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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blessings and the Power of Prayer

Since becoming a Christian in early 1996, I have seen God do some pretty amazing things in my life. Have all of my prayers been answered? Yes. How can that be? Am I rich? Am I thin? No, I'm not but then again, sometimes God's answer is no. A very wise woman once taught me that and I have to remind myself of that point at times. God is not a genie in a bottle who grants wishes. Sometimes things have to happen a certain way and it's not for us to understand why - but someday we might.

As you all know, we have been struggling financially this year. Frank has not had a lot of work but, praise God, we had some money in savings that carried us through until this last month. Christmas was looking bleak and I was looking at ways to cut our already limited lifestyle back even more. It's not easy to do when you already don't have much.

A couple of weeks ago, actually it was the Sunday right after Thanksgiving, my church had their annual special service where it is all about thankfulness. Everyone is invited to get up and speak and share (briefly) something that they are thankful for that God has done in their life. I don't mind public speaking but I wasn't sure if I was supposed to get up and speak. I love to talk so I have to learn to differentiate between WANTING to talk and being led by God to talk - especially in this type of situation.

As the service went on, my heart started to race and I felt very anxious and it suddenly became very clear what I was supposed to get up and share. A little background for you: I am back at the church that I first went to upon moving to NC. It was where I became a Christian and stayed for 8 years. I left for personal (albeit selfish) reasons and after being away for 6 years, I am back. So I stood up at the mike and told how I was thankful to be back amongst family. That the people of this church have meant more to me over the years than I could ever imagine. How if it hadn't been for the love of my dear friend A.D. who made it her personal campaign to get me back in the church, I don't know how I would be handling life right now. I shared how I had lost two amazing women from my life this year who I miss terribly and with being unemployed for six months and Frank not having work, well, it was good to be among my Christian family who remind me always of God's provisions. That said, I sat down.

After the service, someone came up to me and offered Frank a job. A large job. A job that he's been at now for over a week and will (weather permitting) take him through the next two weeks. I had another friend offer him a similar job. And on top of that, the guy that he works with just got word on a job that will start up in early January.

Can I just say how big of a sigh of relief I am breathing right now? I don't always understand God's timing. But what I have noticed in my own personal experience is that when I acknowledge all that HE has done for me and how I trust in HIM, he gives us what we need.

My mom has a favorite song by the Rolling Stones - "You Can't Always Get What You Want". We always laugh because it is so true. The thing that makes life more tolerable, and to be able to truly see the blessings that come your way is when you realize the difference between wants and needs. I want Frank to have work - is a selfish statement. I might as well be saying I want a million dollars. But the reality is that we NEED Frank to work to provide for our family.

God heard of our need, and he met that need - by blessing us with friends who we love, who are now our family. I love you all so much and there aren't enough words to convey my thanks to you. I thank God for all of you.

*Today's Examiner.com article is on the Morehead Planetarium and the Star of Bethlehem show. You can read about it HERE. Thanks!*

9 comments:

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique said...

Lovely post ~ especially during this busy time of year!! Have a blessed day and week and month and new year!! :)) Thanks for sharing.

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

That is so, so wonderful! How great to have such a loving church family:)

jenn said...

So true. Thank you for reminding us all. And I am glad your burden is lifted, if only a little, so you can enjoy the upcoming holiday.

Petula said...

That's a wonderful testimony. I've never - well, that I recall - had an experience like what you're speaking of. Oh, I know I've been blessed. I don't have a church home right now & it's great to hear that you've found that back at your original family. Very cool.

I am so happy to hear that he has jobs lined up and offers - that's wonderful. I'm sure there are more good things to come to you that you need! And, hopefully, some that you want too. :)

Nani said...

God is good.......all the time...God is good!

Lynne said...

What an awesome story! You picked the perfect time to listen for God's instruction when he told you do get up and speak into the mic! God Bless you and your family!

FishHawk said...

Very, very good, and now He is using you as a blessing unto others.

Maitri said...

Stace, I visit your blog often, and read and have often wanted to stop and comment, but my mom finally lost her five year battle with cancer last Sunday and the year before has been very hard. But I had to make time to leave a comment because, as we know, God leads us just exactly where we NEED to be. :o) And at 2:49 a.m on Sunday morning, one week after Mom died, I read this piece of yours and it meant so much to me in so many ways I just can't thank you enough for taking time to write it.

Julian of Norwich, a Christian mystic in the 11th century once wrote "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." With God at our back, we know this is true, and I know that all will be well for you and yours as well. I'm sorry for the terrible losses you have suffered this year. I know only too well how hard it can be, but my mother was a woman of great faith, not afraid to die, and in the last week of her life she predicted her own death. I said, "How do you know Mom?" And she said, "God told me." So it's true that those who die are only being drawn closer to God. I hope that gives you some small comfort for the loss of your dear ones.

Blessings to you and yours this holiday season...

Maitri

Frugal Vicki said...

I loved this whole post. So many things were so beautifully written. We are like you that we were carried through. But each time it seems we were about to not be able to breathe, something helped us along. Not something, Someone. Beautiful post!