Matt and Ali Hooper are part of our Vista family. They have been on the forefront of this church plant from the beginning. Ali runs a blog called blessed treehouse and Matt helps facilitate a Friday morning men’s group with Vista guys. They both head up the connections team on Sunday morning at Vista. I know you will be blessed by Ali’s offering below.
Two years ago, shortly after the birth of my son, we made the decision to sacrifice a second income so that I could be home with our boy. Actually, it was God’s decision. Months after my son was born, I applied for a position with the school where I was a long-term sub, and naturally, I thought I had the job in the bag. As it turns out, I didn’t get the job. Oh-holy-humbling. I felt so defeated. And disappointed. Especially because with two incomes, my husband and I thought that we could afford to start trying for a second child – a decision that we knew came with huge financial responsibility (my first c-section cost over $30,000).
Anyone else notice all that was wrong with our perspective? God sure noticed. My over-confidence in job security. My insistence that a certain level of financial security equated to our ability to carry out OUR plan. Even the lack of confidence in God’s ability to provide for us as we tackled medical bills.
So there we were, living humbly on a single-income, still paying off medical bills from my pregnancy and delivery, and wondering if we’d ever be able to afford more children (yes, we have health insurance, but it didn’t cover all of our bills). Though I very much tried to live in the moment with my then six-month-old son (he was and still is the delight of my life), I couldn’t help but feel discouraged that God’s plan apparently wasn’t my plan. I was praying for a part-time-work-from-home-school-counseling-job (or the impossible) and, in an effort to get back to a more positive mindset, I began taking daily jogs.
One Saturday morning, I grabbed my running shoes and headed out for a quick jog. As I made my return home, I came to a ditch and my foot slipped on the early morning dew still covering the grass. My foot planted in the ditch as my body kept moving forward. I heard three awful pops and landed face-first in the grass. I knew right away that my ankle was broken.
Fast forward several days – I’m rolled into the OR for surgery to mend my very-broken ankle. And guess what? Ankle surgery ain’t much cheaper than a c-section. Now we had medical bills out the wazoo. I was physically unable to even pick-up my crazy-busy six-month-old. And my hopes of jogging my way to sanity were shot. And to top it all off, eight weeks of being confined to the couch and bed resulted in something I wasn’t quite expecting: a pregnancy.
Of course we were thrilled, but deep down, I was frightened. Everything that had once given me security had been taken from me – my physical abilities, financial stability, even my self-worth from a job. And throw in the challenges of a soon-to-be-toddler and pregnancy hormones – Yikes! Thank you, Jesus, for giving me a patient and levelheaded husband!
Fast-forward almost two years. My son is more delightful than ever. My daughter is beautiful and healthy. And I’m jogging again (I even completed a half-marathon in May). And remember that flippant and impossible prayer I delivered in the midst of my defeat and disappointment – a prayer for a part-time-work-from-home-school-counseling-job? Well I forgot about it. But guess who didn’t? The one-and-only, always-faithful, nothing-is-impossible-for-Him, crazy-awesome God.
Two months ago I accepted the impossible: a part-time-work-from-home-school-counseling-job. I am so not kidding. It is as if God was saying, “I never forgot about you, but I needed the timing to be perfect. Your timing, Ali, was not my timing. Your securities are not my securities.” I am so blown away by His faithfulness. And in case you were wondering, we paid off all of our medical bills. Thousands and thousands of dollars worth of bills. All before I accepted the job. All on one income. Because with God, ALL things ARE possible.
Scriptures for meditation:
Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”
Romans 12:2, “God’s will is good, pleasing, and perfect.”
Acts 1:7, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”