I have felt gratitude, I have felt humble (though this could have been humility and I just didn't know the difference), but I don't know that I have ever felt so grateful as to be humbled - until recently.
It is no easy thing to ask people for money. Money is such a sticky subject. People get all out of whack, uneasy, confrontational, protective, secretive, when it comes to money. There are surely more manners attached to talking about and dealing with money than there are for sitting down to a formal dinner. Seriously, I feel uncomfortable even writing this. But, we did ask. We asked for money. We didn't really want to. We actually planned on not doing it and just taking out a big loan. But, we were encouraged to, so we did. Uncharted territory for both of us, but we plunged ahead.
Plunged is actually not the right word though. We didn't really plunge. We more like, took a hesitant step, not really expecting much to happen. Our initial mailing had 30 letters in it and as we licked, stamped and mailed those letters, we prayed over them. We prayed for the people that they were going to, we prayed that our efforts would be fruitful, but we really didn't have much expectation. We even sort of laughed about how if everyone sent in $10 then we would have $300 more dollars than we started with. I smile now thinking about how pathetic that was. That we would expect so little. Really that we were expecting so little from the Lord. He was so ready to show us what he could do.
Within a few days, our first response came. Not at all who I thought would respond the fastest - my sweet 91 year old grandmother.
BAM!! $300!!! Right off the bat! We could go nowhere but up from there! Humbled that she would love me so much and believe in what we are doing so much to give so generously to us. Humbled that the Lord wanted to show me right from the beginning that my expectations of Him are sometime so pitiful. He wanted to show me what he could do.
It continues to be that way. Random little (and large) acts of kindness that were so unexpected. God using his people to pour out on us in amazing ways. Few times in my life have I fallen on my knees and cried to the Lord in Humble Gratitude. In fear, yes, in anger, yes, but in overwhelming and outpouring gratitude - sadly, few times. I am overwhelmed by people's support of us.
Are we close to the amount of money that we need? Not really (though closer than when we started to be sure). But I am one step closer to understanding how lavish my God is and how powerful His Spirit is inside his people who are gathering around us. Honestly, that is the real gift. I will probably someday forget about all this money stuff. To feel gratitude so strong that it humbles you, I hope I can hold on to that one.