Thursday, July 30, 2015

Spiritual Life - Did You Hear Me?

In the past 4 months we've had to replace our oven, built in microwave, ceiling fan, air conditioner and had to get our washer fixed.  In the same time frame, we also have a newly acquired mountain of medical bills as a result of two family surgeries and the birth of our beautiful baby girl. 

Before I continue let's rewind a bit.  I grapple with anxiety, and as a girl who grew up with financial struggles, I see a great deal of anxiety show up when it comes to finances. I noticed a couple of years ago that while I would never categorize myself as a hoarder, I held onto items in my home out of fear of being without.  Over the past year I invited God to meet me in the midst of my anxiety and have been blessed with a plethora of examples of his love and provision! I've let things go that I didn't need so God could use what I had to provide for others.

He has shown me what it really means to receive our "daily bread" as needs are met at the moment of need. In this time, God has been training me to trust him by showing that he takes care of me. My eyes must remain on him and not on the trial before me. In the time of training, God provided a bed when we needed one for our son, but didn't have the money, he provided the furniture needed to move our office into the living room so we could make room for a baby. My 15 year old vehicle that I had owned for 12 years was getting close to its expiration date and wouldn't hold our family with a new baby. We had no money for a new car, but when my grandma passed away, my parents shared the inheritance with us and it was just enough to get the 2012 van that now sits in our garage. God showed up and said, "I've got this." 

In that time, our budgeting efforts compliments of Dave Ramsey provided our family with a nice cushion in our checking account, which was amazing considering before we started Financial Peace University, we often ran into the next pay period check, sometimes finding our account was overdrawn. I felt secure with extra money in the checking account. I loved seeing God provide.

But I also felt anxious because I knew what was coming: a test! 
Its not enough to say I can trust God, I have to show him I do. Back to reality of 4 months with constant repairs and medical bill mayhem and I can tell you that cushion in our checking account went away and I realized my security couldn't rest in what I had in the bank, but in God. I realized my test had arrived and God would be asking, "Did you hear me?" For a year he had been telling me he had this. Its easy to trust when there is money in the bank and everything is getting paid.
 Two weeks ago I sat at the kitchen counter trying to figure out the budget. I called our doctor's office and was told I couldn't just make the $50 payment I had budgeted but would have to pay the full $250 or we would be turned away next time we arrived. Then to add insult to injury, they informed me a $400 bill was processing and would come my way any day now. I then called the hospital and was told the $1,150 I had paid in the past 3 months wasn't enough to keep me out of collections. The lab where one of our post surgery results was processed informed me I could only make 6 payments and my current payment of $25 was not enough to pay off the bill in 6 payments. Even with my debt snowball, it wasn't enough. I began to feel overwhelmed and was headed toward an anxiety attack. Did I still believe God when the medical bill collectors were calling and our budget sheet started showing a $500 deficit? The tears were ready to burst through when I remembered what I had learned. I stopped and said, "Yes, Lord, I hear you! I praise you for your provisions and will continue to do my part knowing, you've got this!" I don't know how God will do it, but I chose in that moment to praise him for what I could not yet see.

The good news is, I can be done with fear. I have let it control my life for too long and I know learning to walk by faith NOT by sight, will be live changing. Do you see fear or faith when you look out into your life?
Its a decision and then a bunch of choses to follow that decision despite what you feel or see. Eventually fear will go away. It will have no choice when you have reprogrammed your life with faith. Let's do this!