Thursday, 4 June 2009

Beyond gratitude

God has always taken care of me financially. I know that might sound strange to some people, that God is usually relegated to spiritual matters, leaving the rest of life's details to be handled by us ourselves. But not in my life.

Growing up I was taught to pay tithing - giving a tenth of my earnings back to God. I heard so many experiences about how paying an honest tithe led to miracles in money matters: stories of desperation where money showed up when there seemed nowhere to turn. I have never experienced this, but I have seen myself taken care of at every turn. As a teenager I was given a blessing that as long as I paid tithing faithfully, I would not only have enough for everyday needs, but an "abundance to share". And although I may not yet have experienced the "abundance" yet, I certainly have never lacked for everyday needs.

Amazing job opportunities always seemed to fall into my path. In my last two years of high school, someone approached me to start a piano teaching business. The exact right amount of clients found me, enabling me to work few hours so that it didn't interfere with school

The first summer after university I worked in the film industry, which enabled me to learn a large amount of money in preparation for the next school year. And then as I started second year a company called me to offer me a part-time admin job. The company was 3 blocks from my school, and said I could work around my school hours. They paid me an excellent wage, and my employers took me under their wing as though I were a daughter and sister. During summers they hired me on full time. They shifted me around the company to fill up my hours, as I learned accounting, production and web. When I graduated, I worked full time until the following February, when they abruptly let me go. I was devastated at first, until I took a deep look at my life. The job had served its purpose. I had graduated debt-free from school. I had saved up a good amount of savings. And in the next few weeks I became pregnant, and so ill I wouldn't have been able to work.

While piano teaching wove in and out for a few years after that, I haven't worked steadily since. But our family has been blessed through James' work. During university and for a few years after, he worked for Chrysler, in a protected and well paid union job. And then two years ago a business ownership opportunity presented itself, which we felt inspired to accept - all just before the instability of the auto industry, a situation which very well might have meant James losing his job.

And so, in a time and economy that is so frightful, I am beyond grateful for this blessing in my life. Today I conversed with friends who were telling me the great faith they are building as they are being tested financially - those who need to work multiple jobs, those who have to choose which bills to pay and which to let lapse, those who face frightening debt and job insecurity. I know that no trial defines a person; I know that one blessing is not greater than another. I know God challenges me and blesses me in different ways than he does others. But I would be an ungrateful child if I did not profusely thank my Father in Heaven for this blessing in such a time as this.

And also, in recording this blessing and story, I wanted to record that God does make promises and fulfill them. The scriptures are filled with "If....then..." covenants God makes with us. If we follow this commandment, then we will be blessed in that. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10) "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10)

No comments: