I was a teacher for 19 years. When I first started out, the pay was pretty skimpy, but after all of this time, I managed to build up a solid salary. I bought a house, I have a car, and I enjoy going out to lots of fancy restaurants.
For a variety of reasons, I’d tossed around the idea of leaving teaching for a few years, but job security, a good salary, retirement benefits, mortgage, car payments, and my enjoyment of expensive tasting menus always tipped the scales on my pro/con list.
God allowed me to go through an extremely difficult situation a couple of years ago. I’ll save that story for another time, but what I want to stress here is that God was faithful. I’m not talking about the theoretical, idealistic way we hope God is faithful. I’m talking about the kind of faithfulness that helped me overcome my unbelief. Yes, my unbelief. When you get right down to it, my unbelief is what kept me from trying something new. I didn’t believe God would provide for me financially, so I was scared to leave. I wanted to make sure I had the money I thought I needed. Oh, I believe the Bible when it says God will never leave you nor forsake you. I believe it means you, as in everyone but me. God showed me I was also included in that plural you. God was faithful to me. God remained with me. God poured his love out on me.
Since God showed himself faithful to me in that situation, I felt like I could trust him with more of my life. So in June 2013, I resigned and left teaching. I chose to believe that God would continue to be faithful and provide for me instead of relying on my ability to provide for my day-to-day needs and eventual retirement. It was a HUGE leap of faith.
God provided some consulting work so I could continue to pay all of my bills. I learned some new skills, got to play with social media, and I didn’t have to give up my house, car, or other major necessities. My consulting gig ended in January, so I started looking for a full-time job.
When I got my tax refund, part of me felt like I should hang on to the money since I didn’t know how long it would be before I found another job. If I kept the money, I could make sure my mortgage would be paid for a couple of months. Instead, I reminded myself of God’s faithfulness and I gave a full tithe from my refund.
Two days later I won a car. Really—I’m serious! I got one of those flyers in the mail from a car dealership. It said the smallest prize was a $5 gift card to Walmart. Shoot, I wasn’t working. I had time on my hands. I could certainly use a $5 gift card. I drove down to the Premier Nissan dealership. It turns out the number on my flier matched the grand-prize-winning number, so I won a car! I didn’t need a car, but I sure needed the money, so I took the cash prize. How’s that for timing? God totally provided for my financial needs again.
I shared my story at church on March 23. At that time, I felt like God was pointing me toward a particular job working for a nonprofit, but they hadn’t offered me anything yet. It had been over a month since I interviewed and everyone told me I should’ve been actively looking for something else, but I felt like God wanted me to be still and trust in His timing and provision. Three days after I shared my story in front of the congregation, I got the call.
I am now working for that nonprofit. The pay is much, much less than what I used to make, but God is good. He is still providing for all my needs. God knows exactly what I do and do not need. Yes, I’ve had to cut out a lot of things I’ve grown accustomed to, but I still have what I need, and more importantly, I have the security of knowing God is faithful.
I may have less stuff, but I’m more thankful for what I do have. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stretch out my big windfall, but I’m not anxious about it. Even if I need to make more drastic changes, I can rest in the truth that God will continue to provide for me. The more I see God’s faithfulness, the easier it is for me to trust Him. I choose to believe God will be faithful—to me.
Have you struggled with believing that God would provide for you, especially financially? Are there times in your life that you have experienced his faithfulness and provision?
Lorianne Lee didn’t grow up in the church. She accepted Christ in high school but had no one to mentor her. After she did the whole crazy college thing, Lorianne realized God was the only one who would never leave her. It was then Lorianne recommitted her life to Christ, found The River, and got baptized. She used to think once you became a Christian you would be all “fixed.” Not! Lorianne has been on a healing journey for most of her life, and she is quick to point out that God has been faithfully with her the entire time.