Trials and Blessings

>> Thursday, July 21, 2011

What a month this has been.  We've had plenty of trials, but we've also seen God's hand in our lives.  It's been a month of car repairs, washing machine repairs, and vet bills.  Last week I was praying, asking God how much more could we take?  There were so many unplanned expenses this month... we didn't know where the money was coming from.  We just kept trying to trust God to take care of it.  My husband kept reminding me to be joyful in our trials... but that's really hard to do!

One of our biggest trials this month has been with our cat, Autumn.  Autumn has become such a wonderful part of our family over the past 4 years.  We adopted her 2 days before Christmas, and were so excited to give her a forever home.  It seemed she might have had a rough life.  She was afraid of everything, at first.  The agency we adopted her from said they picked her up as a stray 6 months before.  She was sick and malnourished, and wouldn't trust anyone.  By the time we adopted her she was healthy, but still didn't quite trust people.  But over the past 4 years we've really become attached to her, and she has her place in our home.  She seems happy, she's finally gotten used to having kids around, and is content to just sit in your lap and purr.

Well, a couple weeks ago she started getting sick.  Autumn had an accident outside her litterbox, which she had never done.  We took her to the vet and he ran some tests.  Our first thought was some sort of parasite, but that came back negative.  She was underweight, and not eating.  We took her back again a couple days later, because she seemed to be getting worse.  The vet ran more tests, and called us the next day, asking us to come in.  He said he's not 100% certain, but it looks like Autumn has lymphoma.  Another possibility is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but the word cancer really stuck in my mind.  Our oldest daughter was at camp, our youngest was home with Grandma.  How could we tell our girls their beloved cat might be dying of cancer?  We told them both when our daughter came home from camp, and that was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.  My oldest daughter, especially, was just crushed. 

So yes, it's been a difficult month.  We're seeing some progress with our cat.  I'm not convinced she has cancer; I don't know if I'm just in denial, but I'm not ready to accept it.  The vet did give her a couple of shots that he explained would help her feel better, at least temporarily.  We've changed her diet to something that is good for cats with IBS, in case that's what the problem is.  She's eating again, and is putting on a little weight.  I just keep praying that God will heal her, because I know He cares about the animals He's created.  But if He doesn't heal her, well, I know He knows what is best, and will continue to take care of us.

As far as the finances go, it's amazing how quickly vet bills can grow!  My husband and I decided that we've done all we can.  We won't take her in for any more tests, and we can't afford treatment.  So we'll just make her as comfortable at home as we can.  It's just been tough, with the vet, the car, and the other unplanned expenses.  But you know... God has been trying to show us all this month to trust Him.  My husband and I both subscribe to K-Love's Encouraging Word of the Day.  I've just got to share a recap of the emails we've received...

The day we received the news from the vet, the verse was

Psalm 120:1 -  I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to Him, and He answered my prayer. 

Saturday, the day we had to tell both of our girls the news...
Psalm 3:4 - I cried out to the Lord, and He answered me from His holy mountain.

During this time we were wondering about finances... how were we going to pay for it all?  Sunday's verse was
Psalm 38:15 - For I am waiting for you, O Lord. You must answer for me, O Lord my God.

And the verses continue to be so encouraging!  But now I need to share with you God's blessing in our lives this month.  We experienced something I've heard about, but never experienced myself.  Someone, we have no idea who, gave us a gift on Sunday... a gift that covers every single dollar we've had to pay this month on these unexpected expenses!  It covers the car, the washing machine repair, and all the vet bills!  I've heard of this sort of thing happening, but I've never experienced it myself.  I am humbled and awed that God would provide for us in this way!   It is so apparent to us that this was God answering our cries to Him, providing to us in this amazing way.  It's not a coincidence.  It's God showing us He loves us, and is taking care of us.  The money didn't come before we had the expenses, it came at just the right time.  Like I said, I am so awed and humbled.

The funny thing is, yesterday we took the car in for an oil change.  They did whatever inspection they do when they change the oil... and at the end of the inspection the gentleman informed us that there is an oil leak.  The part to replace isn't that much money, but because of the place it's located, it will take around 15 hours of labor.  Normally this would really stress us out... but after seeing God's hand at work in our lives this week, my husband and I know He's going to take care of us.  I'm not even going to worry about the car.  Oh, and the funny thing is, here are yesterday's and today's verses...
Philippians 4:6 - Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
1 Peter 5:7 - Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
I just have to smile, and trust God.   Because I know He's got it all under control.


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