This year may be marked by a global crisis and national unrest, but it will always be marked as the year I found the One my soul loves (Song of Solomon 3:4)
February 6th, 2020
I am forgiven, saved, and free! I was deathly sick. Who knows? Maybe I had COVID before we knew it was a thing. Either way, I was whining and begging God to heal me from this dreaded sickness I was enduring that night. What I wanted was healing for my body. What I got healed my soul instead. That moment will forever be in my heart the night that I knew without a single doubt that I was forgiven and free of all my past sins.
Suddenly a few months later, I processed how much forgiveness is truly received. Later, when listening to a sermon, I realized “I was Saul” and recognized God started something in my heart. My redeemed heart was even more than me, my past, my abuse, my life. It is no longer about me. It has now become another beautiful story of Jesus Christ. And how His life saved another life through His blood on the cross.
HE, Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the true story of my rebirth.
From Her Birth to Mine
Since my journey began, God has put on my heart the issue with our family and money. And if I am frank, I have been journaling to Him about this particular issue since Dylan was a little bean in my belly. I would always say things like, "If this could just happen (insert whatever please give me God thing) (ONLY) then (insert another pathetic attempt to act like my heart was in the right place.)" That may sound harsh, but I mean, is it not the truth? Notice how I put "only then" because I was making the terms for God. What I was saying, "God, you do this for me, and I MAY hold up my end of the deal until the next shiny product or whatever product comes out. Insert whatever nonsense that I was idolizing over God. Regardless, it sounds ridiculous to me now.
Fast forward two years to the start of 2020, and we are still doing the same song and dance with money and God. No matter what I thought I wanted to do, God was only the priority when other things were not. I mean, if we're honest, He barely made the top 10 list of priorities in those months. Then, Covid-19 happens, and like most others, I am forced to stop working via the government's demands. My husband can keep working because coal mining is "essential." But that is where this all truly begins!
I Was Blind, but Now I See That The" Hustle" Is From the devil
My eyes were open so wide during COVID. I was blind, but the more I dived into the Bible, the more I could finally see. We were living life all wrong. We hadn't stopped moving long enough to realize how we were really living. See, that's how the devil takes a beautiful God-given talent and makes you think you're doing "God's chosen work for you." God blessed me with a knack for Photography, and I abused the heck out of it because I had to make ends meet with all the stupid crap we kept buying. The devil just kept pushing all the things shiny, and I kept thinking the more we "deserved" to "reward ourselves." But guess what? The "hustle" caused us to miss out on family time, friends, and, most importantly, our church and alone time with God. And I don't doubt now that the devil created the "hustle" that our world is suffering from.
The Bible Saved My Life
The more I read the Bible, the more life became clear. The core of our hearts wanted to do good, but we could not see past the shiny way of life. I never thought I would be quoting Puff Daddy, but "Mo money mo problems!" A bigger paycheck doesn't make you happy. A bigger paycheck won't fulfill your life. A bigger paycheck won't mean you can have more fun in life. A bigger paycheck promises nothing. God is the only thing that can fulfill your heart. And it wasn't until I read the Bible, cover-to-cover, for myself, that I truly understood that. I am being transformed by a Bible that is truly living and active today. Which is when I knew it was time for some significant changes!
The first change happened in our pockets and our hearts. We took an honest look at our finances and cringed, like sick-to-your-stomach stuff. But rather than run from the hard, we leaned in. We dove into Scripture, and we prayed. Things started to become clear. Crystal clear! The more we immersed ourselves into Scripture, the more we heard the answer. Therefore, disregarding all advice everyone was trying to give us, we listened to God and no one else because we know God has the bigger plan!
Then Drew's job was the loudest call of all. We knew it was time to leave his career at the mine. He had been there ten years on the night shift, and it was time to go. We knew God would not support anything else till Drew left the job he loved.
New Beginnings For Us Means No Longer a Slave to Money
Drew's job had him making six figures, and health insurance people would kill to have. The mine pays it all. But, it was night shift without ever a chance to be on full-time days. It was time away from our family. And COVID-19 was the biggest eye-opener of all. While at the mine, Drew got to be on a full-time day shift for over a month and a half, and it opened our eyes. We now knew what it was like to function as a family on a regular schedule. We no longer wanted money to be our master, and that meant looking past the coal mine to a more God-focused future. So he began putting out his applications.
Suddenly, a day time job offer happened, and it felt right! However, everyone thought (maybe still thinks) we are crazy because he is only making about 25% of what he used to make. And after taxes, insurance and all, we will be lucky if he makes our house payment every month. And if you do the math, that's only one bill all the essentials to function in a home, i.e., electric, propane, water, phone, etc., that I now HAVE to provide for us; otherwise, we can't stay in our home. Self-employed + Current World Pandemic + Riots, not good times to be self-employed! However, that's okay because you know what? It's just a house. We will be sad, but that must mean God has something way better planned if we end up losing our home. We refuse for either of us to accept a job because of its dollar amount if it means sacrificing our time with God. Money is no longer our master. God is, and He promises freedom!
If we thought God was done with His transforming work, we were wrong. He was only getting started. Amid all these major changes, I heard God whisper (maybe shout is a better word?!?) loud and clear one evening while I was reading my Bible. That whisper was to homeschool. I don't know why or what He is thinking (lol), but I do know, God's way is always right! After my first day attempting homeschool, I honestly thought I heard the whisper wrong for a second. But then I knew the devil was in the details that day, and if I have learned anything is: if the devil is that quick to attack something, then it must be pretty awesome! Homeschooling has been incredible. Don't get me wrong it is very tough. But honestly, it’s so rewarding. We started homeschooling the same day Drew started his new job, and I had to put my kid's education and our home over my business. A new season in the Silvernale household has begun, and seeking God is at the center of its core!
New Birth in Christ!
There’s so much more to say... and I will. But here’s a picture of where this transformation has been taking me. To the story of Jesus, and how His Life saved my life.