I’m going to share something today that is sort of outside the box from my normal posts. It’s a personal story. Super personal…in fact, it’s just me and God in this story, and no words were ever spoken out loud. I usually don’t share stories about my faith, but this was one of the most touching and powerful moments in my life so far. It’s a memory that I’ve treasured in my heart, and that has carried me through some very dark times. I want to share it with you today.
The setting is a small 1940’s bungalow. I was a young Mama who was setting up housekeeping in my own home for the first time. Kyle and I had been married for about 5 years, and living in tiny garage apartments while he worked his way through school. I had been working at a lovely high end picture frame and art gallery, and I loved that job. But I’d always dreamed of the day that we could start a family…that I could be home to raise my children. It was something that we both wanted.
But here I sat with my dream in my lap, and it seemed full of holes. Being a Mama to a toddler was hard work. Far more challenging than I’d ever imagined. And the dream of coming home had always been connected in my mind with my husband getting ‘THE job’. The “I’m a graduate with a real job” job. And that didn’t happen.
The secretary position that he’d held through college at the small family owned company just quietly extended into a full time job with what most would consider part time pay. It just was what it was. My man is a loyal, steady guy that wasn’t ready to jump into a new career, and his degree boasted ‘entry level’ positions into telephone marketing. Which made both of us cringe.
I guess I didn’t realize how hurt I was over this. How my expectations of him had driven a wedge into our marriage, and how bitter I’d become.
It all became clear one afternoon as I sat down during nap time and flipped through a magazine that someone had given me. They’d done a spread of vintage kitchen remodels, and my eyes landed on a chrome wrapped French Press coffee carafe on the table in the picture. *gasp* I’ve always had a weakness for vintage designs and beautiful, shiny objects. Especially of the kitchen gadget variety.
The french press in my cabinet was the clunky looking low end model with the cheap plastic handle and lid. This one was GORGEOUS. I quickly flipped to the back and located the carafe in the Resources page. $30. So far out of my budget at that point that it may as well have been $300. Instantly, in my mind I started the dialogue, “Back when I was working, $30 was *nothing*…we had enough to where I could buy special things like this. But not NOW. God, WHY did you give me a husband who isn’t providing for me?”
Whoa. Yuck. But I didn’t even realize how ugly I sounded. In fact, it just sounded…normal. Familiar. It sounded like the real me.
Just as soon as my heart had uttered those words, another thought flowed into my brain.
“Who is your provider?”
I closed my eyes, and internally fell to my knees. This was not a ‘natural’ thought for me. I saw myself. What have I become? How did I get here? I repented. “I’m so sorry…so sorry. Lord, You are right. You are my provider.” I was convicted, and reminded of how God sees even my inmost thoughts. And loves me enough to correct me. The magazine was shoved away, and I was once again pulled into the undertow of being a Mom. Living my dream, that up close involved a lot of laundry and cooking and dishes and caring for a busy toddler who was currently in the ‘can I fit into the dryer?’ and pantry-raiding potato-biting phase. But the focus of my heart had changed. I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I could love my man right where he was, and trust that God would provide for me. For us.
About a week later, I walked into the thrift store. I’ve always LOVED a good thrift store…it’s like a treasure hunt. And at that time in my life, it was all that I could afford to keep us in clothes and shoes. My few dollars stretched so much further, and I knew that I could find brand names and great quality if I were picky. And I am picky. Thrift store prices have ruined me for retail shopping forever.
As soon as I walked in, my jaw dropped. There, on the shelf right in front of the door, surrounded by plasti-canvas art and other random junk was the coffee pot. The gorgeous, chrome wrapped vintage coffee press right out of the magazine. It was $2.98. MY coffee pot.
It was a gift from the One who loves me even when I’m undeserving. A gift from the One who is my provider, and who knows and cares about my innermost thoughts and desires…even ones as silly as a pretty coffee pot.
Even now, over a decade later, when I think of that day- the coffee pot is not what meant the most. The tears in my eyes then (and now) were because I really realized for the first time that He saw me and cared for me. Personally, intimately, and deeply. And when I was the most undeserving.
So, where ever you stand right now…whatever beliefs or trials- I want to offer you this gift. It’s actually a re-gift that was given to me years ago, but it’s even more of a treasure to me now than it was that day: there is a God. He sees you, and He loves you.