Outside of My Box

This past Tuesday, I had a divine appointment. It just so happened it was with my hair dresser. My hair dresser is a wonderful girl named Claire. One of the things I love about Claire (besides her wonderful skills with hair) is that Claire lives outside of the box. I have the feeling she always has. When I first met her she had pink hair, and this wonderfully spunky attitude. But underneath her unconventional exterior, Claire has faith like a giant.

She told me at this past appointment that her friends are always suprised that she is a Christian. “Why are you suprised?”, she asked a lost friend recently. “I’ve just always felt accepted by you, not judged,” her lost friend replied. In my opinion, Claire is the perfect missionary. She is full of love, anchored in her relationship with Jesus, and absolutely real.

So, I was sitting in her chair, and she starts talking to me about God’s provision in her life. Her car broke down last week and she had to put $700 into repairing her car. Thankfully she had that money in savings, but it was money she was going to use towards attending her brother’s wedding. So, she simply turned to her heavenly Father and asked Him to provide. When I sat down in her chair, she had just gotten off the phone with her brother who told her that he wanted to pay for her ticket to come to the wedding! “You don’t know how extremely serious my brother is about money. This is totally a miracle.” I completely believed her.

God has done incredible miracles for Claire. She has just been through one of the worst years of her life after surviving a heart breaking divorce and her Father’s unexpected death (she is only about 30!). She has a son and is now raising him as a single Mom. And yet even in all of the heart break, I still see God’s smile all over her life. And so does she.

As she was rinsing my hair, she started talking to me about being a giver. “I used to be a hoarder. I would worry about needing it later. What if I run out? What if I don’t have enough? But you know what? I would just end up never using it. The clothes would end up being out of style, or it would just sit in a closet. Now, I just look for opportunities to give things away. It’s amazing, because I will give a purse away, and God will give me an awesome purse instead. It just makes you want to keep giving, because God keeps giving.”

As I listened to Claire I felt God say to me so gently, “I am not in your box.” I honestly wanted to cry. I felt His peace come all over my heart, and the tension that I have been carrying about our finances melt away. Until that gentle reminder from an unexpected source, I hadn’t realized how much I had let go of my Father’s hand and become dependent on my own resources to meet my needs.

Matt and I have started a new business, and though the business is going well, it is still hard going. This past month has been especially tight financially. I do have a wonderful plan for living on a commission based income (which really does work). However, sometimes things happen outside of our plan. There are things that no matter how hard you try to cram EVERYTHING into your budget, will still surprise you. As they say: life is full of surprises. Unfortunately, surprises often happen outside of our plans, beyond our budget, and outside of our box. Fortunately, God does not live in our box. He is not contained within our budget and He is not limited by our income in His ability to provide.

As Claire began to cut my hair she said to me, “Tracy, God knows exactly what you need. Just ask Him. He will provide.” And in that moment, I realized that I have done a lot of juggling with my budget, a lot of thinking about my finances, but I haven’t actually asked God specifically for our needs. Many times we ask God to provide in general, but there is really something amazing about praying about the specifics. It’s almost like we target our faith rather than just casting it out there for whatever. So, as she blow dried my hair, I asked God for His provision for my much needed Dentist appointment. I asked Him to provide for the other things that have been on my heart. And I asked Him what I could give away that I have been hoarding.

And in that surrender, I felt faith arise inside my heart. Jesus said in Mathew 7:11, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” Sometimes we get so locked into our boxes that we forget that there is anything outside of it. We forget about our wonderful Father, and as a result we lack simply because we have never asked.

So this week I have been asking, and I have already seen his amazing provision (outside of our budget). He provided for my hair appointment (What an awesome blessing!). And even for my dentist work through some side night gigs that Matt got at the last moment. I have seen God’s hand this week, and I too have felt His smile again. It has been such a good reminder because no matter how much I plan, I scheme, I work, I earn… God is not in my box. And thankfully, He’s not in yours either.