A Journey of Faith: Settle It Now

Well, the journey Michelle and I have laid out about God’s provision is a life-marking journey–today I am bringing the story to its miraculous closing. Read the stories below for the whole story:

A Journey of Provision
A Journey of Faith | Timing and The Lord’s Provision
A Journey of Faith | The Lord’s Provision & Trusting God
A Journey of Faith: Beginning with Hope
A Journey of Faith: Life that Can Not Be Taken

Our family lines will be greatly marked for good by what God’s allowable will has brought before us.  But you know? Sometimes when everything seems so very wrong and unfixable, focus your eyes on the story God has written all around and over your life.  Recount the times He has done wonders over your life.  Don’t forget to recount the times that something could have happened and didn’t…those times unseen are just as real as the times seen.

So let me bring the story of the painting home to you…

My Chris and I have been married for 22 year this summer, and for good or for bad, we have a marked stumbling point in the area of discipline–be it financial, physical or interpersonal–and follow through.  No excuses, we battle it every single day.  We must choose differently for the circumstances to fall differently.  On the wonderful side of it, we have willing hearts.  We follow God and love Him with all that we are.  So we must bring our willingness to the throne of Jesus every single day to walk well.  And truth be told, we are!  We are breaking some old habits and finding freedom in so many areas.

Amazingly, we had a “too hard for us, but not too hard for God” set-up going on.  Last year, we struggled with all that we were to work hard and make ends meet financially. It was a hard year for us–the hardest, yet. With details left in a mostly vague sense, we were really on the edge all year long.  It all came to a head on December 3rd.

But let me back up two days…our friend Greg had come into town.  We have such honor and respect for our friend and his family.  We had been in the same home group (our church calls them base camps) for a couple years, when we first came to Colorado.  Then God led their family to serve with YWAM in other places. Greg came over to share his heart with us about the ministry that God is doing through their family right now. So we spent a wonderful few hours together and Greg began to speak of India, and some engineering-design needs they have.  I watched my Chris’ face light up.  I knew that he would go with Greg later this year or early next…I knew it, but I also thought, “Lord, how in the world will we ever afford it?  We can barely… (you fill in the blanks, for I had a slew of financial needs come to mind).”

Then two nights later, Greg would spend the night with us.  We picked up the conversation right where it was left on Saturday. That evening, Chris had picked up the mail. And we had a Fed Ex envelope on our front doorstep.  It was a notice of foreclosure.

It basically said unless we did “this” by the end of December, we were out. I was shocked. After Greg left that next morning, he had no idea what God was doing through his story and our own.  That week was filled with calls to our lender.  They had some misinformation (from before bankruptcy) on our credit report, which we had to fix.  Then they worked out a plan of action for us to catch up and keep our home–a plan that would last through June 2013.

The first thing we did was get a working budget in order–something we had lacked for the previous year (fail to plan, plan to fail–yes). We worked through it together as a couple–we still are. We paid a double payment by December–a miracle of God.  The only hitch we saw was January.  It went below the line.  There seemed to be no way for us to make it–we could not figure it out on our own accord. With much prayer, my Chris spoke to our home group men, letting them know our situation and asking for accountability, too. Within ONE hour, a dear brother brought to our doorstep a check for the amount needed, to repay without interest when we could.

I was a puddle of tears.  Poor brother, I know I made him uncomfortable!  But he told me, “We had this extra and we did not even have to pray about it.”  They, too, had been in a similar situation–and they wanted to help us.  What rescue!  Only a Christ follower would walk in such a way.  How undeserved we were.  And how very LOVED.

I closed the door and sat at the table, head in hands, praying…then I heard a gentle whisper in my spirit.  And I knew it was the voice of God.  He said, “It is finished.”  That is all I heard.  And how shall I take it?  I took it as meaning that our financial journey is done.  The fullness of what God wanted for this part our lives was completed.

I knew Chris would go to India.

I knew that we would not go back there again.

I knew that we still had 6 months more of tightness before us, but that we would be equipped for it.

The next day, and by no surprise at all, God pulled out his highlighter with bold print and ALL CAPS!!!! The next day, Michelle’s painting arrived at our doorstep– from Fed Ex, no less. God wanted us to know that He is our Provider.  He will be seen.  And through this very unguarded and transparent story of our lives, I pray you see God, too.

It is finished.  See it here on our wall?

Settle It

God is telling us every day, that we need to settle it in our hearts that He is FOR us and with us.  He is providing–even dividing and multiplying.

When our financial circumstances may hearken back to where we were, sometimes even on a daily basis, my Chris and I must settle it in our hearts–that Jehovah Jireh, the Living Word, who spoke Philippians 4:19 over us, is STILL speaking it. We are provided for.

“And my God will liberally supply, fill to the full, your every need according to His riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

In Him, we are so very rich!  And that budget I spoke of?  It is projecting that we will have in our savings over $10, 000 by year’s end. But we do not look to that, no.  We look to, and keep looking to, Jesus alone.  What a turn-around.  What a Savior!

All for HIS Glory,

Holly winter2012

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Flooded with Thankfulness

God’s provision can come in an infinite number of ways. This summer my family experienced God’s provision, although at the time we did not see it that way. Looking back we are so thankful that God is always working things out in our lives, even in the trials of life.

Two years ago, my family had a chance to move into a house that would give our growing family more space. I grew up in Florida so I was used to homes that were pretty much the ranch style homes, but my husband grew up in the Midwest and he was used to living in a home with a basement. Our first home purchase in the Midwest was a ranch style house without a basement, but we felt the Lord opened a door for us to move into a different house a couple years after we bought our first home (that is a whole different story).

This new home had a basement and soon after we moved in I understood why my husband loved houses with basements. There was however one thing that I didn’t like to hear about homes with basements; they could flood. I heard plenty of horror stories about basements flooding, including one pretty disgusting one from my husband about one of his childhood homes. Even though I knew what could possibly happen to our basement one day, I just put the thought out of my head.  My basement flooding was not an option. It happens to others, but it won’t happen to my family, I thought.  Well, my pie in the sky thinking didn’t hold up too long.

This past summer our state was experiencing a rash of super-cell storms. The rain was coming down at a rate of one to two inches an hour.  It was a wet mess. What we didn’t know at the time was that our sump pump had quit working. My husband starting putting the puzzles pieces together and he told me that he was pretty certain that our basement was going to flood. I was in denial and pretty much was thinking happy thoughts about how the rain would soon stop and we would be safe and dry.

My husband decided to dash to the hardware store to buy a replacement pump. During that time he told me to keep an eye out for flooding. He gave me a quick talk about what to do in case it started to flood, but I still was in denial and  didn’t really focus in on what he was saying. Once he left,  the rain started to pick up and I kept going downstairs to look into the sump pit and make sure the water was not overflowing. On my third trip down to the basement I was shocked to see the water in the pit was at the danger level of overflowing. I called my husband quickly and told him what was happening. He again told me what to do when the basement started to flood, and he said that he was almost home to help me.

After the phone call, I went downstairs and saw my worst nightmare…my basement was flooding. Fast forward (to make the story shorter), my husband came home and he helped lead the family into an action plan of saving as many of our personal possessions as we could. We all sloshed around in water for about 30 minutes until all of our things were on higher ground and safe from the water. Our basement had flooded.

It was a surreal experience in many ways, but even from the very beginning my family could see God working in all the details. We could see God’s provisions.

-Our first praise was that our basement was flooded with rain water and not sewer water.

-When purchasing home owner’s insurance my husband told me that right before he signed the papers he asked the insurance agent if the policy covered flooding.  Well they did have a policy that would cover a sump pump breaking and that is exactly what happened to us.  We were covered up to $10,000.

-One of our best friends came to our house the night of the flood (it was almost midnight) and he helped us to install a new sump pump.  He was like an angel to us that night because my husband and I were in a state of shock.

-All, and I mean all the people that we had to work with over the next couple of weeks were phenomenal with their customer service (insurance agents and restoration companies).

-Our carpets were totally destroyed, but as far as our personal items we only lost a very small amount of things and they were not anything that could not be replaced.

-The money we received from the insurance policy would end up helping to take care of our family in a time when unexpected financial burdens were placed on our shoulders.

I could go on and list other ways the Lord took care of us through this unpleasant experience, but the most important thing I can say today is that God provides for His children. Many times in life God’s provision comes in unexpected ways, but it still is Him providing for us. Today I am reminded to be thankful for God’s provision and His goodness, and I encourage you to do the same.

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