May 1st 2013 was the very last day either Grant or myself were “employed”. I had quit my job at the hospital just two months earlier and Grant’s last day at our church was on this day three years ago. This ranks up there as one of the hardest things we have ever done–quitting our secure jobs. We had no promised income at the time, only a command spoken by God deep into our marrow.
That night we handed out our very first commitment cards and received some back. Over the years we have handed out many more of those same cards and received many more back. When we were called to move to Lancaster and begin a ministry, it was very clear to us that it would take our full focus and trust. We were to lean on our Savior to provide our every need.
And He has.
We have very faithful givers who have not missed a beat since that day three years ago and we have those we have picked up along the way. We have been given anonymous donations and ones from long-time friends. We have received funds from both the rich and the poor.
We have also felt rejection.
We have heard that we have enough support already. We have heard that if we were only a non-profit they would be glad to give. And we have heard that donations were coming, but they never arrived.
But in the midst of it all, God has provided.
We have never (Not once. Not ever.) been without.
Even those times when there was only $0.11 in our bank account, it was always followed by a knock at the door with someone who felt the Lord telling them to bring us this money.
Or when we had an unexpected bill, it was always followed by someone who had a dream where they were told to give us this money.
Or when we had used up all our groceries feeding the kiddos who hung out at our house and someone came by with a car full of snacks because they felt the Lord was telling them to.
You see, He provides our every need.
If there is anything I have learned in these three years it is to TRUST that He is going to do what He promises He will do. It is a trust that goes deeper than I am able to explain. It is a learned trust. After obediently giving up security and comfort of a paycheck for the sake of God’s call on our life, we have learned that type of trust.
And this post isn’t only about monetary donations. Those are just the tip of the iceberg. If I were to add up all of the ways churches have provided snacks and toilet paper and hand soap and paper towels for The Connection I would be exhausted. And the times people have given of their time and talents to mow and build decks and storage buildings. And the times people felt led to pour a basketball court and paint our porch and donate soccer goals. And when Grant was given Panthers tickets so he could take a young boy to a game who had just given his life to The Lord.
And just this week we experienced it as well.
Wednesday, Grant called me with a surprise. He and the kids were in Rock Hill and wanted to meet me at any restaurant of my choosing as a celebration of my last day of clinical. My stomach spoke before my mind and I said Olive Garden! before remembering we had $8 in our checking account. I quickly apologized for choosing somewhere too expensive and told him I would be fine eating anywhere. With confidence, Grant said No, if that’s where you want to go, the Lord will provide.
Hesitantly, I met him there. I wanted to trust and relax and be able to enjoy myself, but I felt that we weren’t being good stewards of the cash Grant had in his wallet and I wasn’t very excited anymore. After we were seated, I made one trip to the bathroom with one child, came back to the table long enough to order, and not-so-surprisingly had to make another trip to the bathroom with the other child. When I got back to the table the food was coming out and the waiter had our bill in hand. When he laid it on the table he said, The people that were sitting beside you paid for your food and left you this note.
Dear Hinson Family, Just wanted to say “thank you” for all the work you do in Lancaster. It doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. Thanks for following God’s path for your life. ~Another Family in Christ
I could hardly eat my ravioli for the tears that kept flowing. We didn’t know the people who were sitting beside us who paid for our dinner, but God knew us both and knew not only our needs, but our desires.
He knows not only our needs, but He knows our desires.
Is God asking you to give something to someone? You may be who He is using to meet a need or a heart’s desire. You may be the one He uses to bless a family who is celebrating. You may be the one He uses to pay a bill. He may be asking you to stock a pantry for someone who is unsure of where they will get their next check from.
Three years ago today I would’ve never thought these stories would be mine. That God would use people we don’t know to meet our needs. That He would speak to people’s hearts to bless my heart. That He would orchestrate schedules in order to provide a blessing.
I am thankful that three years ago we took that step of obedience. We gave up security in ourselves for security in Him and we have never been richer.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19