Earlier this week my husband dropped off my car for routine maintenance, and he ended up leaving a couple grand lighter. This, of course, is the same week we had to call the vet to schedule a couple pricey procedures for our dear, aging pup. Oh, and did I mention I just went to the eye doctor to stock up on a year of contacts and ended up getting new glasses since my prescription changed? While we knew some of this was coming, the grand total included a significant amount of unexpected expenses. In spite of all this, God made sure His presence was known.
The very afternoon we took the car in for repairs, I stopped by the UPS Store to pick up business mail, and our box contained six law firm checks. I don’t think I’ve ever picked up more than two or three checks at a time. My husband also came home with another, so the very next day I deposited seven checks into our business account! I don’t think the number seven was a coincidence. In the Bible, seven represents completion or divine perfection. I took it as reassurance that God will provide for what we need.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7, 19 NLT
This is not the first time God made His provision for our family apparent.
For a grueling two years, I attended evening classes at the University of Houston to earn my Master’s of Business Administration while working full-time. One of the reasons I took this leap was that my employer at the time, Burns & McDonnell, had a tuition reimbursement program, which would reimburse me for the majority of the cost of going back to school as long as I continued working there three years after completing my degree. As I wrote about in “I Can’t Do It All: Why I Became a Stay-at-Home Mom,” I ended up quitting my job in May 2014 to stay at home with my son, Levi. That left me a year and three months shy of my tuition reimbursement commitment, so my husband and I were preparing to pay Burns & McDonnell back the prorated amount I still owed. Before my last day in the office, I was offered an opportunity to work part-time from home after a seven-month sabbatical. I jumped at the opportunity to have the best of both worlds and to not have to write that savings-depleting check.
Then on Levi’s first birthday in July 2014, we found out that we were expecting Alexia in March 2015. After great contemplation and prayerful consideration, I chose to not go back to work part-time that January. This was a test of obedience. I believe God called me to be a stay-at-home mom, and I was tempted to go back to work before God’s appointed time.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my temple. ‘If you do,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!'”
I scheduled an in-person meeting with my boss, so I could tell her about my decision. As a mom herself, she was incredibly understanding. I knew I would need to return to meet with Human Resources (HR) before the end of the year to tie up loose ends. Much to my surprise, I received a phone call from my friend in HR to schedule a bonus meeting immediately before my exit interview. Huh? I quit, and I still get a bonus? Who does that?! God, that’s who. God also worked through a generous and powerful woman, who just happens to be a Christian. I think she was listening to Him when she advocated for me.
Not only did I receive a modest bonus that helped immensely in paying our annual property taxes, but my tuition reimbursement account was considered zero. I did not have to pay Burns & McDonnell a dime!
That is God’s provision—following what He has called us to do without expecting anything in return. When we do, God’s plan prevails. This was part of His plan.