As I sat on the couch today reading my daily devotion, I was reflecting on what it’s like to be grateful when you don’t have enough.
That statement may seem like an oxymoron to many but having lived through a season like this I know that it can also be true. It’s been quite a while now since I’ve had to face that kind of hardship, but sometimes the memories flood my mind when I reflect on what I have now.
Praying for Provision
We had only been in Kentucky for about a year and were renting a quaint (fancy for “small”) white house in a part of town that was full of beautifully restored older houses. It was right across from a nice city park, and the cutest little market that sold fresh organic groceries. I was working part-time for an insurance agent doing sales and my husband Matt was the youth minister at the Catholic Church where we lived.
All in all, things looked okay. Shortly after we moved we had our second child, Gemma. This meant me being out of work on maternity leave—and without pay for most of it, which led to some bills getting behind. I had never paid bills late before or missed payments, so I had been doing everything possible to keep things afloat. It was during this time that I realized we just didn’t have enough. I tried and tried but when something unexpected came up it would set us further behind. I paid what had to be paid in the order of importance: rent, electricity, gas, food, car, and so on. One night I laid in bed with my oldest daughter Addie and thought, I’m really grateful we have money to pay the gas bill. I know we’ll have heat tonight.
The thing was, I was really grateful. During that time, I learned to trust in God’s providence in a way I had never had to before. I really handed this situation over to Him and would pray for each need. “God, please provide enough money for birthday gifts for Gemma.” He did. “God, please provide money for new clothes.” He did that too. Sometimes it was for extras that I prayed, but mostly for the essentials.
He Really Does Provide
I remember each November I would work so hard to make sales that would provide a decent commission check for my mid-December paycheck. I knew this was one of the only ways we could buy Christmas gifts for the girls. I would also hope and pray that Matt would get his small bonus check from the church ($75 each year), so that we could use that too. And to my absolute surprise the first year we were there Matt’s grandparents sent us a $200 check for Christmas gifts for both us and the girls. Of course we used it all on them. But without it, there wouldn’t have been as much under the tree.
Time and Again
What I learned in that time is that God provided in each circumstance in ways I never could have imagined. It brings to mind this Bible verse: “Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
God kept proving this to me in many different ways. One time, it was a check from a family friend in a Christmas card. Another time it was a church family that wanted to bless us for Matt investing in their son in a special way. It was something that I just couldn’t have thought or predicted, but it came through at the time we needed it. One family (still to my shock), gifted us their old minivan so we would have a bigger vehicle for our girls to travel in!
So, today as I reflect on those very difficult experiences I also see God’s great love and faithfulness. I can see how it also made me so much more grateful for the necessities I had that felt like luxuries at the time. And truly, I still try to carry this perspective through my life. Because there will be times of excess and times of less, but the true blessings are the ones that don’t cost anything anyway. They are the ones we hold in our hands and our hearts and will always carry us through.
Rebecca Rochette is a wife, mom, and part-time marketing assistant and student. She is currently finishing her degree in Business and Professional studies. Her passion is good coffee and sharing her Catholic faith through writing and being active in her church and kids’ school. She resides with her husband Matt, her three daughters, and dog Rocky in Bangor, ME.