I am so glad that I trust in a God who is all seeing, and all knowing; He knows absolutely everything!
The onslaught on the Corona Virus around the world did not surprise Him. He knew it was coming and He called His church to rise up and be the light in what just might be the darkest time this generation will ever live through. He deployed His church and it has been a blessing to see how the worldwide church has risen to the call.
Now that things have started to return to a new normal here in Australia, I can see how God has used this time to teach, guide, and speak life to me. Isolation meant that I had all the time in the world to sit with God and to listen out for His voice. It also forced me to trust Him even more than I had ever had to trust Him before!
I know the plans I have for you…
Towards the end of the 2019 school year, God began speaking to me about what 2020 would look like for me. Rather than teaching full-time, He was asking me to do casual replacement teaching; that means filling in for teachers who are absent from their classes due to illness or professional development. I felt Him say that He wanted to free up my time so that I could better care for my family, especially my 16-year-old daughter who was struggling with depression and getting herself to school each day. He wanted me to be more available to her and to be in a place where I could care and support her. I recall Him whispering to me that He knows her and He knows what she needs. She needs me to be their for her. He showed me that it was extremely difficult for me to provide the care and encouragement Xanika needed while I was teaching at a school that was a one hour drive away. He showed me how much my focus had been on my students and He wanted to refocus my attention back on my family, especially my youngest daughter.
Now, working as a CRT is unpredictable! There was no guarantee that I would be called in to work every day and, if I didn’t work, I didn’t get paid. Fortunately, I still had my photography work and so, I felt that God would provide for me through my work as a photographer as well. Working as a CRT and photographer had provided for me whilst I studied at Bible College in 2018, this gave me the faith to believe that God would ‘do it again’.
But my God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 KJV
In Australia, the school year begins in February. Teachers have missed their students over the summer school holidays and are keen to back into their classrooms. This means that there is a limited demand for casual teachers during the first few weeks of the school year.
God knew this would be the case! My photography business flourished in February.
I began getting called in to work at Gilson College towards the end of February, just before the Coronavirus really started to have a significant impact in Australia. Measures were taken to reduce the spread but schools were still open.
How quickly things changed…
Within one week, schools were closed and everyone was told to stay at home. This was going to be interesting for me: no photography work, no teaching work and, NO INCOME. I was very grateful that my husband was still earning his wage and so we were blessed to be in a much better position than many others who had lost all of their income.
As for me, since I am poor and needy, Let the LORD keep me in his thoughts. You are my helper and my saviour. O my God, do not delay. Psalm 40:17 NLT
During this time I began to ask God what He wanted me to do. I had a personal loan and a car loan that I needed to make fortnightly repayments on as well as a couple of other expenses that I needed my income to cover. Whilst praying, God provided His strategy…
Stewarding my finances
I had worked about 4 days at Gilson College before shutdown occurred. God told me to put ALL of this income into my bills account and to NOT SPEND ANY MONEY. No more coffees, no more books, no more ANYTHING! Instead, I felt Him instruct me to trust Him and that I would have enough to meet my financial needs during this time. The other advice I felt Him give me was to ask the bank to put a hold on my car repayments for 3 months.
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret to living in every situation. Philippians 4:11-12 NLT
Things were tight and God did send His angels to bless us a couple of times. I am very grateful to those angels who recognised and responded to God’s voice.
And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the LORD Jesus: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' Acts 20:35 NLT
The other end
As I write this post, things are beginning to return to a new normal in Australia. Schools reopened a few weeks ago and businesses are beginning to trade again.
God prompted me to register with a Casual Teaching Agency a few weeks ago and I have been blessed with 3 days of work, at 3 different schools, this past week. I also have a couple of days already booked for this week. The MOST AMAZING THING about this is that, I only have enough money in my bank to cover ONE MORE loan repayment. My money did not run out! God blessed me with the exact amount I needed, plus His strategy, to get me through this really challenging time. Boy am I looking forward to getting paid again this week!!! Thank you, Lord!
In this season, I have heard many testimonies of how God has provided for His children. He has deployed his church to meet the needs of people and I have been amazed at the many ways that the church has been a light in this present darkness.
If you’ve encountered the grace of God or have a testimony to share, please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!