“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
When I came back from Mexico, in the summer of 2008, it was not my choice to leave. I loved doing mission work down there with all of my heart, and it had been like living a dream! But God knew what He was doing, as always, and He brought me back for various reasons. I am very thankful now that He did, in His mercy! However, looking forward to the stewardship year of 2008-2009, back at Fairhaven Baptist Church, I determined that if I could not give my life to God in full time mission work, I wanted to give as much of my money earned in secular work back to the Lord. You see, that is the highest return on our dollars –investing in God’s Work! Also, I knew I would probably be married with in a year, and after that, the stewardship decisions would not really be up to me, but to my husband, so this was my last chance to “prove” God personally in this matter of giving, and therefore I wanted it to be a great Stewardship year!
Well, as I listened to message after message on giving (if you live at Fairhaven, you know August is Stewardship month!), I prayed about what God wanted me to give. Finally the Stewardship Banquet came, and I wrote down what I believed God wanted me to give that year. As the months passed, I began to give that amount each month. However, shortly after making this committment to God, my hours at work dropped severely, and they were not going to increase any time soon. Work was just very slow, and not much could be done about it except to pray. I had money saved up from the year before though, and still lived with my parents, so I was not struggling. Time passed, and my hours were still very low. In November, I was engaged to Dustin Speckhals, who is now my husband. I began to realize then, that I seriously needed more work or another job because now I had a wedding to pay for! I started to fill out job applications and pass out resumes in earnest. First I thought, well, I have a college degree, and I am bilingual so I should be able to get a job teaching Spanish, or translating. But those avenues yielded no fruit. I was really searching and praying now. Again I thought, at least I could get an office job, but still nothing happened for all of the applications and resumes I passed out.
I remember commenting to my mom, “Well, everyone in Northwest Indiana knows that I am looking for a job, because my applications and resumes are all over the area!” And she, as moms are so apt, continued to encourage me, with so much faith that I would find the right job. You know, moms are perhaps the biggest fans we have! For all of the teasing they may receive for babying us or hovering over us, you must admit that when you are discouraged, or make a big mistake, or just really make a mess of things, they never stop believing in you, and they never stop loving you!
So, I kept ‘working and praying’ about my job situation. Now my money in the bank was running out. I knew that if God told me to give this much, He MUST provide that much to give, and beyond that, He MUST provide for my other needs as well. I didn’t want extra money or anything special, but He had to provide for my needs. God’s very character demands it! And He would –in His timing –after He finished a work of humility in me!
Finally, I came to the point where I said, I am nobody, and if I have to, I will work as a telemarketer at Americall. (That was humbling!…Especially after graduating from college with honors, and working in missions for a year! But then again, who am I to think I deserve this job, and that one is below me?) So I obtained an application for Americall. After all, this was encouraging –Americall never refuses anyone! But that would not work for my schedule until after the first of the year, so I went further to say, if I have to, I will fill out an application for Arby’s and work in a fastfood restaurant. I just need a job!
After breaking down my pride little by little in that way, and once I reached an end of myself, God blessed in a miraculous way! One day my mom called from the church office, and said, “Andrea, a lady just called the church looking for a nanny for her two children. Here is her phone number if you want to call her. ” I called Katie Deporter, and set up an interview for eleven o’clock the next day. We met, and I started soon after. I have no doubt in my mind that God Himself gave that job to me. He placed me right there at 1 Woodland Trail, Ogden Dunes, Indiana, and before long, I would discover the reason why.
I will not forget however, as I interviewed with Katie, right in her dining room, with Ella and Harrison (her two children) there with us, we finished up the interview, and Katie said to Ella (five years old), “What do you think?” And Ella looked down and drew her hand back, and threw out a big “Thumbs Up”! And that was my introduction into the amazing world of Ella and Harrison! And for those of you who have never stepped foot into that fantastic place, I shall share some glimpses in with you, but at a later date!
Ella and I on my wedding day!…Soon to come: a picture of the one and only Harrison!