Monday, January 6, 2014

Abundantly Blessed

2013 was a VERY tough year for our family.  Even though it didn't feel like it, God was with us every step of the way.  He brought healing from hurt.  He brought hope when everything felt hopeless.  He had a plan for every. little. thing.

It feels as though we lost more than just a life; we lost family and friends along the way.  We felt abandoned when we needed them most.  God brought wonderful things out of that, too.

We moved in September to a rental house in the middle of St. Cloud.  It's not where we necessarily WANTED to be, but God needed us here for SOME reason.  Shortly after we moved, our truck started having issues.  Turns out, we needed to replace our transmission.  The estimate we received to replace it was roughly $2,000.  This was certainly not in the budget.

Back up to the beginning of September.  Our church's Wednesday night program, RAD (Researching God's Word And Developing Godly Character) had begun.  I LOVED helping out last year and felt the need to do so again this year.  What was a truly wonderful thing hurt me. 

See, they didn't *NEED* my help.  They had more than enough.  Why would that hurt, you ask?  Well, I seem to need to be helping in some fashion in order to feel good about myself.  Yes, I know that isn't a good thing.  But it was what it was.  A friend had suggested I meet with their group for a bible study that was happening at the same time so I did.

Well, after the truck issue, I had asked for the group for prayers.  We had been going down a rough road lately and I felt the issues with the truck were going to do me in.  Within a week or two, the truck was no longer drivable and the kids and I were no longer able to make it to Wednesday night at church. 

Not long after, some friends of ours let us in a little something that some folks were going to do for us.  They were going to fix our truck!!  They wanted to make it a surprise, but figured we'd have an issue when our truck went missing.  :P

There was a problem, though.  I'm not used to receiving.  *I'm* the giver.  *I'm* the one who helps.  It's not the other way around.  I'm not good at asking for help and have a hard time receiving it.  I immediately thought, "how on EARTH am I going to repay them?".  Anyone watch The Big Bang Theory and know how Sheldon Cooper reacts towards gift receiving?  Yeah.  That's where I go....

The person who came to pick the truck up and eventually replace the transmission was the leader of the small group on Wednesday nights.  I can only speculate who the other folks are that pitched in but have a good idea. ;)

What an amazing thing that God worked out through this.  How incredibly blessed are we by this amazing group of people from our church?  How GREAT is our God?!?!?

Had I helped with RAD instead of joining the small group, these folks wouldn't have known our need.  Had we not moved, a great group of people wouldn't have helped us out.  I am in awe.

I have prayed for 2014 to be an amazing year.  I have prayed for God's direction and God's blessing on the next 359+ days. 

On January 1 our truck was fixed and home.  Silly me: I wait until the day before the coldest day of the year to take a picture. 

They were all FREEZING but I wanted a picture and they happily (kinda) obliged.

Everyone is SUPER happy to be able to travel TOGETHER as a family again.  While we were without our truck, a wonderful family from church borrowed us their sedan to use so we could all make it to church and family Christmas.

Before we were loaned the car, we had several families picking us up for Sunday school/church time, Wednesday night programs and bible studies.  We have been abundantly blessed by some terrific people at our church. 

Thank you ALL for helping us out in our time of need.  Even if I didn't ask.  Even if it was hard.  THANK YOU!!

The Cheerful Giver

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.  As it is written,

“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever.”

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.  For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.  By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others,  while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

2 Corinthians 9:6-15