Giving When It Hurts

Bills

I keep telling myself I need to write down all the ways the Lord has come through so that I can remember them. Because, even though at the time it seems like something I will always remember—or will remember at least long enough to get it down on paper “later”, I don’t. I inevitably forget. In my humanness, in my flesh, in my sin, I forget all the amazing ways God has shown up in my life.

And right now I need to remember.

So I’m writing down what just happened.

Last week, I tithed. I tithed $200 I didn’t feel like I had. I had previously budgeted more with the inclusion of my husband’s salary, but we hadn’t really been giving what was budgeted. We were lucky to do $200 and that was becoming sporadic. So for me to give $200 last week knowing I didn’t have the money to carry me through the month was a challenge.

I have felt the Lord calling me to give multiple times and I haven’t been truly faithful to respond.

I’ve heard others share their stories about how they did and that they were blessed.

God has always given me (financially) exactly what I need exactly when I need it…almost to the penny. And yet, tithing more has been a struggle. I use to blame my husband for us not doing more, but right now it’s just me and I was feeling the tension between the call and the action. The obedience. And so I decided to do it.

Then the wrestling began.

My mind was a battlefield of thoughts and emotions: feeling like I was testing stories I had heard about God coming through financially when people give and then feeling guilty about giving while testing God and/or with the expectation/hope that it would result in my getting blessed in return. Me, me, me (eye-roll).

I wrestled with trust. Will God really come through?

I looked at my bills a week ago, shortly after I tithed. I had $1191.18 in the bank and $1080 in outstanding bills. That left me with $117 to get from the 15th through the 1st of September—for everything. Gas, groceries, spending, whatever. Everything. I didn’t know how I would make it.

And then an iTunes post for $2.12. And then a choreography for Reagan’s cheer for $86.00, $20.75 to fill up the gas tank on the 18th. I really had no idea how I was going to feed my daughter and me for the next couple weeks. I had dinners, but very little breakfast and almost nothing for lunch.

Today I sat down to do the bills.

I saw my balance 5 days ago. I wrote the numbers down on paper. I have a spreadsheet with all my bills. I know what I saw.

And yet…

I just paid the remaining bills for the month and I have $296.98 remaining. I…I don’t know. I don’t know.

I even paid MORE than the minimum payments I budgeted on the credit cards!!!!

I wept.

Even now, I’m racking my brain trying to identify something I must have forgotten…something that is accounted for on my spreadsheet that has yet to hard post to my account. Maybe that will happen, but I don’t know what it is. I can’t find anything

This gives me groceries for the next two weeks. Not just groceries, but buying very selective, quality things like coconut oil and ghee. This gives me spending money, plus I have a little cash in my wallet!

And the tears come again. This is one of those moments where you just weep in disbelief and awe and amazement.

And you write it down.

You write it down because you know you can never forget this.

You’re a good, good father.

It’s who you are

It’s who you are

It’s who you are

And I’m loved by you

It’s who I am

It’s who I am

It’s who I am

 

Note: If you’re one of those detail people who has looked at the photo, done the math, and noted it’s $100 short, this note is for you. The total of $117 (and change) was calculated by adding $100 to the total on the paper, which was all the money I had in a separate account.

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