We had financial problems. Actually, we had spending problems. We just wouldn’t spend what was left over after the bills were paid, we spent the money allotted for the bills and then whined and excused our way out of paying them. I had a problem with not being able to say no to sales. I had no off-switch for child related purchases. Any purchase of that nature was naturally justified. My husbands had their own spending problems. As you can imagine, it got out of hand.
I remember praying repeatedly for financial help. I was desperate for help and healing of this, but not really ready to change. I recall the day, it was sunny and bright, and I had to go grocery shopping. I was praying about going back to work or doing something for more money, and I was praying about just making ends meet. I prayed for God to send us some money in the mail. Any amount would be fine, just a sign that He was in control of the situation. About an hour or so later, I modified my prayer because I felt selfish, I asked Him to put a penny in the box. I was thinking in my head that all things are possible with God. Sometimes it seems I have a great childlike mentality when I pray for a miracle.
I left for a couple hours to the grocery store, and my prayer was still heavy on my heart. “Lord, please say You are in control of our finances. Lord, please say You will help me pay the bills this month. Lord, please provide for us. Just a penny, something that says it’s a financial answer.” I began to feel, as if I had cheapened my faith by asking for money. Because, in my heart I knew we had money, we were just squandering it. So, I modified my prayer one more time. “Lord, if You are there and listening. I just need a sign. Put something pink in the box.” This prayer was probably about the time of delivery, so impossible to get something added in.
I got home, unloaded the groceries, and started for the mailbox. By the time I got to the box, the prayer had changed again. “Lord, forgive me for not trusting and for demanding a sign. I was wrong not to just trust You.” In the box were a large handful of bills and other mail, and a magazine. There was nothing pink, but I had said my prayer of repentance and it didn’t matter. I felt a sigh of resolve, its okay He loves us. About 10 feet from the box, I folded the magazine in half around the bills. The entire add on the back of the magazine was pink.
The pink ad was highly unusual. We had this subscription for almost a year and there had never been a pink ad, plus, it was around the time the subscription should have ended, so it was very unexpected.
I fell; I just fell to my knees. How can you not go down on your knees when God happens like that? I thanked Him, because He was with me still. From that, prayer came the beginning of a total fiscal stewardship change in me. Things we didn’t foresee happened, but on my side, the change was forever. I don’t spend money I don’t have. I don’t buy things I don’t need. I don’t buy things for my kids that I know they don’t need. It was hard to say no at first, it gets easier.
It took years, little habits falling away, one by one. First, not spending beyond the “left-over”; then, not buying excess when something was on sale; then, not spending other people’s money on things I really could live without; then, cutting out spending for my hobby. That last one will kill a budget.
Today, I am the one in charge of income and outflow. It’s still hard when a child needs something for school and I just don’t have the money. A couple times, I have asked for help. It is safe to assume with the in-laws during our hard times we probably would have been in a crisis. I am just thankful they were so lenient.
But, this is about ‘pink’. How many months in advance was God working on my answer? I never checked to see if my copy was the only one with a pink ad on the back. Think about how large a full-page ad is, and what that means as an answer I can never forget. Thank You Father. It would be awesome to know how the editor came to use the pink ad also. The simple and smart answer is God happened.