Today is the beginning of a new year and it started with a miracle!
Let me go back to last Tuesday night. It was the eve of my 20 year anniversary. Cindy and I were talking before bed and were discussing how we were going to pray for 2011 as well as the next 20 years of our marraige to be full of great things. We were going to ask for God to bless our family as well as allow us to bless others. We didn't know exactly what that meant, but we were going to put it in God's hands. As some people may know, this can be a bit scary asking God to take over and allow Him to drive, but Lord knows that my driving has been a bit reckless.
After Cindy went to sleep, I prayed for a long time and ask God to show me what He wanted me to do with my life and asked Him to make me the very best man that I could be for Him, my wife and my kids. Usually after praying, I doze off and sleep soundly through the night. That night was a bit different. I tossed and turned and thought about what I had prayed for well over an hour. Then, God began to speak to me. It was very clear to me that He reminded me that, 3 years ago, during a time of solitude, He revealed to me that I was to go to school and get my Masters in Professional Counseling. (for those of you who do not know me, I have been in sales for over 15 years and counseling was not on my radar 3 years ago).
I should also tell you that I immediately started school and knocked out over half of my schooling in about a year. My company was reimbursing me for the classes so I was able to do this without any additional debt. But, I was laid off in 2008 and went to work for a company who did not offer such a sweet deal as paying for my school, so I felt like I was unable to continue with my pursuit of a Masters. I found myself wondering if I actually heard God correctly and even thought that maybe He never wanted me to go to school at all.
OK. Back to me laying in bed and God talking to be about school. After reminding me about the school plan, He very clearly told me that I was to go back to school and finish what I had started. After I laid awake for a few more hours I finally got to sleep.
The next morning, I got up and immediately told Cindy what God had "discussed" with me. She was totally supportive and told me that she was behind me all the way. Of course, there was the little obstacle of money. I went to my school records folder and figured up what I needed to finish my school. It looked like I would need about $5,000 to finish which doesn't sound like a lot, but to us, it's $5,000 that we didn't have. We decided to just swallow hard and apply for a loan through my bank and worry about the repayment later. I filled out the form and waited.
Yesterday afternoon, the bank called me and said that the University doesn't allow the bank to make payments for school becuase they don't have a current relationship with them. It sounded crazy, but it seemed like the loan route was not going to work. Cindy and I simply said that, if God wants me to go to school, it would happen. We were not going to worry about this. God is driving this deal.
Well, last night, we attended a New Years Eve party with many of our neighborhoold friends. I evidently mentioned the story to some of our friends about the happenings over the past few days and that I was trying to go back to school... I said that God was going to take care of this in His time and that we were not going to stress over finding the money. This was a very brief conversation and didn't think anything about it.
This afternoon about 1:00, a friend that was at the party called me. . He told me that, after they left the party last night, he and his wife were talking and felt like God was telling them to give me the money for school and wanted to write me a check for what I needed to finish. Words could not express what came over me at that moment. I was speechless. He said, "God has blessed me with the ability to produce revenue, and God has blessed you with the gift of having a heart for counseling young people and loving them. This is God's money and He wants me to give it to you." I told him how much I appreciated it and that I would accept it, but to give me a couple of days to process this.
When I got off the phone, Cindy already knew what had happened and was in the back of the house on her knees crying and thanking God. We cried for a few minutes and just looked at each other without saying anything. Finally, when we did talk, we just got down on our knees together and thanked God for this miraculous gift!
2011 is going to be a year that I will not forget. My prayer is that God will make me and my family the best that we can be for Him and that we will be allowed to bless others as well.
Happy New Year! God is truly Good!
**After Cindy read this for grammar and spelling, she said that I left out a very important fact about this journey over the past few years. During the time that I was laid off and looking for another job, I was contacted by the church and someone annomously paid for me to take a class so that I could continue with school. If, whoever provided that class for me happens to read this, I want to let you know that I greatly appreciated that gift and I thank you for that as well. It was also a wonderful gift from God through you.