Tangible Answers

It is no secret that I wrestle with faith. I have a friend who, upon me saying I can’t stand drama, reminded me that all of my drama is internal — and it is incessant.

What I’m about to share is very personal. It’s not a statement about how I think God works in the world, nor is it an attempt to say suddenly I’m back on God’s good side or anything. This is one story — part of my story. It isn’t meant to push, pull, evangelize or anything else. It’s simply what happened, and how I view this event in perspective in my own faith walk. It’s not meant for any more than that. So, if you’re a person who likes to take things out of context, or a person always looking to build up either side of a faith debate, please don’t prostitute the story I’m about to tell. “It is what it is,” and I wanted to share it. End of disclaimer.

About three weeks ago, I confronted God with a big issue. Not life and death, mind you. I don’t believe God responds to ultimatum. Most days, I don’t believe God listens to me at all. Or, if he does, he enjoys toying with me, seeing how far I can be pushed before I release blasphemous sentiments his way. I admit, my theology is tainted, and what I’m sharing is the worse day scenarios. Anyway …

My son is in college. If you live in Michigan, you know that our state government has recently reneged on the “Michigan Promise Scholarship” (seemingly becoming a reoccurring theme in my beloved state). My son earned this scholarship, and it was part of the package that got him to attend his college of choice.

I was angry. I am not ignorant, nor a simple-minded person who thinks the world revolves around me and my family. I had what I call a “knock down, drag out” conversation with God, alone, in my car. I may have said things like, “OK, you want Wesley at college? You figure out how to keep him there! I’m not going to compromise the rest of the family to have this happen. We’re already living close to the bone, God, and we can’t do this.” I ranted a lot more; details I’d rather not share here, so public. Suffice it to say I was hurt, I felt abandoned, and I worried for my son, whose belief is deep and pure and real.

“I’m done,” I said out loud. This is not my problem. I’m not going to talk about it with my husband, or my son, or anyone. I’m done.” And I was. In fact, my husband didn’t even know the Scholarship had been cancelled.  That’s how “done” I was.

Here’s the text I got from out of nowhere yesterday: “I love my college! I just received a letter from President Webb saying that because of my financial need they would reimburse my whole Michigan Promise Scholarship! I’m covered!”

I was driving, and I had to pull over. Understand, I had totally let this situation go out from my mind. I was coming home from a wonderful lunch with my husband, and we were making plans for home renovations, and we laughed and simply shared a beautiful few minutes together. So when I read this (yes, I read it while I was driving — bad, I know) I teared up and had to pull over.

It has been a long time since I feel like I’ve seen tangible answers to a prayer I’ve prayed. And, like I said in the disclaimer, this isn’t a statement of theology or “how God works” or anything. This is what I experienced yesterday. I was speechless, only to say, “Thank you.” What else could I say? God had, in the providence and kindness of Spring Arbor University, made possible for my son to continue his education — the one he’s planned and worked hard for a long time.

So … what do I do with it? I move a little closer to maybe, just maybe, believing that God does care what goes on in my life. Hard even to say, because of my skew on it all. But I feel like, for me, right here and right now, I have something I can wrap my mind around … God hearing my cry and showing me he can take care of things.

That’s all I’ve got to say about that. Right now.



  1. societyvs Said:

    I hear ya on this one!

    There is a lot of doubt out there about such things as ‘prayer’ – it’s easy to find in blogs or even daily conversations…prayer has become the big target for criticism in faith it seems. I am similar to you on this – wouldn’t want to make a statement on such an issue.

    However, this type of scenario happened to me a few months back (January). I basically just cried out to God in pure anguish and pain – and was being as honest as I could be about my situation – and not in a selfish way – in a very heartfelt manner. My prayer was beyond my ability to change – I just did it because I had nowhere else to turn.

    I found in the midst of such pain – God was. For some reason after I dropped all the baggage on God things changed. My prayer was answered also – and I knew it was – it was the exact thing I was talking to God about that day.

    I don’t know what to make of it all – but that it occured. Maybe because it was sincere and I meant it – that God listened? I very rarely pray – I just live my life and when hard times hit – I usually just go through them….but sometimes even more is needed – it’s basically outside our control…and we find we need to speak…maybe God does hear?

  2. Phyllis Said:

    Thanks for sharing in your eloquent and honest way. Really touching. God isn’t Santa. But when tangible miracles follow our heartcries…it’s life affirming. And moment like those make the pure, real, deep faith of your son possible in fresh ways for those of us who grow weary in the wrestling ring.

  3. Dave Flowers Said:

    My favorite parts of this post:

    1. The disclaimer. I love the sentiment there and am totally with you.
    2. The idea of all your drama being internal. I’m the same way!
    3. That you had to pull over because your eyes were filled with tears, but not because they were glued to your phone reading a text message.

    You’re a soul sister to me, Gina. I love the way you wrestle, and think, and emote, and write, and deal with what’s happening in you and to you and around you. 🙂


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