Here is the prayer I’ve written into my prayer journal more times than I care to count (this particular one is from 2/13/14):
“Please, Lord, may we get out of credit card debt this year. Help us. Keep after us. Let us not give up tithing, Lord. Let us not give up recognizing that our good things come from you. Help us dig out of this hole we’ve gotten ourselves into. Forgive me for the stupid way I’ve often handled our resources.”
Here is something else I wrote in this space (What Is and Is Not a Tool) a little more than a year ago:
Money is not a tool for happiness, but it is a tool for food, clothes, housing, transportation, entertainment, doing good (aka, giving), but also for facilitating creative expression, even mine; I need to stop feeling guilty when I spend money on my creative expression and stop finding excuses not to spend on my creative expression….
I want to dance on stage again, in a group, doing choreography that is not my own. I want to be in class again. Which costs money, and means that I will have a schedule that other family members will have to work around. I’ve been making every excuse for why it wouldn’t work for years. But I can’t do that much longer. I’ve still got a reasonable amount of flexibility and strength, so I think now might be the time. This might be the year it will not be denied. That I will not deny myself.
I wrote that post on July 3, 2013. In August, I got one writing and one editing freelance gig. I found out about a new dance studio that was run by a friend and offered free — yes, free! — dance classes. And I got a temporary job digitizing sermons for a retired minister whose career was being archived by Grand Valley State University. This year, other freelance gigs have come my way. I have attended three writer’s conferences. The dance studio continues to be free and I continue to love dancing and performing again. I confess that we haven’t been quite as regular with tithing as we’ve been in the past, but we added a couple of organizations to our giving.
Best of all, as of this morning, we are free of credit card debt.
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly.
I will praise you before all the people.
This blog is the only great assembly I’ve got, so I’m thanking God here.
Faith is a thousand little decisions, like the decision to believe good things in my life come from God.
I haven’t gone out and looked for work: work has found me. Once work has found me, I work hard, I do the very best job I can, I learn new things, I take risks. And, if I haven’t mentioned it before, I work hard.
You might think that I finally prayed “hard enough” or was “obedient enough” so that God granted my request — people do love to speculate why your prayer was granted, mostly so they can get a guarantor for how their prayer might “work.”
You might credit the power of positive thinking. You might say it was one of those Oprah/Iyanla moments of me attracting the good things the universe is waiting to send my way; you might call it coincidence.
As for me, it’s enough to say that God has been working in my life and I have, as of this moment, no credit card debt. Can I get an “Alleluiah!”