In 2003, I went on my first missions trip with a group called Royal Servants International. To say this experience was life changing would be a huge understatement. This group is led by Louie Inks. He’s a lovable man, full of passion and wisdom. He has a way of speaking things, even simple things, that stick with you for always….Like “Always leave a room cleaner than you found it”. You better bet, Im passing on that gem to my kids!
Before you go on a trip with this organization, you do a week a boot camp style training, state side. Louie did a lot of talking and teaching during this week. Darren also went on a different trip with RS that same year, so was at the training camp also, to hear the same lesson. One of the topics that week was Jeremiah 33:3 which says,
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know”
Louie spoke power to this verse. Its a talk I will never forget. In this time of uncertainty in our family, I have remembered these talks and I have prayed this verse over and over. And I believe, God has spoken and he has paved a way for us.
When I started applying for jobs, I knew I was limited. I knew I could only work part time because of child care. I knew I needed a job where I could sit when needed or pace myself due to my health. I figured a job that met all of my requirements would be hard to find. So, I spent an entire day and just applied to anything and everything that was part time. When home care called me for an interview, I truly had no idea what I was interviewing for. As they started explaining that the position was largely a work from home position, I was elated. In the moment I considered it luck. In hindsight, I can see it was nothing short of Divine Intervention. I was offered the job on the spot, but the actual hiring process has drug on for a month now with few answers about specifics, like how the pay would work. On Monday, I spoke with HR and they made the hire “officially official” and wanted to pay me one rate for taking call, and another, much higher rate, for those times when I would go out and actually see a patient in their home. But they didnt know what the on call rate would be. I had calculated I needed $3/hr or $400/mo in order to cover what we lacked in our budget. I figured the job would pay better than $3/hr, but since its just an on call position, I wasnt sure by how much. I had told them, if the pay was more than $3/hr I would accept the job. Yesterday, they called back and wanted to change the offer. My heart sank as I listened to the lady tell me all of the things this new offer didnt include…”We have decided to offer a flat rate per day” she explained. “Instead of compensating for gas and mileage and on call and per visit, we have decided to offer a daily rate.” Sigh. I knew this was too good to be true, I thought. But then, then she told me what the rate per day was going to be. And I think I may have stopped breathing. The new offer, is for $220 a day. A DAY!!!! I can make in two days, what we need in a month! TWO DAYS! My paycheck alone, can cover all the recurring monthly bills! AND I can do it mostly from home!
Ive known ever since I went on medical leave in August that I couldnt afford not to work. But I also felt God was calling me to stay home and care for the kids. The pull to be home was so strong. But math doesnt lie. “We cant afford this GOD!” I told him over and over!
And here we are, Im about to start a job that I dont recall applying for, that allows me to be home with our kids, that allows me to be a nurse and that pays well over our expected need.
Ready for the rest of the story?
For several months, Darren and I have been discussing his job and what his future there would look like. We knew we needed more income if I was to stay home. We knew me getting a job was difficult with his unpredictable hours and never knowing when he would be home. We felt like the ebb and flow of money, that is farming, was making our budgeting impossible…and he just really wasnt sure being an applicator is what he wanted to be for the rest of his life. We started praying for direction. He talked with lots of different people about lots of different opportunities. We considered moving, we considered selling the house, we truly considered it all. When they found out he was looking, several people offered him a job. None of those offers would meet our families needs. The longer he considered a change, the more solid he felt in deciding change is what he wanted and what our family needed. He wanted to change careers and get back into construction, something he has dabbled in but never really made a career. Last week, he went for an interview with Blunier Builders. They pitched a great offer. They talked about helping him build a career, not just a job. They have stable hours, year round with a more predictable schedule. There is room in the company for advancement both financially and in new skill sets and responsibility. We talked about it, prayed about it, crunched numbers, crunched numbers again. This is going to work. So, today is Darren’s last day at Providence Ag. He has been there almost 7 years. They have been great to him. They have supported our growing family. Its a hard chapter to close, but a necessary one. Starting Monday, Darren has a new career!
For months we prayed and sought and listened and begged and just sat in confusion. For months, I remembered Jeremiah 33:3. I started to wonder, if the big guy upstairs was listening. I often prayed things like…”here I am again…kinda wondering the same thing I was yesterday….kinda waiting on an answer, if ya got one….cuz, like, the money is running out and uh….ya…im kinda on a time crunch here…”
I never expected a lightning bolt answer. I didnt really know what I expected. But the answer has come loud and clear. GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR OUR NEEDS. Our financial needs. Our emotional needs. Our marriage needs. Our parenting needs. I could be tempted to call it luck, but too many details are too perfect. Too many details that only God knows exist. Like my shift starting at 4:30 pm and Darren’s ending at 5pm, eliminating the need for childcare over the bed time hour, which was a huge, huge concern of ours and a specific prayer request. We had one more month of financial reserve. Just last week, I told God. “I can cover July…but then there is nothing left.” And in the nick of time, August and the rest of the months from here on out, are covered. Its too intricate to be luck. Its not luck. Its Jeremiah 33:3. We called and He answered in “unsearchable things we did not know”.
Last month we contemplated bankruptcy if I couldnt find a job in the next three months. Last month, I started exploring food banks and the idea of applying for food stamps and all sorts of other things because I wanted to be prepared for when the money didnt come. This month, I am rejoicing in provision of plenty! Not one need has gone unmet, despite what seemed a dire situation.
God does not provide for his children so they can be comfortable. God provides for his children so they can bring light and glory to his name. So, now, our prayers shift. Now, we pray to seek how we can be used. I dont want to give the impression that we will be “rolling in the dough”. Our income will still be modest and we will continue to live frugally. But for the first time in our married life, we may have just an inch of breathing room. For the first time, the budget will be in the black with no creativity. Of course we will build our safety net and pay down debts. But now we seek, how we can be good stewards. How can we serve? How can we invest? How can we give back? Im so excited to see what that answer might be!
So many times, we question the sovereignty of God, despite the fact that He has never left us before. Time after time, He shows himself to us, and yet, we question. So little faith. I wish I could put the feelings of my heart into words, effectively. Im humbled. Im empowered. Im loved. Im not worthy. I am blessed. God is good. God is sovereign. God has a plan. God will reveal that plan to us, in HIS perfect time when we seek him without ceasing.