More of You
“Until you trust me with nothing, can you trust me with everything.”
Have you ever lost it all your material comforts? It changes you when it happens. It’s very painful and scary as you grapple to hold onto “something.” Fear grips you, and you wonder how you will buy milk, put gas in your car or buy your children’s shoes. It’s quite a helpless feeling. If you ever had any type of concept of “faith” before this event, you either grab hold of your faith or your forsake it.
For me, I had no choice but to grab hold of my faith – white knuckled – like my life depended upon it – because it did. Let me rephrase that statement into the present tense: It does. I used to live by the philosophy that if you just work and “pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” you’ll be fine. It worked for me for years! I grew up on Welfare, so I learned real early to work hard, buy my own things, and do what needs to be done. I worked, paid for my own things in high school, and joined the Air Force at 18. I was self-sufficient. I married young. My husband believed in the same type of work ethic as me. We got along quite well.
Upon being honorably discharged from the military, we were young parents of a sweet little, baby girl: Faith. We became parents and started college in one breath. Our hard work ethic philosophy carried us through – that, and our faith of course. I have to say, however, that since I never really, really, really, had to rely solely on my faith – it was probably 75% work-ethic and 25% faith that got me through on a daily basis.
Then, things changed. My son, Jacob, was born. Jacob has been diagnosed with Usher’s Syndrome, which causes profound deafness and blindness. He received a cochlear implant surgery, which enables him to hear with an electric ear. I’ll tell you in a nutshell, what happened. We made sure Jacob got what he needed. Unfortunately, the only thing that insurance covered was the initial surgery. Five years of therapy, and specialist appointments, and cochlear implant parts were (are) not covered. We spent all we had a few times over getting Jacob what he needed. The cost didn’t matter. I figured we’d recover financially one day in the future. For now, Jacob was getting what he needed. To make a long story short, it ended up costing about $175,000 in 5 years. Sure, I didn’t do a perfect job with managing it all, but the truth of the matter was – it was unmanageable – impossible really. What would I have done differently you ask? Nothing. It was worth it. But now it’s “later.” Now, we are in the time of our lives where we are trying to recover financially.
In my pile of material nothingness, God spoke to me: “Until you trust me with (in) nothing, can you trust me with everything.” When you sell your china in order to make room in your china cabinet for rice and flour, it changes you. When you trade your salon visits for a pony-tail holder and a box of hair color from Walmart, it changes you. When you start to pray for money for your children’s shoes instead of a special night out – it changes you. When, all of a sudden, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps isn’t enough anymore, it changes you. When you realize you only have enough money for groceries and cochlear implant parts that your son needs to hear, and you order the cochlear implant parts and make peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner, it changes you. I can officially say, “I’m changed.” What really matters any more anyway? My family matters. My son’s ability to hear and see matters. And, I’m not talking about mere physical abilities here. I’m talking about hearing with one’s heart and seeing with eyes of faith. This concept is more important for both of my children than any sensory ability! My daughter’s immediate needs matter. Her hopes and dreams matter to me. I’m thankful for a roof over our heads, milk in the refrigerator, and a warm bed. I’m thankful for my husband’s unconditional love for me and the children. I’m thankful that my husband doesn’t complain; he just keeps putting one foot in front of the other and saying, “God will take care of us.” I’m thankful that we have each other. I’m also thankful that God spoke these words to me: “Until you trust me with nothing, can you trust me with everything.”
You see, I still live by faith!
If you read about faith in the Bible, you’ll be amazed. Until I truly had to live by faith, those stories never resonated with me. Now, they resonate because I depend on them. I expect God to do for me what He did for all of the people who have gone before me. Those stories are no longer “stories” they are recordings from history of God delivering His people from famine! Have you read the book of Hebrews? Have you revisited Job’s life lately? God brings the dead back to life, and makes gardens out of wastelands. He rescued Daniel from the lions’ mouths. He turned water into wine! He fed 5,000 with a few fish and a couple crackers! He parted the red sea! Mana fell down from Heaven when there was no food to eat. Do you see what I’m getting at here? If you truly, truly, truly, live by faith, you know that man does not live by bread alone!
I know that God will restore our land because we have entrusted it to Him! I know that God will replenish us, renew us, make us new, and make our feet steadfast because His Word confirms so! That verse that talks about seeking His Kingdom first, and all these things will be added – will happen. I am claiming from this pit that God will lift me out of it. I know that God calls me to write and encourage others in the midst of my “nothingness” as a test to see if I really trust Him to bring water forth from a rock. And I know that He is my rock, and He is my living water. I am bubbling with excitement about what He is doing through the testimonies in my life of His faithfulness. I’m so thankful that He calls me “Warrior Mom, Daughter, Friend, and Bride.”
In my material nothingness, I feel more free than ever before, and I know that when God does replenish our land, I will continue to walk and live in the freedom that only a shear fire faith can provide. And I know that because I have learned to trust God in my “nothingness,” I truly can trust Him for everything. A good friend told me. “There has never been nothing because God has always been.” Now that I am down to what the world would equate as “nothing,” I know that God truly has become my everything.” I now live in the freedom of my faith. God has impressed upon me to buckle my “faith-seat-belt” because the rest of my life will be a miraculous ride that is going to surpass my wildest dreams.
Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.