Its been a tough year financially. Our daughter is studying abroad and while the tuition was not more than what it would be at her home campus, the expenses are substantially more significant. There is no dining hall – she has to cook her own food or elect to eat in restaurants, as the idea of fast food is nonexistent. Purchasing materials for class is constant and expensive. Often she has to travel, and she doesn’t have access to her car overseas. While its been an amazing experience, there were many hidden costs. But God. Through it all, God touched the hearts of many who not only offered prayers and well wishes, but financial support as well – and always seemingly just when it was most needed. Each time not only was I grateful, but it was a beautiful lesson in faith for our daughter to experience, as she witnessed God’s provision over her life.
A few weeks ago, my aunt mailed a check to me for our daughter. It was a just in the nick of time blessing. So incredibly grateful I took the steps that I normally do. I prepared to head to the bank to deposit the check into her account. As I prepared to leave the office at the end of the day for the bank, I folded the check and placed it in a pocket inside my purse, originally designed to hold a cell phone. I must note, that is not normally where I place a check. I typically place it inside of my wallet. In fact, as I placed the check in that slot, I thought “perhaps I should place this in my wallet.” For whatever reason, I didn’t alter the process I was following even though I wasn’t completely in agreement. I then placed my cell phone in front of the check and left my office. As I walked to my car, I pulled my cell phone out of my purse to make a call. I talked for a few minutes, and then held the phone in my hand until I reached my car. When I arrived at the bank I reached for the check inside my purse, but could not locate it. I dumped everything out of my purse, frantically searching for the check, but could not find it anywhere. I got outside of the car, looking all around to no avail. Sadness began to enter my mind. I was disappointed in myself for electing an alternative to my traditionally executed practice. I became even more disappointed at the fact that I would still need to come up with the funds that my aunt purposed for the collegiate. Finally, I dreaded the thought of having to call my aunt, who is 89 to tell her that the check was lost. She would undoubtedly take steps to close her account and stop payment on errrthing! All roads led to destruction.
Before I shared the news with my family, I asked one of the student interns to look around the Center where I work for the check. She did and didn’t find it. She then elected to walk around outside and walk the path that I’d taken. I appreciated her tenacity and realized that it was time for me to make the call. As I unfolded my mistake to my mother, she said, “Steph, I’m praying that the Lord allows you to find the check. I’m believing God that the check is in your office.” I told my mother, that even if the check was found, the person who found it would not likely know my name to return it. You see, even though I’ve worked at my university for nearly 10 years, I’ve only been more visible in my work over the last year, so the likelihood of someone knowing who I was to return the check if found, was slim to none. I decided to wait until the next day to call my aunt. After all, telling her about the fiasco at night would require her to change the locks on her house…you know because the check was missing. LBVS!
The next morning, still discouraged, I drove to work. I walked slowly to my office, searching to my left and right, scanning the ground for signs of the check. I found nothing. When I unlocked the door to my office, the door was difficult to open – it dragged. When I looked down, I found a piece of paper stapled together. I opened it and read the message, “I found this outside. Take care.” I began to weep! I shouted, I cried out to God! I prayed! I gave thanks! I called my mom, and everything I mentioned was repeated on her end. One of the students, who calls me “Mom” found the check and returned it to me. In other words, “she knew my name!”
I made a few mistakes. The first one was made before the collegiate went away. I made bad financial decisions that God is granting grace to endure and rise above. I made a second mistake by not following the protocol that previously worked well for me. My third mistake was loosing faith and not believing that a miracle was possible. My fourth and biggest mistake however is not remembering that God knows my name! I can be forgiven if I desire and ask of every mistake I’ve made and will make. That’s the benefit that I receive through salvation and repentance. But the beauty is no matter what I’ve done or will do, God knows my name. Before he formed me in the belly, he knew me (Jeremiah 5:11); Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name (Psalm 91:14); And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name (Exodus 33:17); and When thou passest through the waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee (Isaiah 43:2). No matter what you are facing, you are not forgotten. The blessings of God for you are like a blank check. I described a “check miracle,” but there are miracles around us daily. Check for them. God knows your name!