Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Testimony

Today I want to tell you a little story of something that’s been happening in the last couple of weeks. On August 17th, we took an offering at our amazing church (C3Greensboro) for a citywide outreach campaign called Reach. In the weeks prior to the Reach campaign, our pastor asked everyone in the congregation to ask God how He wanted us to contribute. Well, a couple weeks prior to the offering I had been praying and had a dollar amount in mind. Shawn and I discussed what to give one evening and we both had come up with the same dollar amount, so we thought that was it. Well, the next day I felt God say, “No, you miss understood me, I meant [that dollar amount] for each of you.” Well I didn’t get the guts up to tell Shawn that till we were driving to church on the morning of the 17th. Yes, I waited until the actual day of the Reach campaign offering to tell him. Since I hadn’t given Shawn any notice, I told him what I felt, but left the decision totally up to him. Well, Shawn followed through with what God had shown me, which was a big faith move on his part. We were definitely in a position in which we needed God to move on our behalf. Things were going to be tight that week. Some may think that it was irresponsible for us to give in that way, but I strongly believe that it would have been even more irresponsible for us to be disobedient to God’s instructions.

My birthday was two days after the Reach campaign on Tuesday, the 19th. It really started out as a bit of a rough day. I had received some difficult news on Monday that I was still absorbing. Korrynn had been sick to her stomach on Monday, so I had to be very careful about what to give her to eat. Shawn had been unexpectedly called out of town late Monday evening, and because of the situation I was concerned for his safety. Sadey and Todd both came down with fevers Monday afternoon and still had them when they woke up on Tuesday. So if I had given myself permission, by all natural means I would have had good reason to have a bad attitude that day. Monday evening I had called my pastor’s wife to tell her about the news I had received that day and told her everything else that was going on that day, too. She and her assistant arranged it for someone from church to come help me get the kids fed, bathed, and in bed that night. That in and of itself was an unbelievable blessing. But it didn’t stop there. The girl from church also brought a meal, flowers, and gift cards, which exceeded the dollar amount that we gave to the Reach campaign on the 17th! I also found out that night that Shawn would be back home the next day. What had started out as a difficult day was completely turned around to be an awesome day of blessing! I just realized something else – if I had kept my pain to myself and had not reached out to my pastor’s wife for prayer and support the door for God’s blessing would not have been open and I would have missed out.

Well I think that’s a pretty awesome testimony, but the story doesn’t end there. Shawn and I were sitting in church the next evening and I felt God tell me that I am supposed to pass most of the gift cards on to other people. I tried to argue with God about it, making sure to point out that cards would pay for the mattress and car seat we need for Korrynn and Sadey. Did I really think I could change His mind? Let’s just think about this minute, shall we? Hmm… While I didn’t succeed at changing God’s mind, I did hear Him tell me that He wants to give us an even bigger blessing and my obedience is necessary for that to happen. To be honest I haven’t followed through yet. ☹ (oops!) I’ve either left the gift cards at home, or the people I want to give them weren’t at church, and then there was this past Sunday when I had them with me at church in my back pocket, but completely forgot to remove them from my pocket and pass them on. Of course, just saying that I intend to give them away doesn’t constitute full obedience. But I’ll keep you posted on what happens when I do follow through.

One last still unfolding chapter in this story… You know when you make the effort to be obedient to what God is telling you, Satan really doesn’t like it. He will do whatever he can after you take those steps of obedience to disrupt your circumstances and try to discourage you so you won’t do it again. Well, the Saturday after my birthday, the 23rd, Shawn, Korrynn, and I were taking part in a community outreach through our church in partnership with several other churches in the city. While we were driving home the check engine light came on. We dropped the car off to be repaired this past Sunday and found out the whole radiator needs to be replaced, a repair that will cost us over $800.00. Our current budget doesn’t yet allow for that, but we know God has our back! He is our Source! Sunday night I had a dream of God bringing unexpected miraculous provision from completely unexpected sources into our lives. Who knows? I can’t wait to see what happens!

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