My Plan vs. God’s Plan – Part 2

When I began to write this blog, I had just read Ryan’s Christmas humor blogs during my prep time at school.  I was laughing so much because I had read Ryan’s Week Before Christmas blog.  To put it into context, I teach at the alternative school in Tarrant.  So the lines “The state they were in could lead to a riot; The teacher was sure, if allowed, they would try it.” have never been so true!  It has truly been an interesting, eventful week.  So thank you for allowing me to share again because it puts me into the right frame of mind.

Last week, I wrote a letter to Ryan because I wanted to share how amazing our God and our church are.  He knows this, I’m sure.  However, I think it’s nice to be reminded sometimes. He asked me to share this story with you.

Forgive me while I give you a bit of background information.  As I mentioned yesterday, I divorced about three years ago.  When I realized what was happening, I determined to put myself into a financial position in which I had no credit cards or monetary concerns.   Not only was I now going to be a single mom, but I was a teacher.  Have you seen our paychecks?

To help with this, I signed up for the financial class taught during CPU on Wednesday nights at CrossPoint.  I began to get things together.  My giving to CrossPoint had been quite sporadic, and I knew better.  As the Lord worked on my heart, he also worked on my finances.  There have been bumps along the way, but the Lord has always been faithful to provide every need. It is truly incredible to see what the Lord has taught me through giving to Him and His church.

When we started the Devoted series, Savannah, my nine-year-old daughter, and I both put back money for our Devoted fund.  When Ryan told us what to do with it, we were excited for what the Lord might do.  We began to pray that the Lord would show us where to give it.  Let me interject here…if you pray for things, you better be prepared for the answer.  You just might get what you wanted!

The beginning of the next week rolled around, and I realized that the money I receive each year for being a Nationally Board Certified teacher had not come in and most likely would not.  This chunk of money provides Christmas and any home repairs I might have at this time of the year.  Remember, I have no credit cards and pay cash for most everything.  Apparently, making the change to the alternative school caused a mix up somewhere along the way, and I was told I would most likely not get paid until after Christmas.  Needless to say, I began to panic.

At the end of that same week, I got a call about a friend with whom I taught at Trussville.  Her home had been badly burned, and it seemed they were going to lose everything.  Savannah and I talked about it, and we decided to give them the first installment from our foundation.  I reached my car after dropping off the money, and I cried because I knew I had just given away what may have been the money I would need for Christmas.  That money could be pretty important in our lives.  Then I remembered the scripture I have at the end of my emails (Rom. 15:13), and I thought that I should know better than that by now. The Lord brought Prov. 19:21 to mind (Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.), and I just began to pray.

Sunday morning I asked my Sunday school class to pray for my friend, and I asked for them to pray that the situation at the board be resolved.  The next two and a half weeks were phenomenal.  I had people in my life who tried to give me advice to take out a loan or get a credit card.  I just didn’t feel good about that solution.  I had MANY people go to bat for me with the county.  My principal and secretary were wonderful, as well as other principals for whom I had worked.  Although I appreciated each person for that, what happened with the people at our church really got to me.

Four different people offered to help us.  Nobody flaunted it.  Nobody made a big deal about it.  They just shared their heart, and they offered to make things better for us.  What makes it even better is the fact that it wasn’t any easier for some of these people to help me than for me to help my friend whose house had just burned.

These friends that I have…these brothers and sisters of mine…these people who love and support me…they all reminded me of what it’s about.  It goes back a little bit to that redeeming love I mentioned yesterday.  Real love isn’t always easy.

I have found that the closer I grow to the Lord and the more I understand His love for me, the more I feel the need to share it.  That’s what our church did for me.  They were struggling too…with their business, losing a job, just life in general.  I oozed with joy, and I let them know how much I appreciated every one of them.  I told them if nothing changed, I would let them know.  I went home and cried a little more, not out of sadness or worry, but because I realized how much I am loved-by God and this church.

How incredible is God and His timing?  Two weeks after it all started and a day after God allowed me to have this experience, I got my check.

I hope you all realize how precious our church family is.  They are so important to my life.  It is connection at its best.

I cannot imagine how my life would be different without my friends from choir, Sunday school, or the mission trips.  It was a nice reminder for me of what faith really is…that it’s not just faith in the good times.  I walked away Sunday saying, “No Fear!” a LOT.


3 Responses to “My Plan vs. God’s Plan – Part 2”

  1. December 22, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Lara, you make me proud, so proud. You are in a great position as a single-parent. Your daughter is learning firsthand what it means to live by faith. Keep showing her what that means and how that is fleshed out. Thank you, also, for sharing part of your heart with us. You blessed us.

  2. December 22, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    What a blessing! I grew up with a single mom and four older brothers with the oldest brother being Educable Mentally Retarded. God is truly a father to the fatherless and uses the weak of the world to confound the wise. I had the best Dad around:) Your example speaks volumes. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Thank you Pastor Ryan for the tone and expectation true to God’s word set at Crosspoint. What a blessing to see koininia in action and how it applies to us now, today! Loved the teacher funny. God bless you, Lara, for your courage, wisdom and honesty. Keep trusting Him! I am humbled by your story. Have a very blessed Christmas!

  3. December 22, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    I tend to paraphrase meaningful verses. sorry I forgot to reference.
    Ps. 68:5 God is a father to the fatherless…
    I Cor. 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

    (great website…definition for koininia. all below was cut and pasted. i’ve used this site often and like the no nonsense approach.)

    Question: “What is koinonia?”

    Answer: Koinonia is a Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible. Koinonia’s primary meaning is “fellowship, sharing in common, communion.” The first occurrence of koinonia is Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Christian fellowship is a key aspect of the Christian life. Believers in Christ are to come together in love, faith, and encouragement. That is the essence of koinonia.

    Philippians 2:1-2 declares, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” Koinonia is being in agreement with one another, being united in purpose, and serving alongside each other. Our koinonia with each other is based on our common koinonia with Jesus Christ. First John 1:6-7, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    A powerful example of what koinonia should look like can be found in a study of the phrase “one another” in the Bible. Scripture commands us to be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10), honor one another (Romans 12:10), live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16; 1 Peter 3:8), accept one another (Romans 15:7), serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13), be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32), admonish one another (Colossians 3:16), encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13), spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24), offer hospitality (1 Peter 4:9), and love one another (1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11; 3:23; 4:7; 4:11-12). That is what true biblical koinonia should look like.

    Recommended Resource: The Church: Why Bother? by Philip Yancey.

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