The words I’ve come to regret the most when thinking are “You know, life’s going pretty good right now. I’ve got everything I need.”
It seems that every time I find my self saying those words, I find myself a few days later heartbroken, wondering why God doesn’t provide for me. Last week our financial aid came out for next year, I had already waited a day to open it, so I finally got up the courage to click the appropriate links and see how much money I would have obtain. It’s usually pretty lucrative and I’m always grateful. This year my financial aid was about 1/3 less than its ever been, which shorted me about 5 grand apart from the 13 grand I usually have to pay. I can be grateful, I mean, of the parents who don’t really chip in for college tuition, mine don’t make a lot so my financial aid is very generous. This was hard to swallow though, being so short aid, because I’ve spent the last couple months really focusing on giving my money to other people and praying a lot on how God wants me to give it away. There were even portions where I was emptying my entire wallet, writing checks, and God provided me with blessings in people’s lives of who I have to, allowing me to praise my parents, and providing for me as well. Suddenly now, it appeared that God had retracted his provision, which sent me into a panic.
What were my next steps going to be, how was I going to figure this out?
A long side of this I also began to feel the pressure of finding a job for the summer. The jobs I had begun to apply for were beginning to turn me away, and I was starting to apply for the jobs that have nothing to do with my career intentions which are really not even clearly defined. (I have an interview on Thursday for the Boys and Girls Club- pray for me!) So not only was I out a lot of money, but I was also out a job.
Along side of this I was beginning to feel some pain resurface from my past that I’ve been to busy to really dive into.
Now comes the “a few days later heartbroken” part where I just sat down and cried out to God, “Why aren’t you providing for me, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.”
In the past, I’ve taken time after this point, a long side prayer to do research and planning, call my mom, get advice. This time God wanted me to depend entirely on him. I had a scholarship banquet to go to on Sunday, but before I had decided that after the banquet, and seeing how much money I had received, I would start to make some calls and talk to some people. Unfortunately, or should I say, fortunately I had gotten the time wrong and showed up after it was over, became frustrated that I had missed it, and went back to my room to cry some more. (I’ve realized I like to pretend I don’t cry a whole lot, truth is I do.) My plan before making a plan had failed and now I was stumped. I began to remember how in the past, when I’m figuring something out, I’d often find temporary peace in having an alternative plan, but to this God had shown me I wasn’t actually depending entirely on him. (Fight or Flight, remember?) As I was walking and praying, reflecting on how that never works, I began to pray that I could depend entirely on God without a plan, regardless of any circumstances. I wanted my love for him to be solely dependent on the love he has for me, not on whether my needs were fulfilled or whether the right opportunities came a long, or even whether or not I had direction in my life whatsoever. I wanted to be able to love God unconditionally.
Later Monday night I was reading and praying and read a verse in Philippians 4:6-7 That said: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
After reading that I took time to pray and just tell God what I needed. Upon doing that I stopped and asked “What do I need, Lord?” The Holy Spirit replied, “All you need is me.” My requests for needs were deemed silly, because anything in this world that I need I have been given. I did ask that if being here in Ames and being involved here with the Rock is something that we (being God and myself) needed that he would provide the means to stay here. Next I started thanking him just for all he has given me thus far. Soon I felt free of that weight of not knowing if my God provides for me, there was peace.
Tuesday afternoon I received a automatic email from the Financial Aid office telling me that my financial aid letter was ready again. I looked. My five grand and them some was there, and today I picked up my Animal Science Scholarship as well.
I often feel foolish for doubting my God, but I laugh because he takes such good care of me… but sometimes I can’t see it until he gives me an opportunity to notice.
Proverbs 30: 7-9 (My favorite prayer, I think.)
“Two things I ask of you, LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.