This past winter:
As I drove alone to the 2 appts of the day, I struck up a conversation with God. On my left were expensive houses with plenty of houses sitting on grand yards. One caught my eye, and I told God that if He planned on us owning our own home again, I'd like one like THAT one...only a ranch with many rooms to spread out in...and no stairs so that Kayli could go throughout the house with us, in her wheelchair...but the yard was good, and the airy feeling of the walk out backdoor looked good...so I guess a basement would be ok. I turned the corner and as I drove on, the houses started looking a little less grand. I found myself thinking about a friend who's furnace was out and she, her husband, and her daughter with special needs sat in the cold, yet our furnace was working and my kiddos with special needs were warm at home. I thought about all the people who's house windows were not new like ours, but rather breezy even with plastic covering them. And those who's car wouldn't start today, yet here I drive, with a new battery. The guilt and shame grew like fungus, in my mind. Here we are, no longer homeless, and my choice of conversation with God was about what more I wanted...not of Thanks. So, I started thanking God. I thanked him for always being there for me. For Blessing me with my kiddos with special needs, to teach me about life with Him. For carrying us through the life threatening syndromes and diseases. For the warm house and full cabinets. And for the dimes (see my previous story about God and the dime, here).
That's when it hit me. I needed to leap in my faith. Many don't know this about me, but I carry shame every day. I give freely to others, but when I am thanked....I feel guilt. You see, I only give to others when it doesn't affect me. I don't sacrifice anything when I'm helping others. I give away extra medical supplies, and clothes that the kids have outgrown. I give away groceries that I know I probably won't make or eat, and I make excuses when I'm asked to sacrifice something. My time, my money, my understanding....I reason why I can't right now. I hold them all close to me and judge others while checking my inventory to see if I have anything extra to share. As I passed a shabby house with plastic on it's windows and a minivan 2 decades old, in the rock driveway, I asked God to help me take the leap of faith in Him. I told Him that I want to give something that we (my family and I) need, to someone else in need. I asked God to help guide me, so that I would know who He wanted me to give to. I asked God to use me, to carry out His plan in someone else's life. I felt God tell me that I was to stop at a house, and give $100 to the family that lived there. It was a perfect plan! $20 would be easily excused for our family, so that would not be enough. $100 would be enough to notice missing in our pockets when paying bills.
I started searching, with my soul, for the family to share my faith with. Nervously, I turned onto a side street, and hesitantly crept into the driveway that seemed to pull me in. I looked at the house and thought to myself, "what if this is just where I want to go, and not where God wants me to be?". I backed out of the driveway, and started driving away, afraid of making a wrong decision, and failing as God's servant. Unsure of my choice, I decided to put God to the test. I said to Him, if You want me to give the money to someone in this house, then surely you will give me a sign. I then took one more look for a sign of faith. My eyes focused on the shabby house again, and although the first sight of the old leaking windows, and de-compensating roof showed a need for the money, I had not seen any sign of God there. At the second look, I saw the sign from God appearing out of nowhere.... a simply perfect cross made of palm leaves, on their door! A smile came over my face, as a chuckle escaped my throat. "Thank you God!", I say out loud. "You are always with me, and hear me". I quickly backed up my vehicle, pulled in the driveway, and rushed up to the door. Thanks be to God, for showing me the way!!! I anxiously knocked at the door, without a plan in mind. A man, wearing a coat even though he was in his house, answered the door. I stumbled my words with excitement, as my hand extended to his, with the $100 bill. I said "God Blessed You, this is for you!". The man stuttered with words of confusion, asking me why, and assuring me it was not his to take. I told him it might be because he prayed for it, or maybe because God knew he needed it? I told him I didn't know why I chose him, but I have faith that God does. It is his to keep, because he has Jesus in his life. With tears swelling in his and my eyes, and as he stared at the bill in his hand, I thanked him, and drove off with such love in my heart. Love for my fellow follower, and love for our mentor and best friend, in Jesus Christ. What an exhilarating feeling, to give something that I needed, to someone who also needed it. Not necessarily for monetary value, but for a reminder of our unconditional faith in God. <3