In June, Chris and I began preparing for our move back to Memphis. It meant selling a home and preparing for the unknown.
Having had our belongings in storage for 15 of the previous 20 months, and knowing more storage was in our future, we decided to sell much of our non-essential furniture. After each sale, I put the money in an envelope and with each sold item, I quietly resolved that this would be money for our kids for Christmas. If all else failed in our return to Memphis, our children wouldn’t have to feel the impact of our financial situation.
Several times over the last few months, I’ve seen that envelope and weighed whether or not I might need to use the money.
In November, after praying and researching housing options for our time with all four of us in town over the holidays, I remember crying and telling Chris how important it was that our family could be normal over the holidays. I knew that where we were living couldn’t house all of us and I didn’t want us to be split up. (If you’re a parent, you likely know that you’ll go to great lengths to bless your kids.) I had prayed and prayed and still couldn’t see a solution. I contemplated using the envelope to pay for an Airbnb.
Then the Lord opened up a few kind offers and, before we knew it, the Lord overwhelmed us with a beautiful two-bedroom furnished apartment for the entirety of our kids’ Christmas break. We could be together. Even Mo, our four-legged child, could join us! The envelope managed to stay untouched.
When the kids came home from college, we ran into a bout of COVID that meant more unexpected expenses and adjustments. Just in time, a gift would make its way to us. Still, the envelope was kept off limits… and on Christmas morning, we were able to bless our children with several gifts and a portion of the money in the envelope. More than that, we were able to tell them the story of God’s faithfulness.
Little did I know what that envelope would teach me.
As we start 2021, I want to encourage each of you… regardless of where you are in your faith and your finances. There have been tears along our journey. There have been days, weeks, and months where we had to simply trust that God saw us because we couldn’t see a solution, a purpose, or His provision. We had to exercise our muscle of faith in a way that stretched us.
You need to know that He does come through. He is faithful. That doesn’t mean you aren’t tested or that there won’t be times you don’t understand. It does mean, however, that this season… this time of strain… this hardship… is not forever.
Like many other things with God, there is a partnership. God offers to save us, but we must acknowledge the need for a relationship. God forgives us, but we must ask. God waits for us, but we must turn to go back home.
Our finances are another area where God invites us to partner with Him. I was blessed to grow up in a home where financial stewardship principles were modeled and taught. From the first days of our marriage, Chris and I have tithed and saved for our children’s college. What God has done to protect us and provide for us through the trials of starting and leading one church, a wilderness, and now as we enter this second season of church planting has made us incredibly grateful and confident that following God’s plan for His resources is life giving.
He is faithful. If you need some help to have peace in your finances or your faith journey as you start 2021, please reach out. We would love to be part of helping you find the freedom and faithfulness we have experienced.