In the time since Hubby has not worked, my faith has been tested and I have learned many things about myself. What I thought was faith turns out to be false and I have realized the true meaning of faith. I have come to understand more about myself than I ever thought I could at this stage in my life and I have also learned how family and friends rally together to help each other out.
I always held to the belief that things happen for a reason, that there is a lesson to be learned when something happens. Might not always see it at the time, but after the fact, you can reflect and the reason becomes clear. I thought there must be a lesson in what we are going through, why Hubby is having a difficult time in finding steady work and why we are going through our savings to continue to support ourselves. I thought it was because maybe we were being too frivolous with our money and over consuming when it came to material goods. Maybe we were to learn how to be more thrifty and re-purpose things and learn to make do with what we had. Perhaps we needed to teach our girls that they didn't need more plastic toys to have fun, but to show them a world of imagination that exists when they put it to use.
When Hubby turned negative and started to despair, I'd tell him to have faith and things will work out in the end. I realized that we both had a different understanding of what faith meant and until we met on the same level, nothing I could say or do could ease his woes. Somehow, during the last couple of months, our faith has crossed paths and we are now on the same page. We have realized that God has taken care of us all along, that we already have what we need. What we despaired for was what we wanted and once we got over that, once we found that we have everything we could possibly need, an inner peace has come over us and we are now a much happier family.
My Mother in Law is a faithful church-goer and has gone to her church with the wish that they would pray for Hubby and I. She asked for them to pray for us and they have done more than that. Her church has gathered some funds and then asked us for a grocery list and bought us enough food to stock our pantry to over-flowing. Hubby, at first, told his Mom that we were not "charity cases" and we are not standing with our hands out asking for help. She told us that the church just wanted to help and that it was something they always did. Yesterday, we picked up all the groceries and it just blew us away at the amount of food they gave us. I am truly grateful for their kindness and thoughtfulness and it was another example of how faith works. Also an example of what goes around, comes around. How many times have we given food to food drives? How many times have we shared extra boxes of food and juice to local shelters? And now, when we need help, when we are low on items, someone shares what they have with us.
Every time we have needed something, our faith stepped in and provided. When we needed money to pay the bills, something sold extraordinarily well on eBay to cover just the amount we needed. When we were getting low on wood and the chainsaw wasn't working, a friend calls and tells us to help ourselves to firewood left on his property. When we discovered we needed to buy a new hot water tank, family members offer to pay for a replacement. When we got behind on bills and car payments, our tax refund came to the rescue and we paid off our credit cards and caught up on car payments. Working for our friend at the consignment shop takes care of our children's clothing needs and helps us sell our own items for money we will need to pay the car insurance bill coming up.
This is how He works. When you need something, He will provide for you. But when you want something, something that is not needed, He isn't going to do that. This is where our faith wavered until our eyes opened up and we finally understood that. We also know that in order for Him to help you, you need to get off your butt and do the work. You need to prove that you are willing to work for it. I once saw Joel Osteen tell a story on his Sunday show that explains this perfectly. A man moans that he is not well but cannot carry himself to the healing waters. Day after day he moans for help and shakes his fist at God for not helping him. Other people make every effort to bring themselves to the healing waters, they concoct some sort of wagon to wheel themselves around or painfully limp, step by step, to get help. As they finally reach the healing waters, they were cured of whatever ailed them. God rewards those who help themselves. I understand this now. You will get nothing if you do nothing.
As you celebrate Easter today, remember the reason for it all. Thank Him for what you do have. Be gracious in your prayers and remember others. Most of all, be happy and love one another.