A few years ago, I heard a famous, flamboyant name-it-claim-it preacher on TV declare to his donating listeners that if they gave generously, “something was going to happen in Marrrrrrrch” (he rolls his r’s, so when you say it in your head, make sure to stick with the program). He didn’t say if this “something” was something good or not, but since he was name-it-claim-it, the likelihood of what he meant was there. Although I did not donate to his “ministry” (sadface), I was game!
Since that year, I have announced every year to my husband (sometimes 3-4 months out) that something IS going to happen in March, just so he can get prepared. Well, it is my birthday every March, so it’s sort of my way of telling him that there’s a special day coming up just in case he needs time to prepare.
Quite ironically, something special has happened every March since! For time sake, I will only share with you what happened last March, because it became the gift that keeps on giving. Here’s my journal entry from March 10, 2009, bearing the same title.
It’s so weird how God prepares you ahead of time to take steps of faith! Recently I finished reading the biography of George Muller, an early 20th Century hero of the faith who fed and cared for 2,000 orphans every day just by the power of prayer alone (George prayed, God provided).
About 3 weeks ago, just as soon as I finished reading, God put a challenge into my heart. “You know, Julie, you’ve never had to rely solely on Me for your security in this world. You don’t know what I will do for you-you’ve never tried Me and proved Me on this.”
Hmmm. It’s true. I feel as if God is calling me out onto the “spring ice” of life into uncharted territory, where the ice looks a bit melted and thin. I never really have had to trust God for my daily security. This is America, after all! I have a savings account, a Mom who loves to “bless me.” I have to admit, when I think about living by faith, it ruffles my security blanket. I know God CAN take care of me, but the inner fear rises up to the surface…WILL He? This is the question He challenges in my heart.
Shortly after this challenge (March 2), Shuck’s Dad sent us an email out of the blue in which he shared a story about Shuck’s Mom (she was a life missionary to the Middle East and died the year we got married-99). His words jumped off the paper, a confirmation of what God is doing in my heart. “…Before we left for the Middle East the second time, Marian anonymously gave all her savings to a Christian ministry. She wanted to ‘prove the Lord,’ that although she would no longer have any salary, the Lord would provide for all our needs.”
So…after this, two more significant things happen immediately. Due to working for a non-profit during a crashing economy, my husband got his only job cut back to part time, paycheck cut in half, and all benefits stopped. We can barely pay our rent on what he’s making now, and I have given up my income opportunities to take care of my Mom who is in late stages of cancer. But there’s more! God has also given me the responsibility of a vision to carry on. In order for this vision to move forward, it requires almost all of what we have in savings.
Back to present. Something happened last March, and it has become a great teacher about the faithful God I serve! God has completely sustained us this year on nothing more than prayer and faith. When we were down to our last month of being able to survive and our rent was coming due, Shucks miraculously got offered a freelance job that more than provided for us for the rest of the year. Every month, more freelance job opportunities and income have appeared out of nowhere, and we have been more than able to pay all our bills.
For those of you who know our story, we have invested quite a lot of ourselves into the plight of orphans. A wise man once told me, “God takes care of those who take care of His orphans.” George Muller would agree, and so would I!
And one more thing…Marrrrrrrrrch is just around the corner. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen this year!