I’ve been struggling to share a story about how God provided for my family.  Seems easy enough, what’s the problem?  Honestly, I haven’t experienced this magnitude of God’s provision before.  I tried to analyze what my hang up is. Something is blocking me from glorifying God with my story.

I don’t want to hurt others who may be dealing with the same issue by shouting, “Hey look what my Heavenly Father did for me!” While they are still praying & waiting for a breakthrough.  My next thought is, ‘I don’t want anyone to be upset with God for giving something to me and not them.’  I’ve learned enough through the years to realize this thought is a lie and has no biblical standing.  God is all powerful, all knowing and is the supreme authority over everything.  He doesn’t need me intervening by protecting Him.  Perhaps, because I wasn’t raised to talk about things like this.  This is my voice in all my flesh, examining my ways about why I do or don’t do the things I should.

Proverbs 21:2 People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their hearts.

Lamentations 3:40  Instead, let us test and examine our ways.  Let us turn back to the Lord.

I am not equipped to judge and test my ways.  It’s time to pray and ask God what he thinks about why I am withholding my story.

Psalm 139:23-24  says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

I was in my car listening to a local Christian radio station. The DJ was talking about the parable of the Vineyard Workers in Matthew 20:1-16.  The story is about a landowner who starts in the morning hiring people to work in his fields.  The landowner does this throughout the day at noon, three o’clock and  five o’clock.  At six o’clock the landowner pays his workers all the same amount regardless of how many hours they worked.  The people who worked all day in the scorching heat protested.  The landowner tells his protesting workers that they agreed to work all day for the usual wage.  Why should they be jealous because he is kind to others?

Right now in my present circumstances I’m the worker who started working at five o’clock and got paid for a full days wage.  The convicting part of this story is that the majority of my life I’ve been the worker who worked all day, then protested at the landowner’s generosity to others.  It’s my own sin of coveting & jealousy- THAT is why I can’t express the blessings that God has provided for me, THAT is why I have been ashamed to share my story.

When I evaluate my motives, I look pretty good being so considerate of others. When God examines me, I’m only out for myself.  The truth is, if I were to hear this story from someone else I would be jealous if I was struggling in a similar circumstance.  My head looks downcastin disappointment as Satan comes in to assault my identity and tries to fill me with shame for my behavior. He reminds me of how I was, enforces the lie that I am nothing, I can’t do anything right so don’t bother trying.


I gave my life over to Christ for this very reason.  I’m not sinless, no matter how hard I try in my own strength the self-centered sins are still there. I cry out to God asking for his mercy and forgiveness for jealousy and coveting that are in my heart.  Jesus comes washing the stain of sin away, gently wipes the tears of dismay away, discards the shame then replenishes me with graciousness of his forgiveness.

Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Galatians 2:16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”

My head is no longer looking down in shame, but it’s looking up rejoicing that my Heavenly Father loves me and wants to continue a relationship with me even though I have sinned.

Philippians 1:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

So what’s my story you ask?

On November 21, 2013 I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

I underwent a sinus surgery and serious brain surgery.

I had two anesthesiologists, three CT scans, two MRIs, a vascular ultrasound, medications, appointments with oncology and radiation. I lost track of how many appointments I had with the brain surgeon.

My family accumulated $100,000 in medical expenses in three months.

Yes, I have insurance but it doesn’t pay 100%. We’re your average middle class family who doesn’t openly discuss finances.

Due to my illness and surgery, I was off work from December 2013 through January 2014.   I started back to work part-time in February and March, 2014. Shortly thereafter my husband’s company went bankrupt and he lost his job. So, he has been unemployed since Mid-February, 2014.

On March 17, 2014 we wrote the final check for our medical expenses!  God has graciously provided by covering our medical bills for my family as only He can.

I tried to do the math to figure out how this could be. It makes no sense, the calculations don’t add up.  $100,000.00 has been paid in full within a few months of my surgery. Not by me. Not by my husband.  Only God can quickly pay off a debt of that size.   IT’S ALL HIM!  ALL HIM!

Do you analyze your behavior? Do you ask God to test your ways & motives? Is your faith a relationship with a foundation of grace, mercy and forgiveness or performance based?  How have you coveted? Do you have a story that you have been withholding ? I’d love to hear it, would you share it with me?




  1. Oh dear friend, thank you so much for sharing your heart, for allowing God to search you and reveal to you what was holding you back. So many times I have felt the same way about sharing blessings, so many times on the other side, while waiting on the Lord I have found myself jealous of those receiving favor! You expressed very well our feelings on both sides of favor…and that regardless of if we are waiting or if we are standing in the place of favor God alone is still in control and who are we to know or understand his plans. Psalm 37:5 says to Commit your ways to the Lord, Trust him and he will help you. From the beginning of this journey I have seen you my dear friend do just that. From the beginning you have committed this to the Lord, from the beginning you have held on to his hope, you have waited patiently for the Lord to act as Psalm 37:7 instructs…he has been your help, your healer and your ever present provider, comforter and peace. I love seeing scripture in action and your story my dear friend is just that. Than you for sharing. Love you my friend!

    • I recognized that beautiful light, it’s my sister in Christ! Thank you for your honesty. Your words flow so smoothly, I feel centered and anchored reading God’s word in your writing. You radiate a loving light my friend. Tonight I’m going to pray about that cup of coffee. Love you too my friend.

  2. My current story is similar but literally monthly. A disabled widow, I start off each month knowing what is coming in and what must go out…and that there is a serious gap between the two. Yet each month there is enough. Enough? Not a month goes by that I am unable to purchase at least one unplanned and less than vital thing that qualifies more as want than need. Not infrequently, something I’ve staunchly convinced myself is absolutely out of reach comes to me anyway…either by simple circumstance or by a sudden idea about how it might be procured at little or no monetary expense. And not a month goes by that I am unable to bless some other person, dipping into resources already stretched impossibly. In fact, I’ve recently signed up to sponsor a child living in poverty through a ministry that also provides for the long term benefit of the family and their community. And yet, it seems that the end of every month comes with me marveling that ‘all things have worked together for good’ and the bank account is not in the red. If I examine it closely I can often determine where little economies, unexpected changes of plans, and the occasional gift have rearranged my planned expenditures…but the fact is embedded securely in my understanding that God loves me, knows far better than I my true needs and the desires of my heart, and I need only place my trust in Him through every circumstance, doubt, and storm. Sad that I was 59 years old before I learned about wholly trusting Him…joyous that, indeed, He is faithful and true to His Word…I shall not want…I can take no thought for my life, but do my best, as He strengthens me, and trust Him for the rest.

    Glad to hear you’ve come through that particular storm. Stephen Davey of Wisdom For The Heart recently broadcast a series of messages on the book of Job that are all you might hope to hear from a very well-read and research-oriented pastor. You can find them on their website or at Oneplace.


    • Your faith & trust in the Lord has brought you closer to him. A trust so strong that would give when all finances seem impossibly stretched. I am deeply touched by your story. He knows what we need before we even ask. I’m looking forward to checking out Wisdom For The Heart. I appreciate you taking the time to share your life circumstance with me & the readers.

  3. Shelly – I have walked in your shoes and that of the works in the fields. I hid behind shame even when there was no reason for it when God provided for me and my family, over and over again. He knows our needs, and when we trust them to him he provides for us, and sometimes he provides even when we don’t. What a faithful Father! So glad God is taking care of you and your family Shelly and it appears that you are doing very well post op – train of thought,- word finding, etc. I pray the Lord continues to heal you. God bless.

    • It’s good to hear from you. Yes, he is so faithful & gracious even when we fall short. I’m blessed and very grateful to have Christ in my life. Post op is better than expected, so many things have improved because of Jesus’s healing. Sending prayers and loving thoughts your way. Thank you for sharing.

  4. God not only paid your medical bills, but He has developed a creative communicator of spiritual truth in you. I am praising God so much for His work in you and on your behalf! – Pastor Jim

    • I will soon be approaching 3 years of sobriety on May 1st. There was no creative communicator 3 years ago, just silent and scared. As May 1st draws near I’m given reminders of the many miracles Christ has done in my life, the physical & spiritual healing he has done and most importantly the abundance of grace he pours out on my family. I’m praising God too!


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