God, my Provider

There are so many people right now who are struggling financially. Many have lost their jobs and are unsure what their next move is. Thankfully, my husband is still working, but it’s still financially hard to keep up with all our bills.

There have been times where I have been so overwhelmed by our financial situation. I think we’ve all been there, where we’re so anxious about money; we don’t know how we’re going to pay our bills or buy groceries. Sometimes full on panic attacks start and we do everything we can to try and calm ourselves down. Tell ourselves it’ll all work out… somehow. I’ve tried to surrender every part of my life to God, and trust that He’ll work things out, but sometimes, it’s just more than I know how to handle.

But I suppose that’s exactly where God wants us, a place where we feel like we’re in way over our heads, so we have no choice but to completely hand it over to Him, and not try and handle it at all. I feel like I’m drowning in some financial stress, but mostly marital and family stress that I don’t know which way is up. Which again, is right where God wants me. A place where I can do nothing apart from him. Absolutely nothing… but that topic is for another day. Back to finances…

A few months ago I spoke at church about being diligent to remember the things God has done for us. I talked about what God wanted from the Israelites in Deuteronomy, where it says “You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, His testimonies, and His statutes which He has commanded you” (Deut 6:17, NKJV). God uses the word “testimonies” because He wants us to always be giving our testimonies, telling people about what God has done for us. The more we share, the more our faith is built up. Then I shared about how Jesus fed the 5000 men, plus women and children, with just a few fish and a little bit of bread, (written in all 4 of the New Testament Gospels), and then how He fed another 4000 men, plus women and children (written in Mark 8 and Matt 15). And after these huge events, the disciples were worried they wouldn’t have any bread for their one particular voyage (Mark 8). Jesus gets after them and says, “Don’t you remember what I’ve done for you? I’ve fed thousands of people, multiple times, with just a couple loaves of bread and some fish. Do you think I’d let you go hungry now?” I think if they would have remembered the miracles they witnessed firsthand, they wouldn’t have been so worried.

So that caused me to think, God has done so much for me. He’s provided so many times, why would I think that He’d leave me hanging now. I began to recount out loud all the times He not only rescued me out of financial trouble, but He also provided things that I were simply a ‘want’.

Honesty, I don’t even know where to begin. Over the last 4 years, there’s been so many times!

1) I really disliked the vehicle I was driving and really wanted a new one. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to afford my dream car, but I found myself looking at one at the dealership anyways. The car I took a picture of a few years prior, and texted to my then husband saying, “one day I will have this car.” I looked at it in the lot, got the price, and came home defeated. It was way out of my price league, of course.

A couple weeks later, my ex came over to put together the girl’s playhouse and overheard me talk to his family about looking at this car. I had no idea he was even listening, but the next day he texted me and offered to pay extra money on top of his child support to cover part of the payment. So back to the dealership I went, and came home with my dream car!!

2) After being in my house a couple months, I realized that my dark hardwood floor was very unforgiving and the tiniest speck of dirt made it look so dirty. So you can imagine what having 3 little girls made it look like on a regular basis. And I didn’t like that my kitchen cabinets were so dark, and my kitchen island was so awkwardly big and dark. I started to really hate my flooring especially, and prayed for a way to pay for my flooring and kitchen to be redone. I wrote it on my “Miracles I’m Waiting For” list and prayed about it often. One December, I wrote down my miracles again and prayed that some of them would be fulfilled the next year. Some way, somehow, I really, really wanted new flooring.

A month later, in the middle of January, my dishwasher leaked one night and completely wrecked part of the hardwood floor and the wood panels in my island. The insurance adjuster came and decided that because they couldn’t match the colour of the hardwood, which was on my whole entire main floor, I’d have to get all new flooring. She also had a couple different cabinet companies come and look at my island. One of the companies said the entire island needed to be replaced, the other said just the panels needed replacing. Miraculously, the insurance adjuster agreed with the first company, so we went with them. It was a small family run company who made everything from scratch, so I asked them if they could redesign my island to be more practical and white, instead of dark. No problem, they said.

Because it all went through insurance, everything took a while to get done, and the whole main floor was a disaster for almost 4 months. BUT, I got brand new flooring, a brand new beautiful white kitchen island, and it only cost me the insurance deductible and a little bit extra to the cabinet company. A $34 000 job cost me $1900 bucks! Seriously, God is so amazing!

3) My sister and her husband go to Florida for a month or two every winter. If I can, I try and go and take a kid or two with me. The first time I had enough money to take my oldest daughter, but I really wanted to take my middle daughter with. She was only 5 at the time, but I thought it would be really fun to have them both with me. I wasn’t sure how I’d pull off paying for her ticket, but after some prayer, I decided to ask my ex-husband for the money to cover her flight. Miraculously, he agreed, and she was able to come with us!

3.5) The second time I went, I decided to just take my oldest daughter with me and have a mommy-daughter trip. My middle daughter would get to come the next time (which, she reminds me, has yet to happen). I tried saving up any extra money I could so that I wasn’t paying for the trip after the trip itself was over. I spent some time praying about it, and God gave me some really cool business ideas to make more money selling my homemade cupcakes. Before I knew it, I was super busy baking away and putting a lot more money towards our trip! Sometimes God provides actual money, sometimes He gives us more ways to make it ourselves. He’s so amazing!

5) My credit card was maxed and I had no money to buy groceries. I was in the car with my mom telling her that I was financially strapped and it was a week until any money was coming in, and I needed a few groceries. She bought me a cup of coffee, but she really didn’t have money to lend me either. As we’re talking about this, my cousin calls and says, “My aunty has thank you cards for you guys for singing at her wedding. They’re here at my house if you want to come pick them up.” We picked them up and inside each card was $50. Just enough to get me through the week until next payday!

6) There are so many stories I could share like the one above. There were countless times when I ran out of money, and just like that, money would come from somewhere. One time, I was getting ready to go to Costco because I needed groceries. I had absolutely had no money, and again, no room on my credit card, but I needed a few things. As I’m doing my hair, another cousin stops by and gives me a cheque for $200 for helping me doing some bookkeeping stuff. Talk about God-timing!

7) My ex-sister in law and her friend were going to New York for a short trip, and asked me if I wanted to come. Of course I wanted to, but financially I couldn’t do it. There was just no way. She kept trying to get me to come, I needed to get away from everything, she argued. I agreed, but there was literally no way I could afford it. A day or so later, she texts me and says “If I pay for your flight and your share of the hotel, will you come?”

“What?!?! Seriously?!?!”

“Yep!” she says, “I really want you to come!”

“Well how can I say no to that?!” So the three of us went to New York for 4 days and had the absolute best time!

I want to make a point to remember the things God has done for me. He’s given me so much and done so many things for me, I could probably fill a journal or two. So whenever I start to get anxious about incoming bills or low funds, I take a step back and think about all the times God has come through. I know if He’s done it before, He’ll do it again. I just need to trust Him.

Has God provided for you recently? Have you stopped to think about it? I bet He’s provided for you more than you realize. I encourage you to take some time and think about great opportunities or ideas you had to make extra money, or if actual money unexpectedly came your way, or even if someone paid for your coffee one morning. Whether big or small, His hands are in it all. Then take some time to thank Him for His provision. And then, most importantly, above everything else, trust Him completely… with everything.

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