From the time our oldest was born, I’ve told him that I love him, “all the numbers in the world..plus 1.” I have no idea where I got that only that it has always seemed to be the most encompassing expression of how I feel for my children. That my love is beyond infinite in scope for them.
Honestly, I don’t know that I have ever been able to receive such extravagant love. I’m not saying people haven’t loved me, but more that walls were built so high and so thick that their love could never quite penetrate to the depths of my heart the way I have hoped my love for my children does.
As most of you know, 2 ½ years ago, I lost my job. When that happened, I lived with the constant companion of fear from the loss of my steady income. While I have always been firmly convinced that the layoff was God’s divine hand at work preparing me for where He will one day call me, the fear of bills that I can’t pay…groceries that I can’t buy..a home that I would have to sell or face foreclosure weighed on me daily.
More nights than I care to admit I found myself awake all night panicked about the ‘what ifs’. During this season I made poor decisions because of my fears that God wouldn’t provide. I looked for signs that I was where He wanted me based on how much I made..or didn’t make and ran head first into closed door after closed door. I just couldn’t reconcile why God would take everything from me and not provide. Why would God lead me into this isolated place where I sought Him like never before but felt as if I couldn’t find Him?
And then, Chris got sick. When he was initially hospitalized, we were financially in a deep hole. I remember sitting in the Medical ICU break room with piles of bills spread across the break room table as I talked with the mortgage company to see how many months I had if I missed future house payments before they would begin the process of foreclosure. I sat there paralyzed by my fears that had finally moved from the dark night to the light of day.
How in the world would my family survive?
I remember adding up what was immediately owed and comparing it to what we had in the bank account and realizing that in that moment it was only a matter of time before I would have to pack our home and move while Chris’s life remained in limbo.
I saw no way that I could humanly provide for my family and meet the needs Chris had and our children had.
But unlike me, God is not limited to the human ability. Within days, a fund was set up for our family and gift cards began pouring in. Day in and day out…week in and week out, I have NO idea how God does it, but He has more than met our basic needs for over 9-months. God’s grace and goodness have been extravagant leaving me so humbled knowing I do not deserve such excessive displays of His love.
And then this week came.
Professionally, God has provided me with numerous opportunities to share our story with others which feeds my heart in an indescribable way. But personally, God has taught me about His love which is infinite-and supersedes far beyond my ‘all the numbers in the world’. He has cancelled debts that were not His from choices I wrongly made. He has overwhelmed me with lavish generosity this week by so many dear friends. He has ensured that our kids will have a ‘normal’ Christmas with gifts under the tree.
I don’t know what difficult season you’re walking through or what fear is keeping you up at night, but can I offer you a word of encouragement? You CAN TRUST God. He sees YOU. He hears YOU. He has a plan for YOU. He is your provider..your healer..your comforter..your banner. He is SO good and SO gracious. Beyond a shadow of a doubt I know that God is not finished demonstrating His extravagant love for our family. I know that He did not do this because we are special, but because it’s who HE IS.
As I sat in the hospital parking lot earlier this week, tears streaming down my face for all God has done this week, I just kept saying, ”Why God? Why would you do this for me? I don’t deserve this.” And in my heart, I heard Him say, “Because, I love you.” It’s truly that simple. It’s because God really does love me all the numbers in the world…plus 1 that He chose to bless me in the area of my greatest fear and my greatest need.