I apologize for the length of this post…but I had to share this story…Today for Wonderful Wednesday, I want to just thank the Lord! Along each step of this self-publishing journey He has opened (and closed) doors and provided just what I needed when I needed it. I want to share with you one example of this amazing provision from the Lord and hope it encourages you as much as it has encouraged me!
As I have taken each next step for this self-publishing journey, I have asked the Lord to direct my footsteps and to show me what to do. One part of this journey was having the money to be able to print the books. After much counsel and prayer, it was decided that we would need $3,600 to print the books.
Last fall when I was looking at needing that amount of money, Dustin and I decided that we would borrow the money,but rather that I would use money I earned from directing weddings to pay for the book expenses. And the Lord provided four weddings to do in 2016 – two in March and two in the summer. I assumed that I would begin the printing process after the summer weddings.
But in early March, I was encouraged by several people to get these books here – to get them on their way. As I looked at the accounts, I realized that we lacked $1,200 from being able to print these books. I also felt an urgency to get this process started.
One morning as I was reading through the book of Matthew, I came upon these familiar verses: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
I was convicted big time that I had planned for the book’s printing, but I had not asked the Lord – I had not sought Him like I should have for this provision. I just assumed His provision was the upcoming wedding work.
So on that Friday morning, I prayed, “Lord, I feel like you want me to get this book process started ASAP…but I also know that we still need $1,200 to start this process. So I am giving this financial need to you and if you want us to go ahead and print them, then I am asking you to provide $1,200. And if not, that is fine too…I just want to be in Your will.”
And I left it at that. I knew I had given it to the Lord and He could do what He wanted to…I honestly expected that to be the end of that.
But two days later on Sunday morning, a young man in our congregation came up to Dustin and said, “I have been praying about your book process and the Lord laid it on my heart to give you some money to support this project.” And he handed Dustin a white envelope with cash in it. $505 American dollars to be exact.
Here is where I have to be completely honest. I did not expect God to provide any funds for this book – so when Dustin sat down from leading worship that morning, he handed me this envelope and said, “Count it.” We sit in the front at church and the sermon was starting – it would look awkward for me to be counting this money while the sermon was starting.
Dustin leaned back over and said, “This is a gift from ____ for your book. Count it.” I could see that he meant it, so I discreetly counted those bills and started to cry. Everyone else in the room was laughing at the opening comments being made by the preacher, but I was in awe of the Creator who heard by prayer and was answering it. God really must have wanted me to finish this project!
That was on Sunday.
On that Thursday, I met up with my best friend from college for the sole purpose of sharing some essential oils with her. She was leaving work and on her way to get her daughter from pre-school. So our visit was basically this:
Both: Hi! (Hugs around the necks)
Me: Here are your essential oils to try.
Both: Love you!
Her: Oh, my husband and I were praying for your book project and God laid it on our heart to help with the finances. (She hands me another white envelope) Hope to see you soon!
Me: What? You don’t have to…thank you!
I sat down in my car and stared at that envelope – was God really providing more money towards this book? Did God really want me to finish this project?
Finally, I opened the envelope and there were fifteen $20 bills inside.
For those of you non-mathematicians…God had just provided $805 since I prayed and asked six days before.
I cried and cried and just pointed my finger at heaven. In a hushed voice I cried out, “God, You really want me to do this, don’t You! You are amazing!” I knew that in my heart..but I had just seen it.
The next night was the rehearsal dinner for one of the weddings I was directing. I was so overcome with God’s provision that week, that I hoped the wedding would go well…I think it did…the couple is happily married now 🙂
Dustin and I were sitting with several couples at the rehearsal dinner. A man sitting with us asked how close we were to printing the books. I had to share God’s provision that week with his wife and him. I finished by saying, I only need about $400 to be able to print these books.
He smiled at his wife who smiled back at him. Then he said these words, “That is the exact amount we just talked about giving to this project on our way here.”
Cue the tears again…really, Lord!?! Really? You just provided over what I needed in a week’s time…because I asked.
I have thought and thought about the Lord’s provision in this way so many times. He did not have to answer my prayer like He did…but He did. And I praise Him for it and I know that He has this book thing. My job has just been to be obedient and give these books to Him…over and over again.
Because they are for His glory – not mine. And I pray that they will be a tool for grieving families to point them to Him.
~Lyrics from “Jesus, Lover of My Soul”