The Fellowship of Believers

To my recollection, I’ve not written about this and published it before. It was one year ago, and so much was going on, I wasn’t sure how to verbally process it as we were walking it out.

A year ago, we were in a very different spot. Physically, yes, because we were still in Minnesota. But our family was in a weird place and it seemed like 2019 was the strangest, hardest year we had ever endured. (Which is almost laughable now, given how 2020 has played out world-wide…)

It was early October, we had called some professionals to come evaluate a situation on our property, and they gave us the <sarcasm> wonderful </sarcasm> news it was going to cost us thousands of dollars to rectify. Oh, and by the way, here’s a bill for several hundred dollars for us to tell you what will also cost you several thousand.

On top of that, we had a vehicle in the shop, electrical issues the electrician was puzzled by and couldn’t fix, and we were… broke.

We didn’t have thousands. We didn’t have hundreds. We didn’t have a spare $50. Our world was rocked.

I decided to start our pantry challenge six weeks ahead of when I had originally planned, in the hopes that by skipping out on buying groceries, we might be able to save enough of a financial buffer to where we wouldn’t be ruined.

I was driving from our house to a meeting in Fargo, and I remembered the passage in Acts, where the fellowship of believers sold their belongings and gave to whoever was in need. I remember asking, “Where is that fellowship of believers now, Lord? We need to get through this…” It was a half sarcastic, half desperate prayer.

The next day, I was gripped with anxiety. I had a sink-to-the-floor-and-sob moment. My kids needed clothes for the winter, and I had delayed getting any, of course. Now I was in a position where I couldn’t get any. I did something I never do: I asked for help.

I texted a group of prayer friends and asked them if they knew of anyone who had hand-me-downs I could use for my kids, and told them we were in a tight spot. “We need help.” It was a big deal to type those words – and hit send.

Within minutes, I received a message someone had contacted the local thrift store, and I was to go in and pick whatever we could use, and the tab was covered. Another friend gave us a bag of clothes for my children. An acquaintance who knew nothing of our situation messaged me and asked if I had a need for any clothes for Little Miss, as she had cleaned out the closets of her daughters.

Within hours, someone who did not know me other than through following posts on Instagram, messaged me. She wanted to give me some potatoes, as she had seen my post of our potatoes being flooded out earlier in the year. We met in town and she gave me 50 pounds of potatoes. ….and 50 pounds of oats, 25 pounds of flour, 20 pounds of rice, 10 pounds of sugar, and four pounds of butter.

I cried as she loaded the food in my trunk, this stranger who out of obedience to the Lord, was helping to feed my family. I hugged her as I couldn’t speak, my throat choked up in tears of gratitude.

I was handed an envelope in church and was told, “someone asked us to give this to you.” Inside was cash.

A friend dropped by and gave us pajamas for my kids, and a Target gift card.

This is an absolute fact: we would not have made it [financially] during the month of October 2019 (or through the end of the year) if these people… the fellowship of believers… had not come to our aid.

I was moved to tears time and time again through the people and ways the Lord employed to provide for us.

The Lord showed me in magnificently tangible ways His fellowship of believers is very much still alive and active today. He moves people, stirs their spirit, to care for others in loving and meaningful ways.

I learned to swallow pride. I learned to get out of the Lord’s way. I learned how very much He loves us and shows it by allowing us to be loved on by others. I learned to be even more empathetic to those who fall on hard times.

One year later, as we’re in a new place with zero friends, I’m reflecting on our situation 12 months ago. Lord, thank you for those people – and I pray they are blessed 100-fold for how they blessed us.

And Lord, may I sense your leading and act in obedience to help those who are in need, and take my place in serving alongside the fellowship of believers.

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