Tuesday, April 22, 2014

If We Just Ask

      Jordan and I have been very specific with our prayers as of late. Our prayers haven't been vague and cloudy, but crystal clear and polished with faith. His love letter says it need only be the size of a mustard seed. (Matthew 17) But this mustard seed He planted in the heart of our little family has grown into a forest of mustard trees.
      With this leap of faith to Nashville, we've run into many questions for God, the biggest one being "how?" But God's answer to our "how" is simply, "Watch this." After the sign concerning Jordan's new job, our faith was watered with steroids. I am by no means on top of the faith game. I'm human, pitifully flawed, and still scared to death, but I'm reminded of Peter on the water with Jesus when the devil's slithery tail starts to whip at my ankles. "Don't look down, Brandi," says Jesus. "Keep those made-up eyes on mine and we'll stay on top of the water. I'm right here. Don't look down. . ." I'm trusting Him and I'm keeping whole face upward, my weak and frail hands in His perfectly scarred hands. . .the hands that made my heart. . .why am I afraid? What have I to fear?
       CHS works with financial assistance programs for families who can't completely afford tuition; this is common for Christian schools. It is based on need throughout the school, on a first come, first served basis, and awarded accordingly. God has provided in the past through this assistance and we were more than blessed to have qualified for it. We recently qualified again this year for financial aid. However, tuition isn't covered 100% through the aid. Therefore, we were left with a portion that was to be our responsibility. Upon receiving our award letter, we also signed saying that we accepted our award and agreed to pay our portion in full. This contract locked us in. The agreement means the awarded family agrees to pay even if they pull their child from the school. One of my prayer requests was this: "Lord, we're in a financial aid agreement with CHS. We need for you to take care of this because we can't pay tuition at two schools, but I don't want to 'jip' CHS."
      I'd been meaning to call the school for the past few days to tell them our news, get information concerning Lilli's transfer, and to ask about the agreement, when I got a phone call from our dear CHS financial lady, Terri Ward.
      "What's this rumor I'm hearing about ya'll moving?!" she asked me. I could tell she was shocked and confused. In a matter of minutes I'd shared our story and the breath-taking miracles God had been working. She congratulated me, praised the Lord, and asked if there was anything she could do for us.
      "I think we're good, but I'm wondering how we work out this financial aid agreement. . ."
      "What financial aid agreement?" she asked me.
      "Well, we signed the paper saying we'd accept Lilli's award and we'd pay our portion," I replied. Then Terri said to me,
      "Well, you're moving more than 50 miles away. You have no financial aid agreement with us. You're free and clear and you owe us nothing."
      I could hear the smile in her voice and I started to cry. My heart was pounding and I felt God smiling as if He were saying, "I told you. . . Just keep watching, kid. It's only gonna get better, " with a wink and a flip of His sleeve.
      Terri asked me if I was okay and I began to tell her about my specific prayer for Lilli's tuition. She was in awe at the great God we serve who never ceases in surprising His babies. Then she told me she didn't want to be "gruesome" but she needed to know what to do about Lilli  because the need for financial assistance is so great this year. She told me that she had a specific family in mind, that through our obedience and step of faith another child would be able to attend CHS and receive Lilli's award. Praise God for His blessings in disguise that fall on all of His children! I don't know who the family is that is going to be awarded what was our's, but my prayer is that they will be as richly blessed by becoming a part of the CHS family as we have. Our cups have been running over for 5 beautiful and magnificent years, and we couldn't be more grateful to CHS and God for the service they have put into our family and our child. We are better people for having been a part of Christian Heritage School.
      While our hearts are breaking to leave our CHS family, we know that we will be continually supported and encouraged through prayer. And we hope they know that they can count on us for prayer and any other favor in the future!
      We have several more specific requests that we have been daily laying at the Father's feet. My question for you is this: what do you need? He wants so much to bless you, friends. Just ask Him. It's so simple. He reminds us to ask and if it's in His will, He'll give it to us! (Matthew 7) It's not a Christmas list and it's certainly not about testing God. It's simply opening up the most hidden pieces of you to your Creator. God knew us before He made us and when He fashioned us in the secret place. (Psalm 139)  He knows the numbers of hairs on our heads.(Luke 12)  He already knows our hearts (Acts 15; Matthew 6), but He wants more than that. He wants to hear our heart through the voices He fine-tuned to praise Him, to see our empty hands held out to Him (Psalm 63) in raw faith that isn't boxed in (Hebrews 11), but wild and free, knowing no borders or boundaries, relying only on Him. In the process, your life and the blessings God has for you will bless those around you, further His kingdom, and glorify the Father. It doesn't take Hamlet to figure out where the rub is: you'll be blessed simply by watching others, your brothers and sisters in Christ, be blessed. And your walk with Him will become richer than you ever imagined as the bond between the two of you thickens, as you decrease and He increases (John 3). Our mission in Him is to go into all the world and preach the gospel. What better start to do it than to just ask Him for extra tools to do it. 

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