Act-ually, I just spent years giving God kudos for not letting bad things happen to me. Then came April 27.
Our family was left with much more than most when the winds died down in Cordova.
I grieved over the destruction of the ballfield where Zac and I were married, but we still have a love that some people never find.
Although I will always regret that Wyatt’s first birthday was more a day of mourning than of celebration, I am grateful for his health each time I see an infant in the obituaries.
The loss of Zac’s job really shook my fragile faith, however.
The Piggly Wiggly was obviously not going to be reopening any time soon, and we couldn’t’t pay the bills with only my income.
As if I weren’t freaking out enough, we got a letter a couple of days after the tornado stating that Zac’s health insurance would soon be going up (again) to nearly $300 a month.
One of the many things that I have learned about myself since then is that sometimes I wouldn’t recognize a blessing if it whacked me in the face.
For example, waiting for Zac to find another job was a blessing because I had to humble myself before God. Once I handed over my keys to the universe, He sent me a sign through a friend that His eye is on the sparrow and He can certainly take care of me too.
The job Zac did find offered minimum wage and no benefits. However, we could be thankful that we had already learned how to live on that anyway and also that Zac was only unemployed for a week.
I should also add that for the past six months, there has always been food on our table and I have been able to pay every single bill that has found its way into our mailbox.
A few weeks before the storm, I caught part of a radio interview with a singer named Laura Story.
Story’s husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor less than two years into their marriage. She expected that their faith would be tried for a while and eventually God would “fix it.”
Years later, He has not, at least not if that means a complete and miraculous healing.
“Blessings,” the song from her new album that Story was promoting that day, suggests that God loves us too much to allow us a lifetime without pain.
I found myself singing the chorus many times after the tornado: “What if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near? And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”
I would never wish death and devastation on anyone. However, if given the option of erasing the events of April 27 from my past, I would not.
God took very little from me that day, but He took just enough away to show me that I was giving Him lip service when I should have been offering Him praise and thanksgiving.
I needed to learn what it really meant to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
I’ve been following a blog called “Scandalous Mathematics of Grace” for a while now. One of my favorite posts so far was about a group who took a mission trip to Haiti.
During a Sunday dinner at a pastor’s hut, they noticed that none of the villagers were eating but didn’t let that stop them from stuffing themselves.
Later, they found out that the Haitians had given up their food for the day so that their guests could eat. They had literally offered them their daily bread.
I loved the question that ended the post: “Is it possible for me to understand what it means to ask God only for the bread I need for today, when I have bread in the freezer at home?”
Sometimes God doesn’t give us that luxury. Sometimes He makes us wait for our job offer or our healing or our daily bread because He knows that’s the only way some of us will give much thought to who provided it.
As I type these words, I know that I have enough food for today, tomorrow and quite a few days beyond that.
I used to think that I was thankful. Now I genuinely am.