The New Year came.
Our first little baby girl came.
And stayed. And I’m so glad she did.
We were six months into The Waiting.
Six months that resulted in a skinny bank account and us…still waiting.
No job. No job search. No ministry. No plan. Waiting on the Lord.
We were doing crazy things here. Not acting at all as we normally would.
But God had called us to this crazy project.
I mean, surely we would never make up something like this?
All my life I had heard stories of people who claimed God said this or that and He clearly hadn’t.
…Was that us?
These questions began to haunt.
That spring, an idea presented itself unexpectedly. A local farmer’s market coordinator suggested we sell freshly ground flour at her farmer’s market. We already dealt with whole grains once a year in a bulk order we coordinated, so the idea was a natural fit.
Do we have permission from Him to do this temporarily while we wait?
Yes, we did. We set about making fresh flour and dry baking mixes (blueberry muffins, pancake, etc.). We found our best audience at the Memphis, TN, farmer’s market.
We named the business “FunderFarm,” and sales went surprisingly well. But we didn’t profit a third of what we needed to pay the bills. And our savings were gone.
This is where God began to show us how He could provide.
We had little money, yet the bills were paid.
Even the dentist bills.
And nothing on credit.
No government assistance.
And we never asked anyone for money. No one knew what we needed or when, not even our parents.
God would provide in little ways, too. More than once I stood in our work room needing 12 cups of sugar for a batch of mixes…
We had 12 ½ cups.
I ran out of pecans with no money that week to buy more…
No special orders for mixes needing pecans.
The whole first season at market ran that way.
Little provision after provision.
A lot of days we enjoyed the provision of the Lord and were confident in the waiting He was asking us to do.
…especially on days between provisions…
…on days when we didn’t even have $.69 for a candy bar…
The Nags came to call…in my own voice…most loudly at night…
What are you DOING?
A healthy young fellow like you, able to work, college degree and everything, not holding fulltime work to support your family? Shame!
What do you mean “GOD told you to do this?”
You sure you aren’t making this up?
Did God REALLY tell you to leave HeartLand and “wait on the Lord”?
A YEAR of waiting. No money. Think about your family!
Don’t you think this is going a little far?
Thoughts like these reared their heads more and more often.
The markets ended in October. We had seen the Lord pay our regular bills each month without fail and without being late. Over a year of provisions.
Then the Lord taught us something new. He showed us He could provide, be good, and…
The bill from the grain company arrived.
Two thousand, six hundred dollars.
TWO thousand, SIX hundred dollars.
Twwwwwooooo thooooouuuuussssannnnd, six huuuuuuunnnnddred dollars.
We had $50.
The bill was due in a month or so, and we had no way to pay. The farmer’s markets had closed. The only potential income was online sales of our farmer’s market products. And those weren’t happening.
Are we crazy?!
November came. Staring at the looming mountain of the grain bill and our barren wallets, the questions got really loud.
ARE WE CRAZY?!
WHAT IF WE MADE ALL THIS UP?!
DID GOD REALLY SAY…?
The questions came frequently now.
But God, in His goodness, countered them.
He gave us another Bible story with which to identify. He encouraged us with the story of Jesus feeding 5000+ people with five measly loaves and two fish (Matthew 15:13-21). If He could feed so many with so little, He could pay this grain bill. We labeled the situation “The Feeding of the 5000,” prayed for Him to provide, and didn’t tell anyone what we needed.
Then one day, out of the blue, my mom gave us an envelope filled with money. She said that she and my dad had been prayerfully putting aside money for a while, asking God if or when they should give it to us.
Today was the day.
They didn’t know. But our Father knew.
We began to think that maybe we weren’t crazy.
Maybe God was with us in this.
But the bill deadline grew closer. We had $1100 toward it, but that wasn’t enough.
Not much was happening in the line of online orders.
The dollars simply weren’t adding up.
The bill’s deadline was on a Friday. Laura made God an offer early in the week:
“If you pay this bill on time…by Friday…I will KNOW it was You.”
(Now, don’t you know God loves it when we create a box and say, “Now, if You’ll hop in here like a good little boy, I’ll say YOU did this miraculous thing”?)
God countered: “I am not going to give you a fleece like I did Gideon. I want you to understand when I speak to your spirit and not depend on a steady string of ‘proofs’.”
So, the week rolled on.
Then, amazingly, online orders poured in.
Other unexpected income found us.
All of a sudden, we had the $2600 we needed.
God paid the bill…
He paid it ONE DAY late! Don’t you love that?!
What a Rebel!
He refused to hop when we said, “Hop.” We showed Him a box to get in and He wasn’t having it.
And I love Him for it.
He will not be tamed.
He had fed the 5000.
Thankfully, we stopped asking if we were crazy. We settled back (a little bit!) into this journey He had brought us on, knowing we were indeed exactly where He wanted us…waiting.
He was running this ship. He had His eye on His sparrows…this untamable, unbox-able, real-as-I-am-and-more God.
We weren’t crazy!
He was crazy.
Wildly, unpredictably, adventurously crazy.
He was about to “up” the insanity level with what He led us to do next.