I saw supernatural provision in many forms my first nine months in Albuquerque. There were several times where food that I was eating simply didn’t deplete. I remember in particular a pack of tortillas that I never seemed to make a dent in and a $1 bottle of soap that I put at the kitchen sink that just never totally ran dry. When I got some extra cash my roommate at the time was so eager to throw the bottle away. She couldn’t believe how the thing lasted six months! And the funny thing about the tortillas pack is that once I had money for more groceries, I started noticing the expiration date stamped right on top of the pack, so I finally tossed the still full pack.
The actual container of ointment that God literally replenished from nothing.
Right about that time, a skin condition around my nose and scalp began to flare up. I was not only out of the medicated ointment, but also out of insurance and cash. About four months earlier I had tried to get even a drop out of the bottle, but it was bone dry. I started to toss it into the trash, but for reasons I could not explain or understand, I kept the bottle. As the condition worsened, I remembered the bottle, but that remembrance seemed pointless – the bottle was completely empty. Yet, I found it, and applied it to my nose and a drop came out and soothed the irritated skin on my nose. I was so amazed and in awe and grateful for the relief to my red, cracking skin. Over the coming days, I got drop after drop out of the bottle, til I could actually SHAKE the bottle and HEAR the sound of accumulated ointment inside the container. I still have that bottle. I sometimes go shake it to remind myself of this miracle.
One day in that same first nine months in Albuquerque, I was wishing for some fresh apples. I kid you not that a friend brought so many apple flats to my roommate that she immediately gave about half of them away, because she knew they were far too many for us to eat on our own. We initially kept 3 cardboard flats, but ended up still giving another flat away and in the end never did eat all the apples.
Later, after I was living on my own, when I had no money for toilet paper or shampoo, a gal from church spontaneously shared $43 she had earned at her garage sale off of items she’d been given for free. She said the Lord told her to give it to me. She seemed a bit shocked when I broke down sobbing. Shampoo and toilet paper – those are bare minimum sort of necessities, you know? It’s years later, but I still don’t take those things for granted!
In part one of this blog series, I spoke of my desire to experience supernatural supply from God. And how I discovered when I was in a position to NEED supernatural supply, I often felt foolish and as if I were on display to all the world. I wondered how it was that I could hear God tell me all sorts of details, such as directions to a restaurant I didn’t know was at that location, and yet I could not find a permanent job. The work I did find was often not work I wanted to do. Gosh, it was a humbling, hard time full of deep learning. I did find wonder and beauty and awe and joy in those places many times, but there were also many times I felt extremely frustrated.
Gift of the huge pack of toilet paper! She even picked my brand.
For years when I read in the bible about the Israelites groaning and mumbling in the desert, I criticized them, thinking how wonderful their miraculous provision was and how little they appreciated it. I feel like I understood the other side more now why they complained since I have experienced being so much sustained by the provision of the Lord. I’m not saying it was right of the Israelites to complain, I’m simply saying that I know now how desperately I longed for the ability to have the power to control my provision rather than wait to see how God would supply it! I prefer to have a job that I know will supply me a certain amount of income. I prefer to have that money and budget it for bills and groceries. But what happens when it seems as though God himself will not allow the doors to open to a job that would sustain me?
Gift of chairs, lamps, tables, bookshelf, cushions & rug.
And, while I will not say that God closed doors to a permanent job for that time period…I have my suspicions!!! At one point as I was struggling with the lack of a permanent job, I asked God who he wanted to be for me. The response I heard so clearly was that he wanted me to be utterly dependent upon him. I honestly think the lessons he wanted to teach me of his steadfastness and faithful character were more important to him than my desire for a permanent job. I’m not sharing this to invite anyone to debate me about it.
Gift of dinner & groceries when I was not feeling well.
The real reality is I will always desperately need God no matter the state of my employment or finances or bank account. We will always have needs beyond our immediate ability to supply. The needs won’t go away, they’ll just change and if I don’t discover the true source, my true sufficiency, I will always be bankrupt and poor.
I received this from almost a virtual stranger and it was a huge blessing.
Have you ever felt like you were fighting to find something to be thankful for?
We have all failed in appreciating God as we should. The fall of man came when Adam and Eve became unsatisfied with all that God had given them. Eve allowed the whispering of the serpent to put doubts in her mind about who God really was. The first lie she believed was that God would withhold something good from her.
Psalm 84:11 says, ” For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Eve could have looked at the whole garden and all that God had given her and her husband Adam and seen that her life was good, she had all that she needed.
But, the serpent’s whispering in her ear moved her focus to that one tree, the one tree that she didn’t have. Instead of opening up the lenses to see all that she did have, she instead zoomed in on the one thing she did not have.
I think we are all guilty of this at one point or another. Like my anger with God for not stopping all of the pain I had to endure for two years and failing to fix my marriage the way I wanted.
I was zoomed in on the one person I was losing and being hurt by instead of opening up my focus to all that God was providing for me and more importantly, what He was doing in my life and inside of me.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, ” in EVERYTHING give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Perspective is a powerful thing. My mom used to always tell me, “Instead of complaining that the rose bush has thorns, why don’t you be thankful that the thorn bush has roses.”
Do we dare believe that the painful thing we’re going through can be used for good? Do we dare believe that the major desire of our heart that is being withheld from us is for good? Do we dare believe that everything we have right now is all that we need?
Do we dare believe that this life is nothing but a vapor, a mere blip on the map compared to the eternity we have with God in heaven?
We will not live our best lives now, but we can live blessed lives now, the best is saved for heaven. If you’re sitting here still wondering, “what do I have to be thankful for?” I’ll tell you…
You have a God whose love can fill that emptiness you feel inside, you have a God whose grace can heal the shame that holds you down, you have a God who says, no matter what is in your past, you are worthy, you have a God who has a plan for your future and a purpose for your life and he says that it is for GOOD!
You have a God who can take the pain, the abuse and the brokenness and use it for your good, you have a God who calls you son, daughter, friend, justified, a new creation, free, forgiven, redeemed, accepted, blessed, you are the righteousness of God.
Here Are The Reasons Why You May be Dating People You Need To “Fix” or “Save”…
Either, you are this woman or you know this woman. If you are this woman you think, “why do I always attract the same type of guys??” If you know this woman you think, “she has horrible taste in men!” I was this woman so I have a bit of insight after a lot of self-reflection and reading up on subjects relating to relational issues. Maybe you’ll see some of these same things in your own life… Hope it helps!
I came from a dysfunctional family and never learned what boundaries were. I come from a family of alcoholism and codependency (I’ll explain what this word means later). Healthy relationships weren’t exemplified for me growing up which lead me to be an unhealthy person. I had no clue what a boundary was or why I needed them. (I’ll explain boundaries further down).
I had very low self-worth. I was rejected as a child because of the alcoholism and the extra attention my parent needed because of their own issues which left me feeling unimportant and unsupported. Both parents were too busy with the addiction and codependency that they weren’t able to fulfill my emotional needs as a child. This led to depression and very low self-worth. I felt completely worthless and treated myself as if I were.
I used relationships to feel like I had purpose and worth. I wanted to be the girl he changed for. I wanted to be the “better half.” I (subliminally) wanted to be his god, his savior, his everything because that would mean I was special and worthy. I needed to prove to myself that I was worth something. Again, this directly relates to my low self-worth and trying to fill that emotional void from childhood.
I couldn’t be with a healthy person because I wasn’t healthy. In order to be in a healthy relationship with a healthy person, we need to be healthy ourselves. I was attracted to men with issues because I had my own issues. I struggled with my very own codependency. I didn’t know what it meant to be responsible for only myself and responsible TO others… not FOR them. The complete lack of boundaries made me more focused and controlled by other people’s feelings than even recognizing my own.
I was codependent. What does that mean? It’s something I have learned and studied deeply; this is what codependence is: Belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where we enable another person to maintain their irresponsible, addictive, or underachieving behavior. We don’t allow irresponsible people to live with consequences, we’re too busy trying to fix and save with the end goal of being loved for these things we do.
If you struggle with codependency you find it hard to identify your own feelings but are always aware of the feelings around you. You sacrifice your own well being to fill the emotional and self-esteem needs of a dysfunctional person. You use manipulation to keep the love of another person and to avoid rejection. You can be controlling, sometimes in a subtle way. You struggle with having healthy boundaries or don’t know what boundaries are.
What are unhealthy boundaries?
If you have unhealthy or no boundaries you feel responsible for other people’s feelings and problems or blame your own on someone else. You allow a lot of disrespect and mistreatment and stay in bad relationships longer than you should. When we have healthy boundaries and they are repeatedly crossed or disrespected, we are able to be more realistic about whether the situation we are in is healthy or not.
A boundary is an imaginary fence around our hearts that has a gate we can use to allow good, healthy things in and keep bad, unhealthy things out. It is the property line of self. I know what feelings belong to me, along with my own actions and I’m aware that other people need to own their own feelings and actions and cannot throw those onto my property.
When I learned what I was worth to God I was finally able to let go of the people who were no good for me. I was able to live alone and be content with God and feel secure in who he created me to be. I am reading a book called “Boundaries in Marriage.” The two authors are Christian Psychologists and have taught me SO MUCH about boundaries. They have many boundary books where you can learn how to have them in every relationship.
I believe the main root of this behavior is low self-worth and putting our identity in someone other than Christ. Reading God’s word and the truth of who he says I am and knowing that I have a purpose that he created me for and that I am deeply loved fills up every hole I was trying to fill with dysfunctional men.
And never ever feel ashamed to join a group or to start counseling. These things help so much in digging up past wounds to understand yourself more and heal correctly with God helping you along the way.