Thursday, January 31, 2013

50 and Broke

I started my 50th year FLAT BROKE.

Like, really, really broke.  Jerry and I found ourselves on New Year's Day of 2012 literally crying over our situation - brought on by a perfect storm of our choices and economic circumstances beyond our control. (my husband is a Realtor, I think you get it).

We were the kind of broke that CAN'T BUY GROCERIES.  One day I absentmindedly prayed "God, I just need someone to show up on my doorstep every week with a box of produce."  Three days later, a neighbor rang my doorbell.  He was holding a huge box of produce.  I stood there stunned.

He said:  "Hey, my wife and I are involved in a food ministry and we have extra each week, so we thought we could bless your family."  What, seriously?  And so it began.  Every week, I kept getting boxes that looked like this.

And they kept coming, every week.  But then, they started having meat in them...and bread.

And it kept coming, until my freezer looked like this...(this is the garage freezer cause the indoor freezer was full ALSO)

We had too much food and we started giving it away to other adopted families from our church. We were all eating like KINGS.  Here's Thanksgiving...yeah, all free. 

Then, the car drama began.  Some of you might have followed the demise of both our autos on Facebook, but suffice it to say, we ended up with NO CAR.  

Here's the thing.  When the first car was gone, I started praying SPECIFICALLY for God to give me a mini-van.  Not just any van...I needed 8 seats.  I needed a HONDA ODYSSEY.   I even told our pastor "If someone gives a van to the church, it's for me."  (I can't believe I did that).  

The day the second car died, the kindest lady ever gave us her 15-year-old little station wagon.  We didn't exactly all fit in it, but at least we had transportation...the kids would squish and sit in the way back like the old days (Sorry if you are in law-enforcement.  We repent.)

But I just kept praying.  All summer, we drove around like clowns in the tiny clown car, and my sainted husband drove me to and from work every day.  But I KEPT PRAYING.  I BELIEVED GOD WAS GOING TO GIVE ME A HONDA ODYSSEY.  

One hot day, my old best friend from college found me on Facebook after 30 years!  For some reason, I bawled my eyes out to her and told her all about our brokeness and how we were eating donated food and didn't have a car.  So she calls me back and says that a lady in her church (several states away) is going to donate a van to us.  It was, of course, a HONDA ODYSSEY (and no, I hadn't told her that part).  


So, in case you think this is all just a coincidence, and that people are super generous to adoptive families (they are), I had very personal, private needs that you would NEVER guess.  For one thing, my teeth were falling apart.  I was very embarrassed by them.  My teeth were damaged as a child and the front ones are all cosmetic, but they were decades old and worn out.

There was no way I could afford to fix them.  Jerry started praying for God to give me teeth. It's written in his prayer book day after day in 2012.  "Lord, give my wife new teeth."  Well, by now you know where this is going.  One day a sassy older dentist I had never met saw me and said "I feel like I am supposed to bless you."  Voila...$7,000 of free dental work.  Yeah, that's right.  My God is that specific.  Here I am rockin the new pearly whites...ain't they pretty?

Next, my laptop got stolen and I cried (yes, I still lacked faith, right??).  A week later I got a brand new one sent to me...A MAC BOOK PRO!  Much better one than the one that the thief took.

It got almost crazy.  I needed sweatpants, prayed for some, and a neighbor came by with some that didn't fit her.

This goes on and on, but I won't make you read forever.  You get the idea.

On July 14th, right in the middle of it all, we decided to "just go" and pursue another adoption. We were still pretty BROKE at this point.  We surely did not have one penny for an adoption.  Guess what?  Next week, we leave for Uganda to complete this adoption...fully funded,  at $14,000.  Every penny we need was donated from places we never, ever could have seen.

For my whole 50th year, God just kept showing me OVER AND OVER AND OVER that HE would meet my every need, I just had to WAIT and TRUST and BELIEVE He would do it.

Today is my birthday.  I am 51.  We are no longer broke.  Our business is thriving and we are paying our bills.  I am not sharing all this to brag.  I am not good, I am not worthy.  I don't know why He has blessed me.  But I do know my God is awesome beyond all understanding.  He is REAL, and I would be remiss if I did not let you know ALL He can do.  God loves you and He is LAVISH.

He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.  Isaiah 30:19


Shauna said...

Jodi! Be-u-ti-ful! Glory to God who is our provider! Thanks for sharing!

Wanda Neville said...

Wow. what a wonderful inspiring testimony of how loving, generous, and kind our God is. There really aren't words. Thanks for sharing! and Happy happy birthday!
Love you friend,

lindsay rebecca frey said...

thanks for this encouragement!

jade said...

Oh Jodi! I just love this! Thank you for sharing! I love you and our FAITHFUL God!