Thursday, February 02, 2012

Be Careful What You Pray For

New job + New iPhone = Blog shifting to the bottom of my priority pile.

But I've promised myself I wouldn't give it up because I love writing too much. So even if it's just me writing and reading, even if some of the silent lurkers don't want to, or can't figure out to post comments with a Google Account (There IS always the anonymous route, I'm just sayin... you can type your name, even), I still have life events I want to document, current events to comment on, and perspective to share. Today's post is a long time coming, and the moral of the story is this: Be Careful What You Pray For ... because it just might happen.

Backing up, I shared 2 prayer requests for 2011 with my Small Group/Sunday school class at church. 1) For Bradley & I to have a place of our own to live, and 2) For me to trust God with my finances and commit to tithing. Now here it is 2012, and while I don't yet have a place of my own to live, I do believe that God honors our prayers and He's not on my timeline, so even though the year has come and gone, doesn't mean that my prayers were in vain. My other request had to do with finances. As a single mom, it's tough to make ends meet. I won't play up the circumstances because I know there are many moms out there who have it worse than me. Still it's tough when almost all of my small income goes towards paying for daycare and gas to get to work. So it would be easy to hoard my money in the name of being financially responsible and promise Jesus that I will start my giving once I have a better job, or once I have X amount in savings, or once I have a house... but those events-to-come are never ending, and I know there will always be an unexpected emergency to pay for, or some fun opportunity out of the blue that costs more money that I had planned on spending. So I understand that the time to give back to God is now.

You hear over and over that if God gives you a little, and you are trustworthy with what He gives you, He'll give you more. I'd tithed to church in the past, and I support missionaries and other causes, but my 2011 resolution was to be consistant with tithing as a starting point, with the intent that it would become a habit and I would give more down the road.

So that's the backstory- I was praying for my finances in 2011, and asking God to help me trust Him. Well when God's people start praying, God gives you tests aka opportunities to strengthen your faith.

About halfway through 2011, some residual effects from my divorce left me suddenly, soley, legally responsible for over $10,000.00 in credit card debt. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth the day I found out about my new predicament, and yep, I absolutely blamed God. "Why am I being punished over and over?" were my cries to Jesus. "It isn't fair, this isn't my fault." So I did what believers do when faced with trials. I prayed. A lot. And I asked a lot of you to pray with me. After a few weeks, I came to the realization finally that the amount of money being asked of me was so great, that I had no choice but to pray. Anything smaller and I would have come up with a game plan, and figured out my payments with the credit card company, and set to paying off debt for the rest of my life. BUT (and God is funny like that) the amount might as well have been a million dollars as far as I was concerned. So I reached a point of peace where I left it in God's hands. I made some phone calls and I wrote some letters (God certainly has blessed me with the gift of writing, so again, the credit goes to Him) but one day I called and discovered that the debt had been erased. 100% gone.

Not to get all hyper-spiritual, but it was like my own real-life example of Jesus dying for my sins- forgiven in an instant with no way to repay Him- the grace and mercy of God at its finest. I was overjoyed. This was a real-life miracle. We all know what shape our economy is in, and credit card companies don't just wipe away thousands of dollars just because. But I prayed to trust God with my finances, and in that time of financial stress, I got my opportunity.

I share this story not to place blame on anyone, and not to glorify myself, in fact, I felt guilty for not praying more during those months, but I share this to show how Awesome God is. Modern day miracles do happen. I didn't hear God speak to me, but I did read lots of Bible verses about trusting God, and I sensed a peace wash over me when I realized this was just one of those things I was gonna have to trust Him with.

Be careful what you pray for, because God hears your prayers, and will honor those prayers in His time. It makes me wonder how many other prayers I might have flippantly offered to God, and then not followed through. Maybe a challenge or an opportunity presented itself but because I wasn't doing my part in spending time talking to God about, or making sure my heart was lined up with what God would want, I missed it. Anyways, this was one of the biggest events of 2011 for me, so I wanted to share it with you.

God hears our prayers, and He is Good All the Time.

4 comments:

The Mauney's said...

You're right... God IS funny that way. In the past 3 years I have stepped out in faith more than I ever imagined I could, and sometimes more then I wanted to. We became adamant about our tithe, even though my upbringing had me trying to hold onto every penny we made. And without fail, every time we've struggled or faced a trial, He has turned up and taken care of us. Putting our trust in Him can be difficult at times and we definitely don't always get the big picture, but He will come through. I'm so glad this worked out for you... and I'll add a place of your own to prayer list now, too! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Amanda! I love your last line...so true! Ellen

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do read your blogs and yes I am a silent lurker because it won't let me comment with my log-in that I used to use--so I will be an anonymous commenter(?) from now on.
I'm so proud of your beliefs and trust in God and wish I could be more like you. He is GOOD all the time...it's just that I tend to forget that when things are tough.
And yes, I know you and B want a place of your own and I'll be happy when you get one but I will be sad as well so until that time comes, let's keep living that life that is "symbiotic" for all of us!
Love you. MamaB

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