An Old Receipt

My mom found a receipt in my kitchen cabinet the other day.

I was about to tell her to throw it away when she mentioned that it was from September 8, 2008. Two and a half years ago.

I was kind of curious to see if my buying habits have changed since then, so I grabbed it from my mom and took a look. Only four things were on the receipt.

A ball of yarn. Facial cleansing wipes. Knitting needles. And finally, a knitting "How To" book.

Those things may not seem particularly significant, but in an instant I remembered the day we bought those items.

Derek and I were newly married. It was an exciting time, but it was also a stressful time. We were both unemployed in September 2008.

Derek had resigned from his previous job because he was about to get a really good job as a financial analyst, but then the stock market did it's thing in 2008, and the company that was going to hire him started a hiring freeze and the job fell through.

I was fresh out of hygiene school and working for a temporary agency, when I had a needle-poke incident at one of my temp jobs. The lady who ran the agency became angry at me and acted like I did it on purpose, and didn't give me a single job after that.

Those four items were a huge treat for me, because we really couldn't afford them. But after several weeks of not working, I was getting bored and needed a project. I told Derek that I might like to start knitting again, and he took me to Wal-Mart to get some knitting needles, instructions, and yarn.

He was also very sweet and let me get the facial cleansing wipes. It's just nice to be able to remove all the makeup from your face, and something so simple was pretty exciting to me at the time, because we really didn't have money for things like that.

As I sat in my kitchen and looked at that old receipt, I realized again how far the Lord has brought us.

Two months later, Derek would get a job in a very difficult market that would pay the bills for almost two years. It was also a job that opened the door for the treasurer position he holds now.

I got a temporary job for the month of December that helped us through the holidays, and a few months after that the Lord led me to my current position, in an office that I love.

Those days of unemployment are a distant memory. I almost forget that they happened. But I shouldn't, because the Lord used that time of financial difficulty to bring us closer to Him, and to strengthen our newly formed marriage. And ultimately, He brought us through.

Sometimes it's hard to see the good in a situation, but hindsight really is twenty-twenty. As I look back on every major difficulty we have faced, though I may not have been able to see it at the time, I can truly say that the Lord really does work out everything for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)! What an amazing assurance!

How has the Lord taken a difficulty you've faced and worked it out for your good?

Oh, and as a sidenote, I never did finish that blanket that I started that September. It was a good distraction for a while, but then I got into a much more addicting hobby.

On September 18, I wrote my first blog post in over a year, followed by 585 more blog posts . . .

And the rest, as they say, is history.

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Michelle said...

Wow I love this. Thank you. Reminds me how God works. Thank you!

Unknown said...

This is wonderful Callie! Those tough times turn us into the people we are today. What strength you had to overcome that!

Momma Megan said...

Awesome to remember all the Lord has done & give Him thanks! I immediately thought of Psalm 118 while reading your post:
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
His faithful love endures forever."

LeAnna said...

I function very much in this manner...small things trigger big memories with me! So sweet that you were able to look back and give God glory. I can think of countless times when God has worked out the bad for our good. My Husband has been self employed since 1997, and we live in feast or famine, but praise God for His promise that the righteous are never forsaken, or begging for bread. He is good, and He cares about us and our desires. Even in the little things.

Amber said...

Isn't it funny how something as small as a receipt can remind you of all that? And God really is good!

Anne said...

I love this! It's so fun to think back to when we were first married or on hard times we've been through and to see how far God has brought us and how much he cares for us. Thanks for sharing your story!

Brittney Galloway said...

Love this! That's so neat to see how something as simple as a receipt can make you think of something as big and wonderful as God's sovereignty!

She Said... said...

James and I went through a period like this right before we were about to get married. And we had to pay for the wedding ourselves. It was a stressful and trying time. It did bring us closer together and closer to Him. Learning and relying on God.

Your post brought me back this memory and I thank you so much! sometimes it is nice to see how far you have come. :)

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this. Money is pretty tight for us right now, so thank you for the reminder.

Ashley said...

Oh Wow! What a good reminder! Thanks for sharing that!

Jessica and Stephan said...

Thanks for this post! My boyfriend and I are going through difficulty...with his immigration, with me find a job in my field, with buying a house. Its nice to know others have gone through the same thing, and that with faith it has paid off. It helps me to keep my chin up!
Thanks again!

Kara @ Just1Step said...

Isn't it so neat to look back like that?? I'm trying to keep the lessons that I've learned from situations like that in my mind right now, as we're facing the fact that Dave may be losing his job. It's scary, but I know God will use it for our good.

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