Gateway began 2015 with a call to prayer, centered around the 7 P’s (Presence, Prayer, Power, People, Plans, Peace, and Provision.) I was ardently focused on provision, and today as we celebrate the beginning of 2016 I want to share with you the highlights of the supernatural provision God brought about in my life this year. At the bottom of my story is a hallelujah appendix, of sorts.
For my household, the year began in financial distress because my husband and I lived beyond our means in our 20s, we have 3 grad degrees and 2 young kids, so somehow it seems we're always treading water financially. We had made some progress after taking Financial Peace at Gateway in 2014, but experienced some major setbacks late in the year and had to borrow money from family to get through. So yes, I was really praying for provision.
In February and March of 2015, I pursued a job with better pay in Glastonbury, and it was going quite well - I thought I might get an offer, but the process "inexplicably" slowed down, though I knew I was one of 2 people still being considered for the job.
In the meantime, my boss in Trumbull announced his upcoming departure in May, and the head of the company asked me if I would fill those shoes. I told him about the other potential job offer in Glastonbury, and, in the end, got a big promotion with my employer in Trumbull, including a $25,000 pay raise and a take-home vehicle!
But God wasn't done yet. Another job opportunity came up for me, one in a different city and a slightly different line of work that I had often cited as a "dream job.” So despite my recent promotion, I applied and was offered the job. Again, I was committed to LISTENING to what God wanted, so I prayed for clarity and actually God made it clear this was NOT the direction he wanted me to go at this time, so I turned down what I thought was my dream job.
This point is significant on two fronts. One, because the provision is not always MORE or NEW. Provision is God steering the ship which sometimes includes staying the course. Second, because due to this "failed" interview process, my name was floating around in certain circles up in another major city in Connecticut.
And that's how, out of the blue, I found myself speaking with the Mayor-elect of this other city in Connecticut just before Christmas only to conclude with me getting another job offer! I left unsure and uncommitted because the new job would mean LESS pay (but still enough to make ends meet), a rather long commute for now, and the likelihood that I would soon have to uproot my whole family from our beloved little home in West Haven.
I prayed for clarity and vowed that I would follow HIS lead. What happened next is AMAZING.
The next day after this interview, I drove my beautiful company vehicle to my beautiful corner office in this beautiful suburban town and I'm just minding my own beautiful business when I can hear out in the hall some conversation with a member of the public and my staff. Do you ever have one of those moments where you can hear that initial discussion and in you're head you're saying, "Oh, no, I hope they don't end up sending this guy to me. What the heck is he doing here? We can't help him with that. Please, not me..."
Well, you know what happens. No one knows how to help this guy so they send him up to me.
Keep in mind that my expertise is planning, zoning & economic development. You know, where to put buildings how to fill them up and all that jazz. Turns out this guy wants to start a cab company in Trumbull, Connecticut. Anyone who knows Trumbull AT ALL knows a cab company won't make any profit there. It's a mid-size bedroom community with no train station and hardly any bus service where most households have 2-3 cars. What does this cab company have to do with zoning? This guy, he's unusual looking and sounding for Trumbull CT, has a very heavy accent and is originally from Saint Lucia.
I mention this not to be judgmental, but to paint a picture for you of how much ALL of my senses were saying - hey, there is no NORMAL reason why this guy would be in your office. He really doesn't belong here. I better listen up and see what God might be trying to tell me.
Well, God must know I need to be smacked in the face by a 2x4 sometimes (he is so good and merciful)...wouldn't you know the Caribbean cab driver's name is GABRIEL. So in my mind I'm now thinking, "Forget the cabs, Gabriel, what do you need to tell me?" I ask him how he got to Trumbull and he shared some amazing highlights from his life as I walked him out to the courtyard. Kind of off-hand I said, "You sure took a big risk leaving St. Lucia for work all those years ago, I hope you feel it was worth it." And here's what Gabriel said to me, verbatim, “Of course, you must try. You know this because, if you do not take this risk, you may be safe but full of regret. When you take this risk, even if you fail, you are made stronger from the trying.”
And then, Gabriel was gone.
So, of course, you know how this story ends...I took the job! And I am pleased to tell you that on January 14 I will begin my service to the City of Hartford as Director of Planning & Economic Development. I ask that you hold me and the city of Hartford in a special and ongoing prayer for supernatural provision.
To add a cherry on top to this happy ending, my husband received a surprise inheritance of $12,000 this summer from his late godmother. And we also sold our old condominium in Washington, DC for more than list price, significantly reducing our liabilities and boosting our "debt snowball" progress. We still have quite a ways to go but we reduced our total debt by over 30% this year and completely eliminated and closed out accounts with 17 "billers", which includes medical bills, credit cards, and other loans. We also learned to stop hiding this topic of conversation from trusted friends and family, and it feels really good!
There have been dark days and personal challenges in this year, too, it's not all perfect all the time, but this is a powerful testimony of my Father's supernatural provision for me and I am pleased to share it with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, God. You are a good, good, father!
LIST OF PROVISION AMONG FRIENDS AND FAMILY 2015
- My husband named among the top SAT/ACT tutors in the state, which comes with a pay increase.
- My husband directed first self-produced play at NYC Fringe Festival, and a glowing review in NY Times.
- My husband became interim adjunct professor at Trinity College in theater.
- My husband received inheritance from godmother for $12,000.
- I received a promotion with a 25% increase and take home vehicle.
- My brother got a new job with Mass. Audobon society and no longer has to commute once a month to Washington DC
- Sister-in-law lands a new job as a lead nurse at an urgent care clinic, and then within months of landing the job, shifted to a different branch MUCH closer to home with a nice easy commute!
- My brother gets a new job within the same company as IT Tech which is an answer to prayer for career shift
- A friend and confidant in faith gets a new job with the International Downtown Association giving her better hours for her family, better pay and better benefits.
- A long time friend lands a new job in the banking industry getting a $13,000 increase in pay
- Another friend doubled her income in the last year.
- Father-in-law offered early retirement package and is bringing in more than he would have with normal retirement.