Not Getting off That Easy

As long as I’m on the subject of finances, I may as well share and record here something else I’ve learned this fall.

We have been under-employed since we were married. That is a bit of an understatement, because while there have been a few months here and there that we’ve had a semblance of a full-time income, there have been many when we’ve had none. But God has provided everything we’ve needed, and sometimes to our wonder, astonishment, and tears.

So imagine our excitement when Mike got the phone call from the church he’s begun to serve, offering him the job and a salary. For the first time in our lives, we are the proud possessors of a salary. I realize, by experience, that a salary alone makes us wealthy by comparison to most of the world; much of our country, even. We haggled and crunched and figured and in the end were still about $100/month short of what we’d need to meet our expenses. (Thank you, student loans!)

I continued my saga of trying to find part-time work from home to fill in the cracks and door after door closed. I am completely unemployed despite my best efforts. Why!? Every avenue I’d explore: “Lord, please provide for us through this. You know this is what we need.”

“No.” comes the answer.

I thought back through my own personal history with God: how he has dealt with me in my self-supporting life thusfar. Not once but twice in my college days came the prayer “Lord, you know all I need $1000 to finish up this semester, and I have no idea where that is going to come from.” Within minutes a phone call: “Is this Susan? Hi. We need one more case of Listen While We Sing.” $1000 even. I’d hide the happy dance trying to boil over and assume a professional tone, “Sure, I should be able to get that out to you within the week. Billing address still the same?”

Click. Happy dance. Visualize widow with lost coin.

This has been our relationship, God and me. I need. He provides. It’s a good thing. And suddenly here I was, on the brink of being self-sufficient, the numbers almost balanced between income and expenses. I have no idea what that would feel like, and I am as excited to work from a budget as a kid on his first day of kindergarten. This is gonna be fun. (This is gonna be fun?!)

But for now it seems God is holding $100/month in reserve. Maybe because He doesn’t want to lose that relationship we’ve had going – the one where I ask Him for stuff and He gives it, unmistakable.

I’m totally OK with that.

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