A BIG Thank You goes out to all my "Chica Mama's" at Sonrise Bible Study of Kearney, Nebraska!
"This is not working out the way I want it..." thinking to myself as I reviewed the speech I was preparing for MOPS when my phone began vibrating its way across the desk. I picked it up and saw an unfamiliar number and answered it. "Heather, its Jean. Are you home right now?"
"Yep, the munchkins are down for their nap. Why?"
"Well I have something for you, I'll be there in a few minutes." After saying goodbye, I jogged up the stairs to hide any last minute messes and question what on earth she would have for me. I didn't leave my book at group this morning, so it couldn't be that. Then I felt a tugging in my middle telling me it had to do with the Writer's Conference and my prayer request that morning. Over the last week, my thoughts had become increasingly anxious about how I was going to come with the remaining balance to go to the Colorado Christian Writer's Conference in May and asked for prayer that NOTHING else came up financially.
Ever since my husband and I made the decision that we would go to the conference, life around the house hadn't been the same. The phone was suddenly ringing at all hours, people were always at the door. My computer kept crashing, losing anything I had written or researched. The kids were not napping their usual two hours. None of them were on a schedule anymore. Tori had grown more demanding and other 'things' just kept creeping into my usual quiet time that I spent writing and doing devotions. Thoughts of doubt began creeping their way into my mind, creating spiderweb of insecurities. My gift suddenly wasn't a gift anymore and writing was just a waste to time. I began to see myself as a silly housewife with a silly dream. The last straw was when the Starter on the van gave out, causing us to invest the $300 we had saved and put it towards fixing the van. "Great....just peachy! How are we getting to Colorado when we had to pay for this hunk of metal?", I hissed at Chris, laying on my back trying to ignore the images of the van crashing down on our heads as I helped hold that piece of metal better known as a Starter Chris was installing. I closed my eyes as the van swayed from the wind over our heads and suppressed any urges to scream and scramble out from under the van as Chris cranked on the bolts to tighten it in place....in case you hadn't noticed, I'm not a fan of small enclosed places, nor am I a fan of a 2 ton vehicle perched 8 inches from my nose, sitting precariously on makeshift blocks that could crumble at any given moment. I could just imagine the kids finding me and Chris crushed to death with a pool of milk surrounding us from my engorged chest... Later that day I emailed Jean, our teacher from Sonrise Bible Ministries for young moms and poured out my anxious thoughts. Little did I realize, God was using the hearts of these gals who I affectionately began to see as my sisters.
Jean stopped in and admired my recent overhaul in the living room. She loved the colors of the walls and painting technique and didn't seem to notice pieces of mac n cheese that plastered the floor under the dining table. She handed me an envelope with my name written on it and a message stating it was a "Love Gift" from all the gals at Sonrise. I began to cry when I opened the envelope seeing several 20 dollar bills in it.
"How could everyone afford this? Everyone is so tight right now, with their husbands losing jobs! And alot of them have medical expenses and so much more going on in their lives?" I cried and continued coming up with reason that I couldnt accept this gift, nor did I deserve it, as I started to realize there was over $200 bucks in that envelope. "Hey, how did you guys manage to get this together this morning?" I exasperated, wondering why the gals at group wouldn't look at me this morning...I had figured it was because of my new huge silver hoop earrings that I was hoping to pull off in a stylish fashion with my short hair...
Jean replied telling me that it was laid upon their hearts to contribute something to help make finances easier as so I could make it to Colorado."Heather, you have a gift. The girls see it and want to be a part of what God is doing in your life." I couldn't say anything else but cry and hug Jean before she left. I went into my bedroom, still in shock about how much these gals cared and began counting out the money. I had received a $100 scholarship and had paid $415 already; and needed $350. Right on the money, sitting in my hands was $360. The trip was paid for.
I felt a quickening in my heart as I prayed a thank you to our God who provides. Not only had this confirmed that I was meant to go to the Conference, it also confirmed a deep longing in my soul. At times I still felt like an outsider and in many ways insuperior to these women. I continued to carry the shame of my past and still thought my past reputation preceded me. I was so wrong. These women saw me for who I am and saw where God wanted to take me. Their gift not only changed the future, it also made me stand a little taller, a little prouder, and confirmed who I really am. This act of love is also an example of how the body of Christ works together to further God's Kingdom. God does answer prayer. He uses other fellow believers to carry out His plan!