This week has been an interesting one. I got paid on Friday, had a doctor's appointment for new glasses right after work and was planning a night in with take out. I have been trying to become a grown up, which is not all it's cracked up to be, so I got a rude awakening when I found that my appointment would cost me $270. Needless to say I was in shock. I knew it was expensive, but that number was not anywhere near what I was expecting. And for so many reasons (and not many of them good reasons) I burst into tears sitting in the optical chair. The lady didn't know what to do with me. I have gone there all my life, and the lady helping me is a member of my church, but she just sat there not quite knowing what happened or how to help.
While at work earlier, I bought Groupons for me and a friend to get our nails done for our birthdays. We were born 2 weeks apart and have been friends since we were in preschool and we wanted to do something special this year since we are turning 25. I had spent $70 on that. So between that, the glasses, and rent due this week I knew that I would be more broke than I have been in a long time.
There is nothing that stresses me out more than money, or more specifically, the lack of money. I went home and cried out to God. I didn't know what to do or how I was going to get through the 2 weeks until my next payday with $30 to my name without gas, food, or anything else. It is a terrible feeling to be broke on payday.
I emailed the people at Groupon asking if there was a way I could return the unused purchase. There policy is that within 7 days you have the option to return it. I got an email back from a person named Arlo C. who said he would give me a credit for my purchases on my Groupon account. I was thankful for that, but I needed the money, not a credit. I prayed that God would work some miracle out on my behalf and emailed Arlo back asking if there was any way I could get the money back on my card instead.
I was early for my friends birthday dinner and for some weird reason I pulled into Starbucks. I had a mental battle with myself about how I did not have the money for coffee, and almost turned around and left. But for some reason I stayed in line at the drive thru. I ordered a small drink and pulled around to the window. As I sat next in line, I noted a car pull up behind me. I felt God tug at my heart telling me to pay for her drink as well. I was confused. I had barely any money to begin with, and now he was asking me to pay for someone else's drink to? What if she is buying drinks for a bunch of people? I thought. I felt like God just sort of shrugged his shoulders and said "Oh well, do it anyway." As I pulled up to the window I was still battling. I handed the barista my money and said "I would like to pay for the next person's drink too" she smiled and nodded. I couldn't even tell you how much her drink was, but I was glad it seemed like I wasn't buying 10 people's drinks!
As I drove away I felt peace, not confusion and stress.
When I got to the dinner, still early, I sat in my car and checked my email on the off chance that Arlo had responded. And he had. I opened his email and read "Hi Ashley, No problem. I just issued a full refund back to your credit card you used for this purchase instead." I truly believe that God was checking to see if I would be faithful to what he asked me to do, and he was faithful to what he says. He is Provider. He cares about our concerns.
And on top of that, my optical bill went from $270 down to $188! Praise God!
Moral of the story: when God asks you to do something, do it, no matter how crazy it may sound!