Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No Strings {attached}

Matt and I had the coolest thing happen to us and just had to share with how God is working in our lives!  I'll back up a little bit...moving to Tulsa was a huge step for both of us! For people on the outside, it looked rushed and hectic, like we were being impulsive and irresponsible about our decision to leave.  However, no one knows that me and Matt had been feeling a change coming for quite a while, and only let a select few people in on what was going on in our hearts. So when the change finally presented itself, we both knew God was in it and decided to take a leap of faith and leave all things comfortable and safe for a brand new adventure {one in which we couldn't see all the details}!  Well when we arrived, things were a little different than what we were initially expecting {which is part of the beauty of life}, but nothing we couldn't handle and we made it work.  We still knew we had made the right decision and were loving our new life! However, a few things happened that have made the past two months quite a struggle.  We had quite a few unexpected financial set-backs that made us question if we had done or were doing the right thing.  There was one night that felt like a breaking point for both of us. Not in matter of breaking our marriage, but in a matter that we both felt completely drained and desperate for answers. It was one of those times when you're asking all the honest questions, and silence seems to be the only response.  In all the three years that I've known Matt, I can count two times when I've seen him cry, and one of those times was that night. I felt so helpless because I'm usually the one crying and being held by him!  All I could do was tell him that God had not forgotten us and that everything was going to be ok. Those were words that I didn't even believe at the time and I felt like such a hypocrite saying them. I knew deep down in my heart they were truths, but there seemed to be no light beaming from them. So.....I began to pray. We needed manna from heaven.

Matt had been asked a few months ago to be a part of a wedding ceremony for one of his close friends that he grew up with.  The friend and his {soon-to-be} wife had dated four years and finally decided to tie the knot! It was such a fun wedding to be a part of....one of those weddings where both families are just beaming with excitement and so is everyone attending! It was a great time with homemade food and lots of stories! The best part was that I was finally able to meet all the people that Matt had gotten into trouble with when he was younger! And for those of you who have met Matt, you wouldn't be surprised to learn that he was quite the the hooligan in his younger years! But really, not much has changed since then!  One of his friends that he had gotten in a particular amount of trouble with had drove in from out of town for the wedding with his new wife of only a couple months. The two of them are getting ready to head over to the Philippines as missionaries to be part of project called "FUEL" and have some of the most incredible hearts of anyone we've met! FUEL is a project that's designed to pinpoint and excel the passions of each individual, something that is nearly unheard of in the Filipino culture. They have started advertising the program with wrist bands that read "What is your passion?" and already, the wrist bands have made it across the college campuses and even the President of one of the colleges has boasted wearing one and holding assemblies to get students excited! We both felt inspired after talking with them! You can find out more about them and project Fuel here.

Anyway, after having coffee with the two of them, we were making our way to the cars and Matt's friend changed the direction of conversation and said, "You know, my aunt gave me some money and right when she handed it to me, God brought your name to mind. So here." And with that, he handed Matt the money.  We were both speechless. And at that moment, it was like God had wrapped us both in a huge hug and said, "See, I told you I haven't forgotten about you!"  Matt fumbled over his words for a minute but all he could say was, "Thanks, man!" Such a guy. He did go on to tell him a little about our struggle and how God used this as confirmation that we're exactly where we need to be. I just stood there, coaching myself to hold back the tears that were about to spill over.  My efforts were in vain as Matt took one look at me and said, "And she's going to cry." I burst in to tears and said, "Yes!" I hugged them both and told them how grateful we were.  We all talked a bit longer and then went our separate ways.  We almost felt guilty taking the money after hearing their incredible story and debated on refusing it, but then by doing so it would have been like shoving God's gift of confirmation and blessing right back in his face.

So Matt and I both got in our truck.  And even though I have been accused of {slight} exaggeration at moments, I'm being 100% honest when I tell you what song was playing when the radio turned on......



My response to God: "Ok, now you're just showing off!"

God is good, even in our darkest moments. He's the light that shines in the darkness....even when the darkness seems never-ending!

Let me add one more part to the story so you can know how really good God is!
Before we went out to coffee with Matt's friend and his wife, let me just mention it was a Sunday and that particular Sunday we didn't pay tithes! {GASP!!} Hah, I already know.  But before you start sending me messages filled with Bible verses about tithing, let me just mention that we had to drive separate cars to church that week because he was playing on the worship team...so it was one of those times where I thought he paid and he thought I paid. End of story. But that makes the story that much more cool because once again, it just shows how much God loves us!! A lot of times, I think people try to manipulate God with money. They tithe or give in the offering because they think that will give them God's blessings. But really what they're doing is trying to play God like a puppet. What we fail to grasp about God is that there are NO STRINGS ATTACHED to anything he does! Just because we're good people doesn't mean he loves us more or is going to do more for us than a person who isn't so good.  God gives freely and will not be mocked or manipulated by our actions. Think about this, if God could be manipulated by our money or actions, what would make him any different than us?? He wouldn't be a very big god if you ask me.  But what makes God so great is that everyone is equally loved in his eyes and all he desires is an individual relationship with us. It's such a beautiful thing and a testament to his love and grace. Grace gives us what we don't deserve and saves us from what we do deserve.  And let me just reiterate one more time that I fully believe in tithing and it's something I would recommend for everyone....whether you go to church or not. Give God your firsts and see how he blesses you!


Just in case you missed those lyrics....

"Calling All Angels"

I need a sign to let me know you're here
All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere
I need to know that things are gonna look up
'Cause I feel us drowning in a sea spilled from a cup

When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head
When you feel the world shake from the words that are said

[Chorus:]
And I'm calling all angels
I'm calling all you angels

I won't give up if you don't give up [Repeat x4]

I need a sign to let me know you're here
'Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me

[Chorus]

When children have to play inside so they don't disappear
While private eyes solve marriage lies cause we don't talk for years
And football teams are kissing Queens
and losing sight of having dreams
In a world that what we want is only what we want until it's ours

[Chorus x2]

Calling all you angels [Repeat till fade] 

3 comments:

Kat lee said...

I just wanted to say thank you for writing this. In many ways it is how we are feeling right now and although we would never wish someone to go through tough times, it is good to know we are not alone in some struggles. I was in tears at the end and just wanted to say again, thank you.

I am praying for you both .. luv kat

danielle said...

Such an awesome testimony of God's faithfulness!

Anonymous said...

Matt and Marcie,
Thank you for the post to your blog. I want you guys to know that you have sooooooooo been on our hearts. Randy and I pray for you every day.
God's timing is always perfect! You have heard it all your life but when you LIVE it and you see that God works through the obediance of other people - it is so awe inspiring. Our God is a good God - a God of Love - a God of giving. A God of KNOWING - when no one else knows. He hears our pain, our cries for help, our desparate need to know that He is watching over us. You and Matt are so very special to us. God has GREAT THINGS PLANNED for your lives and I cannot wait to see what they are - ALL IN HIS TIME!!! WE LOVE YOU, Aunt Rhonda and Uncle Randy

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