Be Careful What You Pray For!

You may need to read my last blog post to get the whole story, but even if you don’t, I have a true life lesson that proves that the sky is the limit when you take your wants, needs, and desires to God in prayer.

I have been working a part-time job for over 18 months. I started this gig in December of 2020 with the expectation that I would only need to do it for 6 months. My goals, at that time, were (1) to get out of the house and around people during the worst of the COVID pandemic, (2) do something physical and get out of the house, and (3) survive our dark, cold, long, Wisconsin winter.
As news to me, God had a better idea. His goals were (1) I would actually enjoy working a second job (2) this would be an active mission field to reach unchurched people in my community, and (3) to address my (almost) $24,000 in credit card debt.

A few months ago I routinely sat down with my prayer journal and I expressed to God that I was tired. With both jobs combined, I was working up to 60 hours a week and I told him that I really needed a break. My current balance on my credit card (at that time) was just under $4,000. I had come so far that I could see that being credit card debt-free was within reach. But, I also asked God to expedite my debt pay off because I didn’t want to do this anymore. As I recorded these requests, I consciously remember thinking, “How are you going to do this God? I’m asking to work less or not at all, but at the same time get paid more? These prayers contradict!”

I proceeded to close my journal and I just left it right there as I do everyday and with every prayer. Part of me couldn’t help but wonder if I expected God to actually answer my prayers that day, or was it just me whining? After all, it is such a fleshly human characteristic to “want our cake and eat it too”, right?
Several weeks passed and I forgot that prayer or whining session; whichever you want to call it. Despite being tired, sheer determination and an unwavering commitment to achieve my $0 balance credit card goal kept me going. I endured more long work days, making sacrifices to my social calendar and family time, missing out on community events and completely neglecting housework. Dust bunnies can wait until my debt is paid off, I thought to myself.
But then one day God answered my prayer and not how I would have ever imagined.

I got hurt – really hurt!

I was at work and it seemed as if it were just another night, but on this particular night, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was squished by an almost 4,000 pound box. I’ll spare you the details, but after a 5 hour wait in the Emergency Room, I was treated for a sprained wrist, elbow, ankle and a large laceration on the back of my right heel. Oh-it-could-have-been-so-much-worse!
Following the accident, I was unable to work for 2 complete weeks (because I was physically unable to stand or walk for any length of time, prohibiting me from being able to perform the light duty work that they tried to give me). Two weeks to rest, ice and elevate. Did you catch that? (2 weeks!)

The other miracle was, when I did return to work, the partial disability checks paid from workman’s comp more than doubled my normal take home pay. (Doubled!)
It was about 3 weeks after the accident that it all hit me. Not only did God gave me my much needed break BUT He expedited my debt pay off – Simultaneously! Exactly as I had prayed for it.

As of today, I my balance is $227 and I am days away from being credit card debt free and close friend asked me what I plan to do to celebrate this monumental accomplishment? After giving it some thought I decided I am going to commemorate God’s goodness in not just this, but in every aspect of my life, by getting a tattoo on my ankle (after it is healed) that reads, “My debt is paid.”

Our God loves us so much. He cares deeply for us. He is able to do so much more than we can ask or imagine. Be careful what you pray for, it might hurt.

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