This is a rather long blog, but it is worth the read I promise. It has been awhile since I have posted, and it is time that I catch you up on what the Lord has been doing. The last couple months have been full of insane transition, and the transition isn’t over yet. But before I share about the transition, I need to share about a previous one. Two years ago, our family of seven experienced an unexpected transition into the workplace. My husband and I had been in full time ministry for quite a few years and other than a part time nanny job that I had during a portion of that time, we were focused on ministry and raising our family. However, as you probably know, being in ministry typically means relying on the people you pastor to provide for your needs. Our little congregation went through a couple of transitions itself and we lost quite a bit of our financial provision because of the changes.
At the beginning of that transition, we were led by God to trust Him for provision even though we never knew what our paycheck would be from the church. For several months we lived paycheck to paycheck, never knowing if it would be $1000 or $300 or $0. One time I remember we received word that our paycheck was $0 for that pay period, and I remember thinking “God, are we in the wrong place? I know you brought us here, but how are we supposed to provide for our family?” We chose to believe that He had the provision and was bringing it to us. Lo and behold, I checked our bank account that day and an unexpected amount almost exactly what our paycheck should have been had been transferred to our account from the college where I was a student. I called the college and discovered that a grant had been held back from me and just that day the funding had been released. I didn’t even know I had qualified for the grant! God was so GOOD, even in the midst of the pressure we felt all around.
Right before Christmas of 2014, Seth was in the church office seeking the Lord on what to do, and the Holy Spirit spoke to him to go to the temp service a few doors down and apply for a job. The Lord told Seth this job would last two years and he should make a two year commitment. We had been in a holding pattern for about two months with little pay from the church, but had not wanted to move without the Lord’s instruction. He applied there and immediately was accepted and had a job the next day in I.T. work which was something he was quite comfortable with doing. In a matter of moments our life turned upside down and we were back in the workplace. Seth was now doing 80 hour weeks or more between juggling the church and his job, and I felt the strain of my studies and trying to help him in areas that he no longer had time. As time went on, the children felt the change as well because they saw less of daddy and felt the stress of mommy taking on so much.
The next December, we were in the same holding pattern, except I had been taking some cleaning jobs with a friend here and there to help supplement our income, and referrals began to spread about our work. Suddenly, we were presented with a growing interest in our cleaning skills and we began to consider opening an official cleaning business. In February, we opened Radiant Shine Cleaning LLC, and became official partners in business. Over the last year, the business has grown through referrals and no marketing on our part besides a Facebook page and our business cards. We got to the point where we needed help and so we decided to expand and hire employees. God began to birth a vision of helping other moms through our business, and also helping mission work and the poor. This vision is still a work in process. In the meantime, our children were suffering more because not only was daddy working nonstop, but now mommy was working hard too. Thankfully, God took care of our church and raised up people who loved on one another and supported us through this time, but there were many areas that were difficult to put attention on because of how busy we were. We began to enter a place I would call “Survival Mode.”
Daily, Seth and I would cry out to God and ask Him if we were still in His will, and if we were going to make it through. I began to realize how much I needed support and family, and how raising a family truly takes a whole community. The answer was always, “Yes, you are right where I want you, and you can do it! Don’t give up now. Don’t stop.”
As December 2015 rolled around, we began to feel that stirring that only God can bring. Two years of work was almost finished. Now what? Nothing had changed financially for the church. Were we supposed to keep going? We knew we couldn’t continue at the pace we had been going. Seth had been in the emergency room at one point because we thought he had a heart attack. He was struggling with high blood pressure and I was an emotional roller-coaster. We felt that God wanted Seth to quit his job January 1, 2016. The two years of work for him was over. Then we found out that baby number 6 was on the way! What the heck was God doing? We are now a family of 8 and the Lord is instructing us that Seth should quit his job. This meant 2/3 of our income as a family would be gone, and we weren’t making a lot as it was.
We had to make a choice. Either we were going to take a leap of faith and do this thing the Lord was telling us to do, or we were going to have to give up ministry and the church, because we both knew that trying to do both was going to give us an early death if we continued at the pace we were going. We decided to leap! The most amazing thing happened. Money began to flow in from different places. We were able to pay all of our January bills by January 3rd. It is January 23, and we have already been able to pay over half of our February bills. This never happened even when Seth was working. Our bills would get paid but not til close to the end of the month. God was confirming our faith. He still is.
This past week has been TIME TO REVIVE in Sarasota. We have been committed to being a part of it. If you haven’t heard about it, check it out and hit the link above. The first day Seth was there, a complete stranger walked up to him and gave him $100 saying the Lord told him to give it and that there was much more coming. The next day, I opened some mail and a check for $144 came from our escrow account because we had overpaid. Seth went to get a sweatshirt from Revive and said he felt bad because he knew he probably shouldn’t spend the money for the shirt but he was cold and out doing outreaches. A man in line with him asked if he could get a sweatshirt for Seth. And then he asked Seth “Do you have a wife? I would like to get her one too.” God provided. The next day a friend of ours handed Seth $20 because the Lord prompted her to, and he was able to buy Frosties for the outreach group and a couple guys later that day. Because of that opportunity, he was able to share the gospel and pray with those guys, who later confessed that the money they had they shouldn’t have been spending on a Frosty because it was the money they needed for the Salvation Army and breakfast the next morning. Who knew $20 could go so far?
Our story is far from finished. There are many things we are processing right now and praying. But since we took the leap of faith there has been nothing but confirmation and blessing. My burden has been lifted and I have great peace. Our children are getting more love from us and life is an exciting adventure. I am sharing this today to spur you on in your faith. If the Lord is beckoning you to a transition and it seems scary, do not hold back. He is a Big God and He will follow through with His promises. Your obedience will bring breakthrough in your life. Your transition will be followed by provision. You will find yourself in a season of the miraculous if you step out and obey. It could be a small transition. Or, like us, it could be a life altering transition. Whatever it is, if God is behind it, you CANNOT fail! You will succeed in all you do. Be bold! Be brave! Be strong! Follow the Lord wherever He leads you!
“Time for Miracles Message Shows Faith in God” by Stuart Miles
“Rescue” by Fanstasia
“Outlive Yourself” by maulshri.com