Some of you know that I’m usually a bit Grinchy at Christmas time. Since 2009 we’ve been stretched pretty thin financially. We’ve had some good moments but every Christmas has been a huge struggle and usually a bit of a sacrifice for us because we both love giving presents and we want them to be awesome. The fact that we just can’t afford to spoil our niece and nephew is a bit upsetting. This year was no exception. We told no one about our situation because we aren’t the kind to ask for handouts EVER. I wanted to skip Christmas but God had other plans.
A paycheck came in a week late for the second time this year (that’s another story) which put us in the red by a LOT. It made for a very scary week. We had very little food, no money for gas and the dogs were almost out of food. The gas is a big deal because at the time I was running service calls and that means I had to drive around all day. If I don’t work I don’t get paid PEROID. I cried and cried and cried for hours. Dave called me from work In the midst of my freak out and to my surprise he was coming unglued like I was. He calmed me down, prayed with me over the phone, and then he got back to work. During our conversation he urged me to spend some time in prayer. I spent the next few hours in prayer when I finally shut up and started listening God told me “I am going to take care of you. You know I supply all your needs.” The thing is that God doesn’t work in traditional ways, and as much as I know that, I am still surprised when he doesn’t make things happen the way I expect.
I was out running calls (I had fuel for that day) when I had a customer give me $60. Now I’m not supposed to take tips and have refused them and though I had a need I wasn’t about to take the money. I left and the man chased me down the street and told me he had to give it to me he didn’t know why but he couldn’t let me leave till he gave me that money. Ok God I get it. I’ll have gas for three days next week. God wasn’t done. I had two other customers who did the same thing but they gave me $20 each. BOOM! The gas money was covered and not a single soul knew about our struggle.
Then I got a call from my mom she got a Christmas bonus and wanted me to go by and get some cash. She didn’t know about our struggle she just felt that she needed to give us the $ and by the way Cheli this is not your Christmas present. It covered a bill. Then we ran out of dog and people food. In my searching the house for spare money I found a gift card for $100 to Target. I bought food sparingly cheap unhealthy stuff that makes huge meals that can last a couple of days. Our bank account came back in the black but it wasn’t huge. We couldn’t afford Christmas not even for the kids. Five days before the holiday and when Dave’s check came in we’d have enough to make and that was it. God had supplied all our needs.
Fast forward to Tuesday, I got a phone call telling me that a job I’d interviewed for was making me an offer and wanted me to start. Dave and I celebrated and decided we’d just have Christmas a few weeks after. The next night we were having a kid’s service and since I knew I was leaving the job I cut my day short so I could have one last Weds night at church and help on the bus. I went to church that night and my friend Vicki handed me an envelope that was addressed to “the Miller Family” since it was for the both of us I tucked it in my back pocket and almost forgot about it.
I came home from the church bus and got ready for bed, while changing I heard a thud. THE ENVELOPE! I took the envelope to our room and handed it to David. He looked at me and said “What is this?” I replied “I don’t know Vicki handed it to me”. David opened the envelope and just stared at it mouth wide open in shock. I looked at him and said “WHAT?” He pulled money out of the envelope and then a gift card. We both stared. There was a substantial amount of cash and a gift card for a nice sum too. We could afford Christmas. I cried for about two hours. God not only supplied our needs but gave us exceedingly and abundantly more than what we NEEDED. He gave us our Christmas.
We were happy just to make it. We were ok with no gifts for each other much less ok with not giving our families anything. God in his LOVE provided for us. It was love that provided the $60 from a stranger and $40 from two others. My mom in her love for me gave me $ that she should have kept for herself my parents aren’t loaded and they are doing their best to make it too. Several anonymous people heard God directing them to give us money or a gift card. (My in-laws who did know helped us with out too.) NONE of those people knew we were struggling and couldn’t make it on our own. They loved us enough to be obedient to God’s voice and give us some of their own hard earned money. They didn’t have to do it but they loved us so much that they did.
It’s a bit over two weeks and I’m still blown away by God’s love and the love of strangers, family and church family. Our church family is just getting to know us and they love us so much. That Sunday I talked to Pastor Jay and Debi and asked them to thank those folks. I thanked them too though they said they had nothing to do with it. Never in all my life have I felt more at home or loved than I do at this church. I thanked them because the heart of the church starts with the head of the church and our pastors are full of love. They have taught this congregation what love is through their example and in turn that church has a heart full of love for others. The church motto "Passion for God, compassion for people" rings true. For the first time in years my inner Grinch went away and my heart grew two sizes that day. Thank you anonymous donors, for reminding David and I are SO VERY LOVED.
Wanna Know more about my church?
Calvary Chapel AG
3822 Greenshadow Dr
Pasadena, TX 77503
Pasadena, TX 77503
Sunday 10:30 A.M.
Weds 7 P.M.