My husband and I got married in February of 2007. At the time he was working for a pharmacy as a pharmacy technician and I was a manicurist at a high end salon and spa. I had been a stay-at-home mom until my divorce in early 2005 so leaving my girls was never easy for me, but after they had been abused in childcare it was even harder. My mom started watching them for me at that point, but because of the circumstances they needed their mom.
Only 3-weeks after we had gotten married God started dealing with me about staying home full-time again. Now grant you Tim and I had only been together for a couple months so I was super nervous about discussing this topic with him. I was very independent and God had been providing for me and my girls and I didn't want him to think I had only married him to support us. I prayed and argued with myself and finally I couldn't get away from it, so I just shared with him my thoughts and feelings. He grabbed my hand and said "let's pray about it" and we both felt peace about me staying home. Honestly, after paying for childcare and gas I didn't have much left over anyway.
At the time I was receiving a good amount of child support and so I was still adding something every month to help with the bills. However, it was not long before those child support payments would stop arriving and the stress of finances would get to us. We struggled financially from 2008-2016. We would use our income tax refunds to take a little family vacation and put the rest in savings to help us meet our budget through the year.
I remember going into the grocery store with a certain amount of money and every week having to cut things we needed out because there just wasn't enough.
I had a choice in that season to be depressed, feel sorry for myself or to speak life into our situation. I would walk through the grocery store singing "We're Blessed" by Fred Hammond
"We're blessed in the city. We're blessed in the field. We're blessed when we come and when we go. We cast down every stronghold. Sickness and poverty must cease. For the devil is defeated. We are blessed." You see we are children of God and no matter what we faced I knew he would take care of us and provide all our needs according to his riches in glory.
In 2014 God began dealing with us about moving. I wanted to move to Florida, it's one of my most favorite places. We began praying for direction. My dad had been offered a church in Mesa, AZ and that was one place I did not want to go. I had never been to Arizona, but I just thought it was all dessert, hot, and ugly...lol.
One evening I was having dinner with my mom and we were discussing everything and without warning I felt this overwhelming peace and it was like God just spoke to my heart and said "Arizona is where you need to be" and I couldn't help but cry, it was just what I needed.
We moved in May of 2014 and prior to our move we had found an apartment and already applied and paid our deposits. The day we moved in I was so disappointed, our apartment was dirty and smelled like cigarettes. Two days later our AC went out and because it was memorial day weekend we had to use a portable unit that only cooled off the front part of the apartment. Once again, I had a choice, was I going to have a pity party or make the best of the situation, so after a few tears I decided to make the best of it. We had a family slumber party in the living room and by Tuesday our ac was up and running again. I found so much beauty here in Arizona, I had no idea how beautiful this state was.
It took all of our savings to move and get settled in to our new home. Tim was able to transfer with CVS and was even blessed with a side job doing some web designing, which was a huge blessing to us. I was volunteering at the church with whatever I could do to help my parents and enjoying the pool at our apartment.
We continued to struggle financially and if you looked at our budget compared to our income it was depressing, but every month we were able to pay our bills, buy food, and at times have a little extra for a family outing. Gods calculator is always better than ours and sometimes it was at the last second he provided, but we never went without.
In October 2015 God led us to Queen Creek, it was alot further from our friends we had made and at the moment we had no idea what God was up to. Tim was still working as a pharmacy technician with CVS and driving for UBER and Lyft to make ends meet. We were on food stamps and medicaid, barely making it, but not going without. Six-months later after watching my husband work two-jobs and being so exhausted I had the idea to start babysitting. I had ran an in-home daycare in Texas and so I thought I could supplement our income so he wouldn't have to work 2-jobs.
Within in just a few months God had blessed me with several kids to watch and a couple of the families were correctional officers and began talking with Tim about applying. He did and not long after was off to training for 7-weeks. Within one-year of us moving to Queen Creek we were off food stamps, medicaid, and completely out of debt. It seemed we had entered our promise land.
Last week I went to Trader Joe's for the first time since our financial break through. Back in 2015 we had decided to eat clean and I would shop at Trader Joe's and try my best to stay within our budget. I would be so anxious and once again would sing under my breathe "We are Blessed." However, this trip I wasn't anxious or stressed, my grocery budget had tripled compared to three-years ago. I was just walking through the store smiling and thanking Jesus. When I got back in my car I said "Jesus, you're faithful" as my eyes teared up I just began to rejoice at what God had done for our family.
I shared all of this to encourage you today. If your family is struggling financially, don't give-up, keep speaking life into your situation, keep chasing God, keep speaking his promises over your life. Seek him and his will for your family, allow him to lead you to YOUR promise land.
About six-months prior to our move Tim and I kept seeing 11:11, we just happened to look at our clocks every 11:11 and then kept seeing 11's. One night I had a dream and in the dream I was standing in a hallway and this huge 11 was right in front of me. I went through the Bible looking at the 11th chapter and 11th verse of several books. In Deuteronomy 11:11 it says; But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. This became our scripture, the one we spoke over our family. This was before we new God was moving us to Arizona, then when we got here and I saw the mountains, oh my goodness, I had no idea there was mountains in Arizona, I knew this was our promised land.
So, remember, God's got you, don't give up!! Enjoy the process, take in every miracle, every time God supplies your needs and even your wants. When you get through this season the next will be so much sweeter. Every season we have an opportunity to grow, be stretched, and we can use these moments to reach out to others and minister to them in their time of growing. I pray everyone who reads this is encouraged and I am praying ALL of your needs are met according to His riches in glory.