I have for nearly all of my life been completely responsible for my own finances. I have always worked, always had some, although sometimes very little money. I have always been grateful that I've never had to wonder what I would do next, God always opened windows if closing a door, and it was often not a difficult task to trust Him. I knew that He would take care of me and that my needs would be met.
I did however struggle in trusting Him with my finances, for a very (very) long time. I don't mean that I didn't trust that He would not meet my needs, which I should clarify are greatly different from my wants! God has always provided opportunity for finances to be there. It was through my choices or my poor choices that lead to how little or how much would be there.
After my divorce, my children and I lived in a very small one bedroom apartment, there was no TV, we all piled in my bed and we found things to do that didn't cost me anything. We look back at it and I can honestly say, even then I don't feel that we were lacking for or missing out on anything. All of our needs were met. We had a bed, a roof, a shower, food and most importantly we had one another. No, we did not have TV, we did not dine out and we did not purchase things we didn't need. We were living well and the ends were meeting, our needs were being met.
The three of us laugh at this moment still.... We would pray that God would provide for us. I would joke with the kids and say "Pray that God drops a big bag of money in my lap". HA, ohhh how good He is! As I was pulling out of the drive one day, I hit the breaks because I thought something was behind my car. From the visor and into my lap fell a "big bag of money". It was a pouch that I'd been keeping all of my change in. It fell into my lap and coins trickled everywhere. I'm not sure if it was the fact it startled me or the joy in the moment but I just smiled and shouted "Thank you Jesus! Look! Look God answered our prayers, a big bag of money!" We all giggled and cleaned up the coins. In the process, I used this moment to share with the kids that GOD DID INDEED ANSWER OUR PRAYERS and then I did what any good Mom would do. I clarified our prayer and said, "Now let's clarify and ask for a big bag of money with large currency in it!" We laughed and laughed. It was a moment when God reminded me I AM HERE and I hear your prayers. Although it was all in fun, He used that moment and continues to use it to remind me even today in my finances, He is here.
I have been prayerful for months that God would help me with my finances. OK, really I should truthfully admit it's been years. Not that I am financially in a bad place, I am not. But I have a small amount of debt that I've dwindled down from a large amount. It stressed me out, (I owe less than most people owe on a single card) I do not like having debt. I can look back over the past five or six years and I can see God at work in my life and in my finances and when I've trusted Him, I can see Him working to help me eliminate the "stress" of my debt.
When I married a few months back my husband knew of my debt, knew my stubborn independence of wanting to take responsibility of it on my own and the struggle I had in letting him help me. He was patient with me and waited on me to "come around". I am stubborn! I am stubbornly independent. However, I am also very prayerful, very trusting and very patient in waiting on God. I trusted Him with my financial situation. I prayed over it and I asked Him to guide me, to move me how He wanted me to move. ohhh God is SO GOOD.
In trusting God, I also trusted that I was to continue to tithe, if I felt I had the money "to spend" I was to give it to Him. There is abundant truth in God multiplying your blessings. When I blessed others, it was incredible the blessings that came back ~ God reminding me THANK YOU FOR TRUSTING ME. It might have been a small refund for something silly, an unexpected blessing of money, a friend treating to lunch when I knew I really shouldn't spend the money but really wanted to spend the time with friends. Yes, even in those moments I felt the presents of God over my finances.
Today, I feel confident in the elimination of my debt because I've given my finances over to God completely. I don't have any credit cards. If I don't "need it" I don't indulge in it. Not to say that I don't do things, or purchase things. I do. But I am very mindful of my money, because I see it in a different manner. I don't look at it as MY MONEY. I look at it as MY GIFT, the finances which God has blessed me with and trusts me to be mindful of. I look at it as though we are partners in my finances and before I spend I think about it, I pray about it and I consider how amazing God has been through it all.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1
Today I am very grateful for the blessing of TRUSTING GOD COMPLETELY in my life, and most certainly in my finances.
There is something pretty awesome in FINALLY feeling good about where I am in my finances, about not having the struggle of making the ends meet, but having them meet, having them blessed and having the finances to bless others. I think through it all, that has been my greatest gift, the ability to bless others. I completely and fully trust God in my life, in all areas. When I give my prayers to God completely, He blesses them, He uses them for HIS PURPOSE and He reminds me... This gift is from Him and that I am to honor Him with the gifts.