just needed you to pray with me.” His response touched me so much.
He said, “Mary, sometimes we need to put feet to our prayers”.
Tears of gratitude slipped down my face as I gave this big teddy bear of a man a hug and whispered thank you.
God is faithful.
A couple of hours later, I got a private message on Facebook from one of my prayer warriors…a dear friend from my high school days…asking me for my address. He wanted to make sure I had the balance of what was needed. I tried arguing at first.
I was stopped in my tracks when he said, “I know you, and I know that this is going to take care of those little cherubs of yours. Let me do this.” And then he reminded me of how I have been there for him and always accepted him and encouraged and prayed for him over the years. And he knew about my trust issues and why I struggled with asking for help or accepting it. Again tears of gratitude trickled down my cheeks as I accepted and gave him my mailing address.
God is faithful.
Now for many people the amount I needed wasn’t huge. But it was more than I had and more than I would consider asking someone to borrow, because I knew I didn’t have the means to pay it back.
I am in awe once again at how he takes care of us…every little detail of our lives. And this past week, with both of these prayers with feet approaching me on Friday, He showed me once again how much He loves me and will care for me and my children. We have nothing to fear. He is with us. He is awesome. And He is faithful.
Once again He is working in me on my trust issues and humility. I am once again reminded, as I write about this, that it is by sharing how He is faithful in our times of weakness when He is strong. It is then that He can shine His light to draw others to Him…to remind others that He is there for them too.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 NIV
It is by opening up our lives and sharing our testimony of His faithfulness…sharing our stories of His real presence in our lives that others can see His love in all circumstances.
And so, the Friday challenge of opening up and sharing how He is faithful in our lives with others…this is it for me…and I did it on Facebook too. Those challenges aren’t just challenging for you…they are for me too. I pray that my testimony of God’s strength in my weakness…of God’s faithfulness in all things, touches your heart today and helps you to remember He is there for you and wants to take care of your every need.
All of our situations are different.
But our God is the same…yesterday…today…and forever.
I pray you will join me tomorrow night as I share the Week four Devotion and Journaling Guide for adults and for children. Even if you aren’t journaling, I hope you will be blessed by the devotion God lays on my heart.
How did week three go for you? Did you share your story with someone? I would be honored to hear about it in the comments below.
If you haven’t joined me in this Blessing Journal Challenge for 2013 and would like more information you can find out more here. And the rule is…you start with today! There is no “catching up” or guilt for not completing all the weeks. And what I share in the guides are just that…a guide…you journal about what the Lord leads you to write/create.
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Sitting at HIS feet with so much to learn,