I lost my job when I was 28. At the time I was the main income provider for my husband and myself.
We had no savings, no retirement to cash in, nothing. I remember crying on the floor of our home from the stress of worrying if we would lose our house. My husband and I talked about what we can cut out of our budget…turn off cable, reduce our insurance, clip coupons, reduce electricity and water use, and then we came to our tithe. It would be easy to stop giving to the ministry we supported, we needed the money, and it wasn’t a bill that we had to pay.
We talked, prayed and we decided it was important to continue giving 10% monthly to a ministry that God called us to help before I lost my job. I didn’t know how we would make it, we needed every penny, but we continued to give.
During this time a relative, who had no idea what we were going through, gifted us several huge gallon-sized bags of change she had been collecting for a couple of years. Having no children herself, she used to collect her change for me every year as a child and said she out of nowhere she looked at the bags sitting in her closet and just felt like she should bring me the change just as she did when I was a little girl. I remember sitting on the floor of my closet counting out the change—which in the end resulted in several hundred dollars—to pay our bills. We clipped coupons, paid our bills, and gave 10% to the ministry God called us to each month I sat on the floor and counted change to round out what we needed to get by, and every month there was enough.
During this time, I was going to interviews and trying to find a new job but as I watched the bags of change dwindle, I began to lose hope that it would hold out until I found work.
After nearly three months I counted the last bit of change to keep us going; I was unsure what we were going to do going forward, but I remained faithful, and it was just a couple of weeks before I was offered a job. We remained faithful and obedient, and God gifted us exactly enough.
Once again when I was in my mid-thirties we hit a financial slump; we had one of those seasons where everything that could break - did. We depleted our tiny savings to repair and replace all the things we needed; at the end of this season we were starting over, zero in savings and on a new and reduced zero-based budget —determined not to go into debt. Already in the first month, we were going to be $278 short if we donated to the ministry that we had been supporting for years. I will never forget sitting down with my husband and showing him the budget to tell him if we don’t tithe, we will have enough, but if we do tithe, we will need to put $278 on the credit card to make it through, and we know what that meant, then next month we would be short paying off the card, then as debt tends to do it snowballs from there.
We prayed out loud together for God to guide us, the next day we both decided it was important to be obedient to God giving the $278 to the ministry and go into debt for our monthly expenses, and we will figure out how to pay that off later. The next month I opened the mailbox to an envelope from our mortgage company. Contained was a check for $278.84; we had overpaid our escrow account for the year, and we were receiving a refund. We were faithful and obedient; we truly surrendered our finances to God, and he provided in supernatural and unexpected ways.
For nearly twenty years my husband and I have only ever had just enough to get by, we never went without, but we never had anything extra.
We have remained faithful in giving and I believe that is why God shows up for us in unexpected times. It’s not elaborate or in abundance, but always just what we need to keep moving forward.
I have never driven a fancy car, I live in a normal house, and I have almost always worked two jobs, but I have never gone without what I needed for the day.
Just as God provided manna for the Israelites, he will provide for us if we remember to choose him first.