I have learned in whatever I have, therewith to be content. I know both how to abased and how to abound, How to be full and how to be hungry, how to have plenty and how to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Pray on, by the amazing Babbie Mason; what a amazing, strong song! And what truth it holds for all of us regardless of our circumstances. Over the past year and a half I have felt like a "DIRECT " descendant of Job, watching his trials, his losses and his Faith has brought forth understanding where none could be found. WOW!!! When God is ready: He will make our eyes ever seeing, our ears ever hearing and our hearts ever understanding. This testimony is long but worth following the trail :)
As early back as June of 2000, we seemed to have the American dream. We were not rich by any standards, BUT, we could pay our bills on time, provide food for our family, nice clothes, nice cars. We belonged to a Good Church, actively involved. We were blessed enough to give to several Christian organizations, bless individuals with gifts, give financial assistance to many. Our marriage was good and we were very happy with our life. I say " COMFORTABLE " !! But God does not want us comfortable, He does not want us to stop seeking growth, to close the door on change. He wants obedience ~ nothing less.
July of 2000, our lives were changed forever. We sold our home with no place to go, lost our trucking contract and was forced to use what little funds we made from our home to just get by while finding a new job. Two months later we did secure a new contract, but had already lost 6 semi tractors. Still we pressed on. Often nights were spent in tears. We found ourselves, 3 children, two adults and a dog and cat, living in a 32 foot camper with 20 inches of snow on the ground. Then what seemed to be a answer from God, a " friend" who came to us offering a loan to finish off the basement so we could move from the camper to the basement. We couldn't believe our good luck, surely God was blessing us as we had done others for many years. We spent what little money we had left to try to catch up on bills, not worrying about saving money for the basement made it pretty easy. Then another shock to our lives. Our friend decided that she could not loan this money to us, even after searching us out and extending this offer.
Bitterness set in. That God dealt with slowly and patiently. I am so grateful for that. He showed me that people let people down. It is the human nature. But we should continue to believe!!! Continue to know He would NEVER leave or forsake us. Now it was November and we had no way to finish this basement off, all our money had been paid on bills. For the months of November and December we saved every penny, not paying any bills so we could put a roof over our heads. Christmas came and we Praised God that we had some type of shelter. The dollar store was my Christmas shopping store last year. We wrote on pieces of paper what we wanted to buy each other and why? We thanked God that next year we would buy those gifts because of His grace yet to come. Journaling became my only source of calmness during this time.
The winter brought 165 inches of snow, leaking roof and walls, but God gave us strength to face each new flood in our home. He showed me love when I got so angry I would just yell. I remember on my sons birthday, December 28th, spending 4 hours on the roof shoveling snow because it had began to thaw and flood the house. I was mad and angry and crying. At one point I looked up and yelled, " could anything else possibly happen to me today"? NEVER CHALLENGE GOD!! Within seconds I was on my back and sliding of the roof. ( Thank God it was a fat roof ) I only fell about 4 feet. I laid on the ground and I laughed!!! I knew better than to test God BUT my circumstances had taken control of me.
In April of 2001, a driver who had our Semi truck got into some trouble with the law. His attitude changed drastically over night. He had worked for us for almost two years.. never would I expect what would happen. For over two months this driver hid our semi, not returning it. When we contacted the law, we were informed that the truck could not be reported as stolen.. we had provided the keys to this person. We were told we MUST hire an Attorney to get a return order. We saved and paid the Attorney $ 1500.00 and the legal battle began. Finally our semi was returned BUT the story would not end there. Once we got the truck back it required over $ 2,000.00 in repairs and three weeks to fix. We had lost four months of income from this tractor at a time when we were so devastated financially.
We were forced to change the way we eat, the places we go and every aspect of our lives. In June of 2001 my son Tyler, who is 12, asked if he could move back with his dad. Not having money to go any where, do anything.. not knowing what or if we would be having dinner had taken it's toll on him. After many hours of praying, I decided that we were both his parents. I decided to let him go. What a " devastating " decision. He is very happy at his dads and doing well. I thank God for that!!!!
In September of 2001, we lost another semi truck. Trying to recover the money lost over all those months were more than we could recover from. In July I had lost my van also. It seemed that our land was next after receiving a Foreclosure notice. We were given 30 days to pay three moths of back payments. NO WAY FOR US !!! BUT God will make a way where there seems to be no way!!!
This is when I had hit the bottom. My Spirit was crushed.. BUT I still remained strong in God. Claiming He would bring us out of this, He would rebuild us. I continued to pray.. but I asked for Prayer coverage from God's children.
Then it changed.. all of it!! On November 2nd at about 1:30 am I was up again, I didn't sleep much. I was reading Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore !!!! and there He was!! Standing right there in the room with me. Revelations came forth like water in the rivers. First He showed me where I had been, you know the place of comfort! Where I was now. Who I use to be and who I was now. What I used to have and what I have now. I will only share the highlights, the point at which everything changed. Only after He showed me this did He show what he was going to do for me.
First, God showed me that yes I was obedient to Him before and He was not disappointed with me. He also reminded me of a prayer I had made. ( I always knew I had a big mouth ...haha ) It was during a Bible Study by Beth Moore. A Heart like His. The study of David. ( How amazing He chose another Beth Moore's study to reveal His plans ) I prayed, " God PLEASE give me a heart like Yours. Let me never look away from another's need without extending help, love and hope. May I always repent and keep my heart and soul Yours. Take me, I am Yours". Like I said earlier... know that God hears ALL prayers!!!
Next, He showed me how my heart had been changed. How now I was more like David than I had been before. He also told me that without all the suffering I had done I would have not gotten to this place. A place where when I seek Him, I hear Him. When I go to Him in prayer for another~ He responds with Scripture. Some people never get to this place He showed me.
Then, He showed me who I used to be and who I had become through all my trials. I was an obedient Christian. I tried to live the same at home as I did Church. I truly loved Him and did good for others. What is wrong with that? I asked. NOTHING!! was His answer. BUT ( That word BUT always gets us ) But He said.. you seeked more. He continued.. now you look first for Me in all of your answers. When a problem comes, you come to Me FIRST and not a friend. When someone comes to you, you seek Me for the answer and not just your heart. My marriage was good before, but now it is rock solid. God is our Rock!! We faced these trials and devastations together. When one was low and struggling.. God gave the other the words to say. He NEVER let us both be down at the same time. When most marriages fall apart during financial trials... ours was strengthened. He never allowed either of us to blame the other. We learned to thank God for every little thing. As little as thank You God for letting me cry only once today. I have learned that people will always let me down, BUT God will NEVER!!! I learned that people can be so judgmental and others have no use for you when you loose your money. When gifts and financial help ends, so does their friendship. I learned that most Christians would rather turn their back then open their pocket book. I thought everyone gave like we did. That we all knew that the important things in life.. ARE NOT THINGS.
He showed me how many people I had led to Him through my trials. How many inmates I reached by my trials. My expressing that even though I faced loosing every worldly possession... I still believed He would bring me through!!!! I had a relationship with God before, NOW I AM HIS!!!
Finally.. He showed the blessing that would begin. We needed money to keep our land. A tree buyer came to us seeking to buy some of our Cherry trees on our land. CASH up front he said!! Yes, enough to save our land and catch all the balance of our bills up ( Except the Semi ) WOW!!!!
Next the semi we lost was set to be sold on Nov. 14th at Auction. We would owe the balance of course. We still owed 30,000.00 on this Truck and an Auction would bring between 3,00.00-7,000.00. They driver who we hired later wanted to buy the truck to keep her job at Wal-Mart. She applied for several loans trying to get this money before the truck was sold. NO LUCK.. BUT she was approved for $ 19000.00, still not enough. God told me you call the bank. You tell them she has been approved for that amount and you would make the difference up in monthly payments. Well, I did and they went for it. She is closing on her loan next week and the truck should be back on the road with a week. How AWESOME is GOD!!!
But it doesn't stop there.... God told me to go to the Credit Union and ask for a loan. We had tried everything before to get a roof on, but our credit has been completely taken away. The loan officer was not in that day so I had to see the Vice President. I told him up from everything we were facing and how bad our credit was. He was so awesome. He told me go home and get some sleep, I will help you. He did not take it to the loan committee, but right to the President for his approval. They paid 1/2 off our land off ( it is separated by two lots ) and they paid off our credit card debts and loaned us 11,000.00 to put on the roof before snow. PLUS they did NOT even charge us a high interest rate, they lowered our credit cards by 10% and our land payment by 2.5 %
He also told us next summer if we stay current they would roll us from a construction loan to a mortgage so we could borrow additional to finish our home. God is awesome!! and seeing what we have believed in is unbelievable.
We still need to cover about 9,000.00 in reposed cost, both my van and the semi truck.. BUT I KNOW GOD WILL DO THAT TOO!!! He is going to finish this work He has started. He will clear up our debt.
I am seeking Him to rebuild my trust in people. That people still love God and others more than money. That they loosen up and learn to give with a cheerful heart NOT expecting anything in return. He has said He will show me this. That He will use others to bless us now.
I am so blessed by the Ministry gifts He has given me, BUT I am more blessed by the person He has made me to finish what He has started for me.
Thank You all for your prayers....
I Remain Because He lives.....