Two years ago, around 1:00 AM, my phone woke me up. It was a text message from my neighbor. He had come home from work and heard my car alarm. He went outside to find a tow truck taking my car away. He tried to talk to the guy to get more information but he was only told to call the police department. He took a picture of the truck and attached it to the text message. I thanked him for his efforts and for letting me know.
This was not a shock to me. I had lost a major client earlier that year. Before losing the client, my income was barely covering my expenses. Now, my income was cut in half. I had fallen behind in my car payments as well as other major obligations. I knew that repossession was a real possibility but I kept hearing a promise God had made to me a year after I got the car. “You will never be evicted. You will not lose this car to repossession.” That’s a bold statement to hear. It’s also questionable. It’s one of those statements that should make you evaluate if you’re just hearing yourself or really hearing from God. I had asked myself that question a few times but my spirit was very loud and clear. YES. You heard Him correctly.
So, that night, when I walked out to my parking space, why was it empty? Well, duh. Because you had not made the payments.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse…Prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes…” -Malachi 3:10-11 KJV
I walked back into my apartment, feeling as empty as the parking space. I sat down on my tiny sofa. My body was suddenly paralyzed with a flood of emotions. Fear, anger, frustration. I had done what God told me to do regarding employment. I gave him his tithes and my offerings. I never did it out of obligation. I gave because I love Him so very much. Yet, I had plenty of room to receive these blessings he was supposed to be pouring out. An empty parking space was proof that the devourer had come. However, the most infuriating aspect about this whole ordeal was that somehow, I knew there was no need to panic. As angry and as frustrated as I was, my spirit repeatedly screamed, “God is real! You are not crazy!”
I knew I would get the car back. Two days later, I did.
Well, yesterday morning, it happened again.
There is so much shame attached to financial hardship. This is especially true for those of us who are intelligent and do not spend money frivolously. People, like us, we hide our issues from friends and family because we’re supposed to be the smart ones. The responsible one. We don’t post false narratives about our lives on social media. We simply avoid people and situations that could lead to conversations about money. We avoid people until we have no choice but to ask for help.
The reality is that I have been struggling financially for years. My income just has not ever met my expenses. Thankfully, I still have a roof over my head, though I have received an eviction notice or two. Food has been in my kitchen, though sometimes it has been scarce. I’ve come dangerously close to losing my mother’s home. My only consolation has been that I do not have children in the midst of this. The thought of not being able to provide for my child scares the crap out of me. It leads me to pray for all the parents that are desperately trying to provide for their children.
I have asked for help in the past. I hated it. I felt pathetic and stupid and mostly ashamed. The friends that have helped me have definitely been supportive. They could have been God’s way of helping me through this time. That’s great. But I’m over it.
God made promises to me. He gave me specific instructions about my life that I have tried my best to follow. He has asked me to trust him over and over and over again. I have. But I feel like I have nothing to show for it but a $5 balance in my bank account and an empty parking space. Let’s not forget the fact that I have no career, no husband, no kids with no chance of having any. I’m tired of living like this. More accurately, I’m tired of living this life of faith that he has called me to live. How do you explain some of the things you do or don’t do? It’s crazy. It’s delusional. I’m feeling like,
“It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty?” -Malachi 3:15 NIV
Yesterday I walked back into my apartment from the empty parking space and did something that was probably very foolish. If it is, then call it frustrated foolishness. He said test him so that is what I’m doing. As I write this, I realize that I gave God an ultimatum. It’s crazy but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how to believe anymore. So, I told him that he has to solve this. He has to get this car back. If he really said that I would not lose this car to repossession, then it is on him to get it. He has to provide the money to get it back. For me, this means that I am not asking any more family and friends for money. I’m not putting this on anyone else again. It’s on Him. I need to clearly see God’s hand here. I have no doubts that God can do this. The question is…Is he willing to do it? If not, then I have some very big decisions to make about my life and our relationship.
To be continued…