Um seriously the last few days.. really week have been such a learning experience, I can't even begin to tell you but I will try.
Probably 4 or maybe even 5 months ago, the invisible children group came and spoke at our college. If you haven't heard about them, the Invisible children are all the children in Uganda and the surrounding area that are being kidnapped and stolen from their homes by rebel soldiers and forced to be soldiers or even prostitutes to the captains of the army. There are children as young as 5 that are made to do awful, awful things that I hope my future five year old never,ever even knows about. I think about 6 years ago, a group of twenty-somethings decided to do something about it. They decided to leave their comfort, homes, and families in the United States and go to Uganda and film that story and show it all across America. Since then they have been fighting hard for the cause by different programs, lobbying in D.C and awareness films. When they came to our school, they talked specifically about education and if you give money to someone it will eventually disappear but if you give them knowledge that you can change their situation for life. Since then (I know, 4 or 5 months...so bad) I have felt convicted to give half a year's worth of tuition for one child. I felt convicted that day but I didn't do it and that week I got that amount from my dad. I still didn't give it. Even when I was totally surprised by that check in the mail from my dad. I instead spent it, I'm sure on unimportant things. I have felt guilty for the last few months, yet I still didn't give. I told God I didn't have enough money. I told him I would instead be responsible with my money and pay off debt and give tithe and all of that but I didn't have enough to give a lump sum to the Invisible Children.
Well, this week I decided enough is enough. I had heard an amazingly convicting sermon two Sundays ago about sacrificial giving. I had given all that was in my wallet that day and since then kind of regretted it. I know the Lord loves a cheerful giver but I was struggling with that idea when I saw how much debt I owed. (In respect to debt or anyone who makes way more money than I do, I didn't give that much at all but I felt like the widow who gave all she had, ya know?) Anyways, the last week I've been wrestling with God over my addiction to materialism, college debt I've accrued, and my upcoming wedding (which is still undecided on when it will be but those things can cost a pretty penny) and praying about being a cheerful, sacrificial giver and asking for Him to help me trust him with the next year and my finances.
Tonight, He blew my expectations out of the water. I work the next three nights and then I basically go on vacation for 2 weeks (a friend's wedding and vacation with Adam and his family). So I decided I had enough money for those trips and that the next three days, I could try to make that special amount of money for the Invisible Children and just make the difference up out of my savings. I decided I would trust God for the money I needed for myself and for the Invisible Children fund. I got to work and WE WERE DEAD TONIGHT. Absolutely dead. No one wanted to eat at Ramsey's but somehow I got one of the best sections tonight even though I'm pretty sure it was my turn to have the patio section where no one sits while the sun is up because it was so darn hot, and then I managed to get double and triple sat ALL night long. No one had tables but somehow my section was full the whole night! And I got the guy that everyone lovingly calls "moneybags" because he tips you for anything you bring to his table even if you're not his server. Seriously, he tipped me alone 30 on maybe a $45 dollar bill. Then I got a table full of army "people", for lack of a better word, and had 2 random people from the restaurant offer to pay for their bill (so one paid for dinner and the other dessert) and they tipped me super well. The one server was like my guy tipped you over 20% for the army bill and barely tipped me, his own server, 10%. Then the people who paid for dessert tipped me too. Then the army people tipped me also. So I got $65 dollars off that table alone. Which in reality, the whole situation was such a blessing to me that the money amount was just a bonus on top of a really cool situation.
Anyways to make a very long story short, I made $135 on one of the slowest nights I've ever worked and I know it was God. It was so slow that the manager, that is infamous for closing the floor late because he is afraid that we'll get slammed with people, closed the floor at 8:15 (closing the floor means that all the servers except the closing server and the bartender don't get anymore tables and can just clean up and get out of there). He usually waits until at least 9, if not 9:30. I know girls who were making anywhere from 5-35 dollars tonight. Seriously... that dead. And I had figured out that I had to make at least $70 the next three nights to be able to give to the fund and knew that for a Tuesday that would be a huge stretch. I essentially made double of that tonight. Seriously incredible. I talked to my sister, Katie, afterwards and she reminded me that, "God has a sense of humor. You know you could have made that much on a busy night but it makes it so much more dramatic and apparent when you make that much on a slow night." Which is sooo true. There is no way that I can say that it was coincidence. God really wants some kid somewhere in Uganda to have education. Some kid I don't even know is going to get money from me because God sees and knows them and is using someone halfway across the world to fulfill his plan. It's such a lesson to be taught especially since I've been so worried about money the last week. Gosh, sometimes we are retarded when it comes to God. It's crazy that it took a situation like this to teach me that I should trust God a lot more. I know that he can take care of me but tonight I felt it.