Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Purse full of Candy...and $1,500?: My Grandmother's Faith

Matthew 17:20
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

As a child, I used to see my grandma as a sweet and gentle old woman- who always had a plethora of treats.  A purse full of candy for all her grandchildren.  As I'm getting older and the more time I spend with her,  I'm realizing how superficial my opinion of her has been. 

There is more depth and wisdom, more passion and charisma in this one woman than I could have ever imagined.  And most importantly, more faith than I could ever fathom.  I wrote an article a few months back about an interview I had with my grandma.  It was an interview that challenged my faith and my reliance on God than any book I could have read or sermon I could have heard. 

But more recently, I got to experience her faith- and the direct impact that her faith had on my life. 

Seven months ago, I received a significant doctor's bill of $1,500 dollars.  There was a large misunderstanding between my doctor's office and my insurance company, and I was caught in the middle.  Neither of them would take any responsibility for the mistake, and I got stuck with the bill.

My husband and I have been battling this bill for some time now, and it looked like there was no hope in sight.  We were preparing to just deal with it, and make sacrifices- all the while juggling the financial constraints of a new mortgage and the never-ending list of expenses that come with expecting a baby girl in September. 

After a few last-effort phone calls last week (mind you, this is after letter after letter, appeal after appeal, and phone call after phone call), I decided to call my grandma and tell her about it.  For some reason, I find it hard to ask for prayer for matters such as these.  I can pray for lost souls and the physical illnesses of loved ones- but deep down I have always felt a little selfish about praying for finances.  As if these things were unimportant to God- and He had bigger things to worry about.

My grandma would disagree.  From figuring out how to get food on the table to casting out demons and evil spirits- my grandma brings everything to God in prayer.  

And that's what she did.  After hearing my story, without a shadow of doubt in her voice she said, "God will take care of it.  You won't have to pay a thing."   "But grandma...." I wanted to say.  I wanted to explain to her the complexities of insurance companies, and the process of writing appeals and making phone calls.  I wanted her to have a realistic expectation of how this whole thing would turn out...I mean, she's an old woman out of Egypt, surely she didn't understand the complicated process of this whole matter. 

All the while, God wanted to change my perspective of what it really means to be "realistic".  What it really means to have faith.  To have certainty.  To have an assurance beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would provide.

Sometimes I think my grandma's lack of education and child-like perspective helps her have huge faith.  My logic tends to trip me up.  It tends to act as an anchor, making it difficult for my ship of faith to journey into the will of God.  My grandma, on the other hand, knows no other way than faith.  She has a complete certainty in Christ.  To her, there are no other options. 

The next morning I got an unexpected phone call.  The doctor's office and the billing company had discussed our case, and they decided to adjust the entire bill.  100%.  And that was the end of it.  After seven months of battling this thing- it was over in an instant. 

I got off the phone and I just wept.  I didn't even weep because of the money...but I wept because I was so grateful to be carried on the wings of my grandma's incredible faith.  I wept because I serve a God who cares about the details in my life- even the details of a medical bill.  A God who withholds no good thing from those He loves.  I wept because I am learning great lessons about faith and what it means to have a never-ending assurance.  Faith isn't hope.  It isn't a wild dream.  It's not wishful thinking.  It's certainty. 

My grandma lives with that kind of certainty every single day of her life.  And I want to too.  


  1. Keep writing, Debbie. Without fail, your blogs inspire me in my faith!

    Marla Trosper
    (Tanner's mom)

  2. Thanks Marla, I really appreciate you reading and your words of encouragement!!

  3. what a lesson in child-like faith. thanks so much for sharing.

  4. What an awesome story Debra! I hope it is OK for me to share one of mine here on your blog.(??)I can hardly keep it to myself! OK, here goes. As a small group leader I have the privlidge of praying with many people. I also get to hear the testimony of those answered prayers. I mean I have seen housing provided for, cars-good cars-given to people, Tutiion paid, deliverences and on and on. And I so love to brag on God and tell those stories. But they weren't my stories. Of course God has answered untold number of my prayers and in many ways in my life. But much of my faith was drawn on what God did for others. The faith I am talking about is your grandmother's faith. Where you ask and leave it for God to take care of, no question, no concern, it's His.

    I had faced some very challenging financial times. The real estate market was hosed so I took a job with a low salary (thank God for the job). The time had come for me to turn in a leased vehicle and I had no money to buy a car and did not want to be straddled with a car payment. So I went to God and said "God, I need a car. I want to be a good stewart with your money, and I want to pay cash". I had no money mind you, not one dime. But I left it with Him(I am amazed He gave me the grace to do that). Everyone was asking me "what are you going to do about a car"? My reply always was "I don't know what God's going to do about my car". Two weeks after that, when I had no prospects at all, I sold a house! My paycheck was enough for me to pay cash for a car! And, the best part, the closing was 1 week before I had to turn in my leased vehicle!!!! That is a Yeah God! Don't ever doubt Him. The greater story is not the provision of a car, but how God enriched my faith in Him as a result of Him showing up in a big way in my time of need.


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