Better Than I Deserve

I‘ve been wanting to write this post for a few weeks, but I am not sure how to word it so that it conveys the joy, gratitude, elation, and shock I feel.

Last year while studying so constantly I went without a lot of things. In fact, there was one point when I didn’t have enough money to buy food and when I asked God what was up with this,

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he said, “I want you to be hungry.”
I was hungry most of last year. Hungry for a lot more than just food; hungry for a sense of home, for clothes (everything had holes), for technology that didn’t break down all of the time, for people to share what I was learning with…. there were a lot of things I was hungry for last year.

At the beginning of this year God began to teach me how to really receive his love. Maybe I should have known this already? Maybe it will take all of my life? Wherever you stand on this idea of receiving love, it seems to be something that I’m often learning, but this year it has been much more concentrated….

This is the only explanation I have for how spoiled I have been lately. I don’t think I actually heard God say, “I’m going to spoil you this year,” but somehow my heart has known this was going to be true every time I have asked for something. This year all of my asking has been full of the faith that God wants to and will answer yes to my needs and requests.

Although I use the word “spoil,” I couldn’t be farther from the picture this conveys. A better word for what God is doing would be lavish.

What has God been lavishing upon me? Well, there are emotional things- the biggest one would be…. hmmm… How can I explain this? Do you ever have a voice in your head that belittles you? When you do something wrong, it scorns you; when you look in the mirror, it sneers; when you think about difficult tasks, it discourages. I have had that voice in my head for as long as I can remember… but lately? Lately when I do something wrong, a voice says, “It’s okay, I love you.” When I look in the mirror the voice says, “You are beautiful!” When I think about difficult tasks I get this deeper sense of peace that I will do my best and God will do the rest (ACK that sounded cheesy!).

It’s so different inside my head that sometimes I laugh out loud when that inner voice is so encouraging and full of love.

As for physical needs. The stories are a bit longer so I will try to condense without leaving out good details. There are a lot of little things- when I need money for things like food, rent, plane tickets- all of these things he always provided before, and this year he’s been adding extra.

And then there are the bigger things. In the Spring my best camera lens broke right before I was supposed to photograph a wedding. I was able to purchase a cheap portrait lens, but then a friend lent me his entire camera and lens- both of which were way better than what I was going to use of my own. THEN some friends from home let me know that they would like to buy me a really good lens. When I saw the lenses they were considering between I was speechless. When they asked if there was a lens I had been wanting, I could only think of a camera body that I had been wanting to upgrade to. So I left it in their hands- both were equally expensive and I wasn’t sure which one would serve my needs best.

While I prayed that God would give them discernment about which to buy me, I also prayed (with some trembling) that He would make it possible for them to buy me both the camera

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body and the lens. I did not feel it was my due… I simply felt the courage to ask and the humility to accept whatever was given.
When the package finally arrived, it was actually two packages. Camera body and lens.
When I called my friend to shout with gratitude in her ear, she told me that it had been her husband’s idea. He had said, essentially, that he felt like they should treat me better than I have been treated in the past.

Most recently my computer died. I actually had two laptops and the one that hadn’t broken was so slow and disabled that I could really only use it to edit photos (very slowly). I didn’t feel anxiety about not having a reliable computer until the first day of staff training when we talked about grading student’s work. Oh. That’s all online. So I started asking God for a reliable computer. I’ve never had a “new” computer and initially I didn’t have this in mind. The more I prayed about it, the more I added specifications, realizing how great it would be to have a machine that would last me a long time and work as hard as I knew I was going to work.

Again, the story is longer than I can share, but essentially I was having a mini break down one morning. I had a good 10 minute period where I was seriously questioning whether I should really be here in Colorado. The issue was not related to my need for a computer but I said this really stupid thing to God, nonetheless. I said, “I will know I’m supposed to stay if you get me a computer.” I say it was stupid, because I’m not in the habit of giving God such thinly veiled ultimatums and He’s not in the habit of giving me direction by way of expensive gifts.

Honestly I wouldn’t have packed up and gone home if I had been computerless when the students arrived. I would have chalked that up to an emotional morning and a stupid prayer.

But instead of ignoring my stupidity, with such kind condescension, he answered it only an hour later. I was sitting at my desk, still grappling with the issue which tempted me to go home, when a friend contacted me to say, “I wasn’t going to tell you this until next week, but I really feel like God wants me to buy you your dream computer.”

I want to tell you about these big gifts because I’m so in awe of God’s generosity. I am aware that there are times when we are hungry and in need and I thank God for last year as much as this, because last year He met my hunger and need with his very self. This year he is meeting my hunger and need with total abundance. He is good all of the time.

 

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