When I run into folks who say they don’t believe in God I smile and ask them one question: “Can I tell you a story?” A story about something that happened to me and my little family years ago, but is still just as fresh in my mind as the night it happened.
To start, let me say, I have the worst of luck. I was struggling in the worst of ways. My husband had left me six days after I found out I was pregnant with our baby. He took everything. All the money and everything we both had worked so hard to get. He even cleaned out the change jar. I was 30-years-old, and a single mother (again) to my 11-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. Her father had passed away in an accident, and I had raised her for seven years on my own. And now, here I was looking at an uncertain future raising two children on my own.
I did what anyone would have done in my situation. I cried. I got mad. I cried some more. Then I turned to the only place I knew I could turn. I called on God. I went to church and covered my whole situation in prayer. I had strayed, but God knew exactly how to bring me back. He let me run into a brick wall. So I went to church with my daughter every single time the doors were open. We went on Sunday mornings and again at night. We went to Wednesday night Bible studies, and even Thursday night prayer meetings. I was desperate for God to perform a miracle in my life. I needed to feed my daughter, and care for this precious being I carried within me. After having complications with my pregnancy, I ended up losing my job from missing work. My vehicle payment was four months behind. We barely had enough money for gas to get back and forth much less to put food on the table. The lights were on the verge of being disconnected, and the car insurance was close to being cancelled. I needed a miracle, fast.
I didn’t know what to do. So I put the very last five dollars (five one dollar bills to be exact) in my purse, and I put my daughter in the car. We drove back to church. I took out my last five dollars, and handed two dollars to my daughter for the offering plate. I remember the pastor starting off by saying that he was going to do things a little differently that night. He asked everyone to take out their offering and get in line. One by one he prayed a special prayer over each offering. I was glued to the spot I stood. Now, let me first say that I am very shy. Couple that with a bad case of social anxiety, and I was a huge mass of nerves. There was no way I was going to be part of that line! God, however, had other plans for me. After the pastor had laid hands on the last persons offering God lit a fire under me. I took the two dollars I had given my daughter, and waddled all the way up to the stage. By then I was crying, and as I tugged the pastor’s shirt the following fell out of my mouth. “Pastor, this is all I have to my name. But I give it back to God freely. It’s all I got to give.”
My pastor took my five little tattered bills and held it up to the congregation. He smiled at me and said “Tara, God says He will multiply this tenfold. By the time you leave this place tonight God will do just that.” He started telling the congregation about my husband leaving our little family as soon as he heard I was pregnant. He never once told those people HOW much money I had handed him. I must say that to stress this next part. An elderly lady stood up and walked up to the stage. She told the pastor that she didn’t know why, but her husband had felt led to give her five $100 dollar bills to bring up front and give me. God didn’t need the pastor to tell the people how much He would multiply; God told them Himself! After that people came pouring out of the pews. Some giving cash, some change, and even some handed one coin to the pastor and said that the coin was standing for money were pledging. The pastor’s wife started counting, but they kept coming. All I could do is stand there, tears drenching my shirt as I sobbed. I was completely in shock at the blessing God was pouring out on my little family that night. I never expected to get a dime back from that offering. I just wanted to give back to God what little I could. By the time the pastor’s wife was finished counting she held over $3,000 in her hands for me. The pastor asked me if I had enough gas to get home that night, and back in the morning. He wanted to collect all the pledges. I praised God all the way home. When I got back to church the next morning he had a check for over $3,100 waiting for me. I had enough to pay my vehicle completely off, and pay all my bills for the next four months! That would be quite a little while after the baby would be born. I was so humbled and grateful.
The blessings didn’t stop there. I was able to use this opportunity to witness for the Lord. I went to the place I had bought my car, and told the man I was there to pay my balance in full. He smiled because he knew how much I was struggling for the last few months, but when I began to tell him about God’s miracle he started to cry. My story had touched someone. One by one I was able to talk to people about what God had done for me. I am so thankful God used me, and I am even more grateful He blessed us so abundantly. Now, whenever I hear someone say they are a non believer, I simply say, “Don’t tell me there isn’t a God because I have seen Him at work firsthand!”