Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Now You're Just Showin' Off"

"God is a Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows..." Psalm 86:5

An amazing (and almost comical!) account of some ways God the Father has provided "money and manna" in my life:

1. My mom told me she would support my choice of a college, but that she couldn't contribute financially. Given those circumstances, choosing to go to a school that cost $40 thousand a year seemed pretty crazy. Mom, Grandma and I prayed about this- I asked God for lots of clarity. "If you want me to go here, please provide all the money" (In the back of my mind I was thinking, "time to start looking at state schools!") The day before I had to sign my commitment form for Westminster, however, my mom called me and said "the school just called and offered you two more scholarships. You now have a thousand dollars more than you need!" Even my books were paid for that year, by my loving Father who had made His will abundantly clear (and had a good time doing it!)

2. My junior year of college, I had to move off campus. This meant I had to find pocket money to pay rent because it couldn't come out of scholarship funding through the school. In May I started praying and in June my grandmother called me and said, "some real estate funds of your father's that have been tied up for years finally came to your family. We're going to give you a portion of it to do with what you feel is best." The amount was about $10,000- just enough to pay rent for the next two years.

3. I was blessed with two part time jobs during my first years at college, and I saved 5 thousand dollars to buy a junker to get me to and from NJ for school. Then one morning my uncle- my father's surviving brother- called and said, "I matched the amount you saved (actually he about tripled it) and bought you a brand new car!" For 5 thousand dollars, I got a 2009 Toyota Corolla and it is serving the King family very well right now.

4. My senior recital budget was pretty slim. My family was coming from out of town and I didn't want to burden them with the task of preparing food, but we definitely couldn't afford catering. Some people at my church, however, asked my mom what her "recital budget" was for the reception. She said about $75 (she's so good at saving money to help her children.) The people at the church took her $75 and gave us a catered and beautifully decorated reception that would have easily cost a thousand dollars. And they gave us a free space for me to sing in, and they recorded the whole thing for free (people in the singing world know what a big deal all this is!)

5. I got to wear a gorgeous, perfectly fitting, designer wedding dress- for free. A friend lent it to me! Another friend offered to cater and host our rehearsal dinner for free, and host our wedding reception. For free.

6. Are you laughing yet? It gets better. In Dallas, our first week here a family offered us a brand new apartment right next to their house- for free! Not least, I was offered a job at the seminary (making our only having one car actually possible) where Michael and I can both have full health benefits, I can make my own hours around any classes I want to take- for free.

This is just one of the many ways God works. He puts compassion in the hearts of others- they generously give- we are blessed in very specific ways that only God could have known and orchestrated in advance- we brag on God- others are encouraged!

To quote a lesser theologian, Jim Carey says of God in the movie Bruce Almighty, "now you're just showin' off." I'd say that's how I feel too, sometimes :)

If you have a story of God's excellent provision, share it here! Or if you have a need and would like prayer, post that! Or email me.

1 comment:

C.Q. said...

A miracle from my life:
After I renewed my vows to Christ this past summer, I could tell that doing a semester abroad in Rome would be a true test of my faith and integrity. I had no friends in the program prior to departure, but I prayed HARD that God would bless me with Christian fellowship overseas so I would not be discouraged and would continue to grow in my faith. Semesters abroad are notorious for being 4 months of drinking, sex, and acting on "self-discovery," which often translates to pure selfishness. This would be an impossible test without the help of God and a few strong brothers and sisters.

At the end of the summer I made my way to Italy to start Temple University's Rome program. I was nervous to say the least, but I knew God would provide one way or another. He would not let me walk alone. I could never have imagined just how much he would provide...

Shortly after I moved into my apartment for the semester I discovered that my roommate, Bethany, was the Christian daughter of not one, but TWO pastors. I nearly squealed when I saw her unpacking her Bible and placing it on her nightstand!

The next blessing came when I met an ultra-sociable girl named Lauren who just wanted to be friends with everyone - so outgoing, so kind, and genuinely accepting of all. I had mentioned to Bethany that I was aching to start a Bible study, but didn't know who would be interested or how I should go about it. Neither of us really knew anyone else in Rome...but Lauren, God bless her, introduced me to several girls from the Christian group at Temple, who just happened to live across the hall from me. WHAT?!

After I had met 9 or 10 other Christians within the week, we started a Bible study that carried us through the semester, sharing in God's word and encouraging each other to seek Him daily.

But there was one piece still missing: I didn't have a church. I think we all know how this turns out, though...

I had decided to do some volunteer work at an English-speaking church near Piazza Barberini. Admittedly, I was having a terrible morning and didn't want to speak to anyone when I entered the sanctuary to start packing lunches for refugees. I was wallowing in so much self-pity that I didn't even TRY to start a conversation with anyone - but, thanks be to God, because a woman named Sandra saw through my teary eyes and miserable disposition and invited me to her church that Sunday. She said they were just starting a youth program and I should check it out.

Now, I had ALSO been praying for an opportunity to serve God musically, as that is my preferred method of praising Him and I think He has given me several gifts to share in that regard. The script couldn't have been written any better: I joined Sandra's church and they asked me for help leading the youth in worship. The way everything played out so perfectly, it was like a wonderful fairytale...but at the same time, it felt like living for real.

I'm leaving out a whole bunch of other things that I can't even express in words. Those will have to wait for another time. Suffice it to say that throughout the semester God built up my faith, broke it down, and built it up again. When I came to him in prayer, He gave me friends to share all the joy, pain, love, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. I let Him take the wheel of the car that I kept crashing and now it finally feels like a smooth ride - still with occasional bumps, of course, but it is so comfortable in the passenger's seat when you really trust the driver...