It was in the mid to late 1990s that I had the worst financial struggles as a single mom raising three teenagers alone. I had no family support, and an ex who refused to pay child support. I worked multiple jobs, yet still could not fully provide for my family. One winter, the temperature dropped to the single digits. My teenage son, who normally, proudly walked around in shorts and a T-shirt in the winter, begged me for a winter jacket to replace the one he had long outgrown.
I was far behind on paying my utility bills. The credit cards I relied on to buy groceries, gas, or sometimes pay utilities were full. One evening, overwhelmed with the desperate situation, I tearfully sought out God’s help in spite of the anger I felt towards Him over our drastic situation. After several years of extreme poverty, I saw no relief in sight. I was physically exhausted, mentally spent, and spiritually tired of God’s silence.
“You know the weather’s frigid, and Jonathan badly needs a jacket. I need to pay bills. Why don’t you help us? You know how hard this is. I can’t go on working so many jobs. God, Please! I need $500. No matter how hard I try, I am just not qualified for a better paying job. Just $500! Please!” I had been crying to the point I could barely draw another breath.
“Maybe, I should get a job as bar tender, where I know I can make better money!” I threatened between sobs of angry frustration.
Suddenly, in spite of my intense emotions, I felt a warmth, an immediate sense of peace wash over me. In my mind, I clearly heard, “Let me show you what I will do for you.” I heard this twice. I fell asleep with a sense of calm in my spirit, though I was not sure what it was He would do.
God had amazed me with many miracles of love before. Each time, I gained a deeper sense of awe for Him. The next day, I received a call from my daughter’s, friend’s mother.
“Elizabeth, the kids save their tithes till the end of the year, then choose a family to give it to. This year they chose yours.” She promised to drop it off at my work. I was speechless. I figured, kids’ tithing, maybe $100 dollars at best. If so, I could buy Jonathan’s jacket and maybe pay a bill. My pride over accepting charity had been shot long before.
The next day, she gave me a thick, sealed envelope. I could feel coins, and assumed the rest were dollar bills. “I hope this helps,” she said.
I thanked her profusely, and tucked it away. Unable to resist my curiosity, I went to the bathroom to see. The $564 in that envelope took my breath away. I had been angry, blaming God for my problems, thinking He didn’t care for the hundredth time, yet His love and faithfulness abounded even though I was resenting Him. God answered my prayer for $500, then threw in $64, the exact cost of Jonathan’s new jacket.
Praise God from who all blessings flow!
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian ©2013
10 responses to “Providence For A Hardened Heart”
Isn’t that just like God? Love this…sorry, “Like” just doesn’t quite express it! Thanks for sharing this today!
He is pretty amazing!
Love, love, love this! What an amazing and gracious God we have! Why didn’t He give you the money earlier? Why put you through all that? But you wouldn’t have cried out to Him the way you did. You probably wouldn’t have specifically asked for $500. His specific answers to our specific prayers shows us that He truly hears us. Thank you for sharing this!
What’s even more amazing to me is that I was terribly frustrated and had a rebellious streak at that time, yet Merciful, Graceful, Abba God still heard my cries, and answered my prayer! He gave above and beyond what I asked because he also saw my son’s need!!!!
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful post! You absolutely made my day with this one — thanks so much for sharing!
I remember when my three older kids were small, I wanted to get them each a set of the bright-colored sweats from K-Mart that were so popular. I wasn’t working so I had a secret jar that I kept money in, but somehow each week something would come up that took the money right back out. Then with no notice or explanation, my wonderful mother-in-law sent a gift card from K-Mart that covered the amount. She said she had been thinking about me one night, and heard a voice telling her that I needed this. I sewed appliques onto the little sweatshirts, and the kids handed them down one to another, finally putting them onto favorite teddy bears when they no longer fit. I’ll bet your son loved that jacket just as much.
By the time child #4 came along, we were in a much different place financially. We could afford to buy her clothes from department stores, but she loved those (no longer so bright) sweats too.
What a beautiful story, Barb! And what a blessing for you and your family that your mother-in-law was sensitive enough to listen. Now your children have a treasure that was made possible by their grandmother’s generosity. My son knew where the money came from. He was very grateful. We chose a larger size just to make sure he had it for a couple of years, which is good becaue he grew to be 6’2″!
She was even more amazing than that. I never told her about the “sweats fund”, but she was the most incredibly intuitive person I’ve ever met. I miss her so much.
You were very blessed to have had her in your life! What a wonderful legacy for a mother-in-law!
What a wonderful testimony of God’s love and concern for us! Love how he worked through people you knew. 🙂
Our God is an Awesome God! Sometimes, when I find myself in the midst of accepting my own pity-party invitation, I am grateful to be able to reflect on those times He has been so amazing!