My prayer was answered in such a specific way, and now all I want to do is give praises!
My husband and I have always been *pretty good* about managing our money. Granted, there are decisions I can look back on now and wish we'd made differently, but we've always had a savings account in place, and aside from the rare occasion we drew from it to help cover an unexpected expense, it was always growing little by little.
By the time I got pregnant, we were married, living in a small but nice apartment, had found our church and were tithing 10% of our income, he was working his current job bringing in about $3500-$4000 each month, and I had graduated college and started my career bringing home $2000-$2500 each month. Both of our cars were paid off, as well as my student loans. We were in a very good financial position in terms of being ready for a baby.
We had been debating buying a house, and once I was pregnant, we knew our apartment would be too small for our family. We found and fell in love with our house, and were moved in by the time I was 7 months along.
Then things took a turn.
In the last year and a half, we've had to buy another vehicle (mine died), buy a new rim and four new tires for his SUV, and have had other unplanned expenses; I was unable to breastfeed as planned because of previously-undetected medical issues, had to do a major repair on our home, etc. Before buying our home, I left my job to be a SAHM until our son starts school, and we bought our home knowing that we would need to live frugally in order to make it. Looking back, we didn't leave enough room for error.
Our mortgage is $1500/mo, which includes paying about $60 extra each month toward principal. Our son, as it turns out, was very sensitive in what type of formula he could take, which meant added expense, and my husband received a "promotion" that actually has become a pay cut because he is unable to work overtime in this position (but it does afford more opportunity for advancement). I recently started a part-time job to help make up the difference, but it hasn't been enough. This week, our savings officially reached $58.
Fast forward to present. We both got paid yesterday (him $1400, me $200), and our mortgage will be due the first, which meant I would need to pay the mortgage late and use these funds to pay all of our bills (utilities, homeowner's insurance, car insurance, phone bill,credit card that we had to use recently) and provide everything else we need for the next month. I babysat yesterday for a bit and used that $20 in cash to run to the store today and grab some small items. On the way home, my low fuel light came on, and I finally gave in and started to cry. I pulled to the side of the road and just let it out.
I realized that although we'd been doing charity work and helping others, I hadn't been truly humble in that I had an attitude that WE were doing well, WE were keeping ourselves in a good situation, etc. Then I prayed. I said "God, I realize why you've brought us to this place of uncertainty and what we are to gain from it. I am so incredibly grateful for this lesson, and that we've been able to learn this lesson while still having a comfortable home. I know YOU will provide for us, and have been all along. The things we have been 'going without' are so trivial in comparison to what you've given us, and I pray you will continue to keep us able to afford the home we are in."
I drove the rest of the way home, grabbed the mail out of the box, and started weeding through it (dreading finding any bills). There was an item from the bank we have our mortgage through, and my heart absolutely sank, thinking that it was some kind of bad news...
It was a money order for $2,045.23 as a refund for overpayment into our escrow (our property taxes were overestimated, and this much is left over)! I just broke down and said a prayer of thanks. I wanted to share this story with anyone who is struggling in hopes of showing people that prayer is a powerful thing.
Keep your chin up, be humble, and give it to God. He'll take care of you!
1 Peter 5.6-7:
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you.
Be strong and bold, have no fear or dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.
Please know that you are not going to shake my faith. I am open to respectful discussion, but bashing will just go unanswered.