Ask any seminary student past or present, and they will tell you it was the best time of their life, even though financially difficult. Our story is no different. Countless times, God showed me I had to swallow my pride, and trust Him to take care of our small family.
Late one fall, when our son was about 3 years old, I had planned to go to the free clothing center on campus to find a coat for him. Cold weather was coming, we barely were paying our bills, and I knew this was my best chance to find a good coat.
The center was run by volunteers and at that time was only open 2 hours on Sunday afternoons. My husband offered to stay home with our son and prepare a late lunch while I drove to campus. Perfect family, perfect day, perfect plan. Um, or not.
Details of what started the firestorm have faded over the years, but I’ll just say before I left, my husband and I had one of the worst arguments of our marriage – or I should say, as usual, I was over-stressed and lashed out at him. Naturally, it cut into my time to get to campus, which put me in a worse mood, and it became his fault that our son would not have a warm coat for winter and probably die of pneumonia! (OK, sometimes I overreact.)
While he was licking his undeserved emotional wounds, and I was still fuming at how inconsiderate he was (just remember – this wonderful man had done nothing wrong), a friend called offering us a box of clothes that had been given to her for her son. She had taken out what her son could wear, and wanted to give me the opportunity to look through the box first. Plans were made for her to bring it to church that evening, and we brought the box home with us. Going through it, we could not believe the amount of almost new clothing in the box – good winter clothes that were exactly what we needed.
At the very bottom of the box, neatly folded, was a beautiful almost new coat. Of course. And of course, it was the perfect size. My heart broke immediately as I realized the quiet hand of God behind this blessing. I was so ashamed for trying to do things on my own, taking my stress out on my husband, doubting God would provide for us as He always had.
I would love to say I learned my lesson that day, and never doubted God again. But that is a lie. We all have moments that we cannot see God because we are looking at ourselves and our circumstances. I’m still learning, and God is still blessing and providing.