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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

An Honest Confession

Living the single girl life can sometimes put quite the strain on my little wallet. I am incredibly blessed with a great job that I love and I get paid well to do what I do, but at the same time it's just ME in my household. I have a mortgage, a car payment, student loans, insurance, a couple credit cards....none of these expenses I took on initially thinking I would one day be paying them on my own. Yada yada... you know all the bills we, as adults, have to face each month. I'm not a great saver and I spend a crap load of money on going out to eat with friends and frivolous things (ahem...Walgreens). You've heard me say this before, but I'm a baller on a budget!
 
So back in October my church introduced a campaign called Waking the Giant, and part of this campaign includes moving into a larger, more permanent location (we are a new-ish church of only 3-4 years and we rent a facility currently). Moving to a new location requires some moolah - and $500,000 over 3 years to be exact. That's a hefty challenge, especially being presented to us just before the holiday season. My pastor was asking us to step outside of our individual comfort zones and to "test" God on this tithing issue. Malachi 3:10 talks about God challenging His people to tithe, the only time in the Bible that it allows us to test Him. "I will open the windows of Heaven for you. I will pour our blessings so great you won't have enough room to take it in. Try it! Put me to the test! (NIV)" I prayed long and hard about it. I knew I felt moved to contribute, and I knew I could trust God to provide for me...but I am telling you it's a SCARY thing to give up control of your money. I will freely give up $50 to buy a round of beers for a friend who's had a rough day, or drop $100 without hesitation at Wal-Mart on who knows what, but I was really struggling with this idea of giving just 10% to my church.
 
I have never been a regular contributor to the offering plate on Sundays. I gave $10 here, a couple bucks there, and never really gave it a 2nd thought. I justified it by telling myself that God knew my single income situation. He knew that sometimes I am waiting on my paycheck to hit the bank before I can get gas again. I spent several nights in tears over my budget, trying to work this out on paper and I just couldn't see how it would come together. Honestly, I just hoped that God would show me a way that I could wiggle out of this. My church has been a lifesaver for me. I am not being dramatic when I say that. God has been so good to me, more so than I deserve! I am a part of this church, and it's a huge part of me. This new location matters to me. I knew He was calling me to trust Him. So the day that we were supposed to make our commitments came.... and I put my money where my mouth was, literally speaking. I no longer wanted to say "have faith in Him" here or "trust Him with this", yet not make this sacrifice myself.
 
That was on November 24th. And guess what is happening come January 1st for me? I got a big promotion at work, with a raise that will more than cover the commitment I made for the Waking the Giant Campaign. And I've heard stories from people in my church family who have been blessed in the same manner. You can read my pastor's own story here. I have never felt more thankful. I have never been closer to God. I have never had so many answered prayers, large & small.
 
The moral of this story is no matter what you are facing, no matter how big it seems or how much it challenges you - you can get through it with Him. I promise. I am not even trying to be preachy with you guys. I just wanted to share this experience because it has genuinely blown my mind how it's all come to work out. When I made that commitment, I was honestly scared to death about how I would manage to make it all work and still have money at the end of the day.  I felt like who am I to deserve these blessings? I am a small town girl in Knoxville, TN who makes a ton of mistakes everyday. I've been wronged and I've definitely done my fair share of wrong doing to hurt people. I am so humbled by God's plan for me, even though I have no earthly idea where it will lead me.
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42 comments:

Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

sometimes you just have to believe and in the end it all works out! yay for this! :D

kathy
Vodka and Soda

P!nky said...

WOW, what an amazingly faithful story. I began giving electronically, weekly at my church, but am not quite to tithing yet. That is my goal though, hopefully soon.

Congrats on the promotion, woohoO!

Amy @ Living n Learning said...

Congrats again on the promotion. What an amazing story! As I'm preparing to head out on my own in the coming months I know that I worry about how my one little income is going to cover it all. It's definitely going to take some adjustments and becoming better at sticking to a budget.

megan said...

That's awesome! Congratulations! I've always loved the saying "if He brings you to it, He will bring you through it." :)

Nikki said...

Congrats on the promotion at work.

Also, thank you for posting this. I have been praying for a while about this topic and it is something I struggle with CONSTANTLY. I know I need to trust HIM but I am scared. There I said it. Im scared.

The Peanut Program said...

i'm so happy for you and the promotion! that's awesome. this is such a great story, i'm glad everything worked out with your church!

Rachel S said...

Congrats on the promotion and that is awesome that you give to the church. Most people still wouldn't and the fact that you do is amazing!

Amanda aka Manda said...

This story is so amazing! Such a great reminder to have faith and keep believing and praying! Congratulations again on your promotion! I'm so happy for you!

Pamela said...

NIKKI! I LOVE YOU! I'm like you, we don't have a lot of $ right now but yet we can go out to eat & buy junk! When we should be giving it all to God! We started 2013 off so good by tithing 10%, then I don't know what happened to us. I want us to get back to doing it. I know God will provide! He always does!! He knows our situation & wouldn't give us more than we can handle - although that's hard to believe sometimes, ha!

Brooke said...

This is beautiful. He always provides!

Lindsey @ Life on Countryside said...

cheers to a raise! Patience is a virtue!!!
Congrats!

Heather Marie said...

That's awesome! I am a huge believer in tithing. If we give god 10%and trust him, he does so much in return.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

Congrats on the raise, sometimes a little faith goes a long way!

Lindsay @ la vita dolce said...

believing and having faith is pretty much all we need to do. granted easier said than done.

Ashley @ LocalPostcards said...

What an incredible testimony to the ways God works through us and for us when we feel we have no where to turn!! It all comes down to faith :) I'm so happy for you!

Whitney Leigh said...

Chills. I love stories like this. Congrats on your promotion and congrats on being an awesome human being. :)

Jen said...

Awesome Nikki!! Congrats on your promo. Thanks for sharing this story!

Jordan said...

Great testimony! I am so happy to hear how everything is coming together for you. You deserve it and I assure you, it's going to keep getting better. You are exactly where you need to be. Thanks for sharing!

Shannon Quigley said...

I appreciate your honesty and I'm so glad you've shared about this! My heart is happy to see you honoring Him with your $$$

JJ said...

Congrats girl!

God always helps you find a way.

LB @ Table For One said...

This is amazing lady!!! Congrats on the promotion :) I to only give on the Sundays I attend church verses a weekly commitment. I am so glad that all of this worked out for you! All with His timing! Xo

Duh! Danae said...

Great post pretty girl :) Congrats on everything a great 2014 already!

Rachel Sedaker said...

Well, that's amazing. I love hearing about when God shows up for a person. Congrats on that promotion!

Kim Wanders said...

so awesome! congrats on the promotion!! :)

Kristin said...

Loved reading this!

Lins - Domesticated Working Woman said...

Great testimony! Love that you shared it.

Lins - Domesticated Working Woman said...

Great testimony! Love that you shared it.

Lins - Domesticated Working Woman said...

Great testimony! Love that you shared it.

Jackie said...

Honestly, it is expensive being single. I never realized how expensive until I moved here and was completely on my own. Rent, food, utilities...all paid for by yourself. Dinners out, every day stuff like toilet paper and such too.

Congrats on your promotion! Maybe when it's warmer we can do something to celebrate haha

Samantha said...

What an awesome and inspiring story :) Congrats on the promotion!

katelyn w said...

What a testament and inspiration you are Nikki! I can't believe I didn't congratulate you on your promotion yet! CONGRATS GIRL! What an incredible story of how God works in our lives everyday.

LOVE YOU! xo

B said...

this is a beautiful story. thank you so much for sharing. i am so happy to hear how you took a leap of faith and were blessed :)

Jill said...

Loved reading this so much :) I needed it.

Kelsey Homolka said...

This is so inspiring! Our church is also adding on and we've got most of it already put aside but it's scary for any church to build without knowing for sure we can pay it off. I truly believe the Lord blesses those who do what they can to always give back to those around them. I actually just quit my full time job and went off of hope and prayers that I can make it being self employed. We'll see how it goes! (Crossing my fingers)

Young and Fabulous said...

love this so much Nikki :-) Made me smile to read and really truly inspiring!

xoxoox

Hallie Oceanside said...

Love this Nik!
I am sooo sooo soo happy that everything is falling in to place for you, even though it's just money right now I know bigger things are headed your way.
I cannot wait to follow you along on your journey and as you said putting all of our faith in Him and knowing He has all the power, life seems to work in the most mysterious, miraculous ways!
xoxo

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

This makes me so incredibly happy. I'm not a church goer but I do have my own beliefs, one of which is that God knows when you need Him and he will help you to find what you need when you truly need it.

Sounds like you've been incredibly blessed.

Faith said...

What an amazing testimony!

Thank you so much for sharing. You are truly an inspiration!

Pamela said...

that is so amazing nikki!! :) Congrats on the promotion, I agree - God works in mysterious ways sometimes :) love you! hope 2014 is an amazing year for you! xo

Cassie said...

the power of prayer - that's spot on baby!! congrats to you my friend. well, well deserved!

Cassie said...

the power of prayer - that's spot on baby!! congrats to you my friend. well, well deserved!

Janna Renee said...

This gave me chills! Such an awesome story and congrats on everything.