It’s been a rough two years. Some days it feels like life has ganged up on our family and is sniggering while firing bullets at our feet and watching us dance. Just so you understand – its not that anything traumatic has hit us. Rather it’s been an extended pounding of wave after wave of trouble and hardship from every angle.
Without going into gory detail, our church went through a split (as churches sometimes do), my marriage sprouted issues (as most marriages will, given time and a few years of careless communication) and devastatingly, God tucked me away in His darkest cupboard when it came to Him using me in my giftings and call.
On top of that, our money lost its elastic capacity. Completely. Every day we were faced with more needs than we had money for. As a mom, it was heartbreaking for me to start cutting back on dance and music lessons, knowing that I have three talented girls who are going to be useful in the Lord’s hands. Watching gifting go undeveloped? Ouch!
A morning dawned when I sat staring at my bank account and the list of what my family needed. It might as well have been a show down between Arnie Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito. My Danny-bank-account was simply not up to looking need-list-Arnie in the eye. Again. Where do you turn when your foundations and faith in Him have been severely rocked?
Jesus speaks of faith the size of a mustard seed. Mine didn’t even come close. It was out of sheer desperation that I turned to Him. Lord – if You don’t help me now, I’m done. I don’t think I can live like this any longer.
And so I made a list.
A “Trusting Jesus For” list.
First on was a pair of pointe shoes. For nine years Hayley (my eldest) had been faithfully going to ballet on the days she wanted to, and the days she didn’t. Now the moment she’d been dreaming of since toddling about barefoot in pink leotard had arrived – she was going to dance on her tippiest of toes. Except that we didn’t have the $1000 to buy the shoes. They went on the list. photo © 2010 Renee Silverman | more info (via: Wylio)
I cried my way through need after need as I typed them in. School shoes to replace ones that had been repaired three times and kept breaking… warm clothes for winter… the list grew.
I sat with my list before my Daddy, not full of vibrant faith – but humbled and broken, barely able to scrape together a few words to say. Lord, only You…
When we were all together that evening, I shared my list. My family needed to know so that they could appreciate the miracles as they happened.
Pointe shoe fitting day arrived. My daughter was popping with excitement. I felt sick to my stomach. My hubby drew cash off his credit card, something that people in debt shouldn’t do. But what else could we do after Hayley’s nine years of faithfully sticking at it? I can just picture God lovingly shaking His glorious head. You could just trust Me, you know… When it came time to pay, we were told that the shoes had been sponsored in full. We didn’t have to pay a cent. Tick one off my TJF list, a mere three days after making it!
The second big miracle had to do with an article that I was due to write for Soul magazine. I’d interviewed a particular lady and was due to write up the article before the Monday. It was a standard “Real Life” story, 1100 words – paying $1 per word. Before I’d got down to it, my editor got hold of me and asked if I could increase the word count to 2000 as they needed it for a different section of the magazine. Then a throw-away comment – they would be paying me $2 a word. So where I should have been paid $1100, I received a payment of $4000. This came through in the same month that we were unable to pay my littlest daughter’s school fees for the first time.
Since then we’ve seen a slow and steady increase in provision and along the way I’ve been able to tick off item after item. And I just know that this is only the beginning.
In every area we’ve turned a corner. Church is once again full of Spirit life. My hubby and I have connected and are working through our differences. It will take time, but we’ve made a start. Our bank account is nearly ready to leave ICU for the general ward – still a way to go till it’s healthy, but definitely on the mend.
Now, I can honestly say – God is good! His heart towards you is for good. He is able, well-able to meet your every need. I learnt firsthand that trusting Him is not something you decide based on how you feel. It’s a choice.
When life gets tough, does it mean that God has deserted you? Not at all.
He has simply bought you front row seats to see His awesome miracles firsthand.
So come get comfy here next to me and let’s watch Him do what He does best!
Have you seen God’s hand at work in YOUR life? Share with us in the comments…
Dianne J. Wilson is a Jesus-lover, freelance writer and story-teller, dancer, mom to 3 girls & wife to a photographer. I have a seriously over-developed sense of humor that pokes its head out at the most inappropriate times. Check out her blog, doodles – weaving invisible into words, and connect with her on Twitter!