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Fort Smith
Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The Christmas Jar

Arkansas River Valley Business Directory

After going through a divorce at the age of 39, Franny needed a job that would support her and her four children.  She had always loved working with students as a paraprofessional, but she knew she could not survive on just $850 a month.  She began to worry.    It was so hard to leave everything behind, but she knew this was the direction God was leading her.  However, quitting her job, moving out of her home into a small duplex, and transferring her kids to another school sounded so scary.  She knew she would be working nights since college classes are mainly in the day, so she had to have somewhere safe for her children. She asked God, “What do I do?”  She finally decided to move to Fort Smith, so she could attend the University of Arkansas Fort Smith and pursue her dream of being a teacher with a degree in Education.

In January, Franny was ready to start class.  She wasn’t sure how they were going to make it, but she put her trust in God and knew God would make a way for them!  For the first few months, they lived off child support and her income tax return.  Then, God finally opened a door, and Franny got a job working at the college.  As the days passed, she continued to work hard.  Things were so different now trying to figure out just how to do life.   God continued to provide though.  Even though money was still tight, Franny still held on to her dreams.

Franny and her kids began to settle into their little duplex, and life began to finally work out.  Although things were tough at times with money so tight, they just trusted God.  After church on Sundays, her and her daughter would go to Open House showings and dream of owning their own home.  Franny could not help but to dream. Oddly enough, Franny’s new neighbor just so happen to be a realtor and began talking to her about owning her own home.  Franny knew as a single mom, with ruined credit from the divorce, a low paying job, and not even two nickels to rub together would never qualify for a home of her own.  However, the realtor told Franny to just try applying to the mortgage company for a loan and see what happens.  Franny laughed at herself as she filled out the paper work, but she did as her realtor friend asked.  By the grace of God, Franny was approved for the loan! 

Within seven weeks, the week before Thanksgiving, Franny was given the keys to her new home. She and her kids were in a great neighborhood, had the largest lot in the housing addition, and half a mile away from her church.  It was unbelievable how God continued to provide for them. 

Franny thought,

“Me, a single mom, still in school, supporting my children the best I could, had just been BLESSED with a lovely brand-new home!!”

She called her oldest daughter and her mother and began shaking the keys in the phone.  “You know what that sound is?” she asked them.  “It’s the sound of a new homeowner!”  She drove to the house and pulled into the driveway. She sat for a minute just smiling at the house, thinking, “This can’t be real.  It’s really mine!”  She stepped out of the car and unlocked the door to the house.  She walked into the living room of her new home and went and laid on the living room floor and began to roll on the carpet.  She laughed and praised God as she rolled.  She took in the smell of the fresh yellow paint. She went from room to room just looking at the miracle God had provided.  It was her home.  It was God’s miracle.

Christmas was right around the corner, and she knew there was no way she could manage any type of Christmas for the kids.  It broke her heart, because no mother wants to tell her kids she has nothing for them.  She had exhausted all her savings into their new home.  The kids loved their new home and understood that the money for Christmas just wasn’t there, but Momma still wanted to give her kids the best Christmas ever.  She continued to pray, trust God, and praise God for all He had already given them. 

Franny went to work that evening to her job, and her two youngest children were going to their youth group’s Christmas party at one of the Church member’s home.  It was a little way out of town but her daughter, Breann, was going to follow the Youth pastor, so Franny felt a little better about letting her go to the party. 

Later that evening though, Breann called Franny at work, which was out of the ordinary.  So, Franny answered the phone. Breann was crying hysterically that she couldn’t even talk.  Franny’s mind immediately began to wonder the worse.  There must have been a wreck, and something has happened to her or her brother, Cole. 
Finally, Franny got the words out, “Breann, what’s wrong?  Are you ok?  Is Cole ok?” All the while begging God in her head, “Please LORD, let them be ok!  Put your hand of protection around my children!” Eventually, Franny was able to get Breann to calm down and be able to talk. In exhausted words, Breann said,

“Mom!  We just got home and there is something at the front of our door.  Mom, you will never guess what it is.  Someone has left us a large gallon jar.  You know like what I get with the pickle in it?  Mom….MOM!  It’s filled with MONEY!  Dollars! Change!  Lots of MONEY!  There’s $20s, $10s, $5s, and $1s.  Its half filled with change and topped off with DOLLARS!  There’s a book too, Mom!  It’s called….. The Christmas Jar?  Mom…. Mom, are you hearing all this?”

Tears began to roll down Franny’s cheeks as she listened to her daughter’s excitement as God had truly blessed them once again.  She couldn’t wait to get home to her kids!  That evening when she got home, the kids had so much fun rolling the coins and counting the money.  When it was all said and done, they were given close to $300!  Christmas was saved!  God had provided!  It was a GodWink!

Have you ever wondered if God was truly hearing your prayers? Sometimes, it may seem like our prayers are not reaching Heaven’s doors, but the bible tells us that God sees every tear you cry. Don’t give up praying. Sometimes, life throws us a curve ball, and it may seem like there is no hope. However, if you will stay faithful, God will provide, just like He did for Franny and her family. When you keep pushing through the hard times, God will always be there and provide. It may not be exactly what you asked for but God will never leave you nor forsake you if you are seeking after Him and being faithful.

Matthew 6:31-34 New Living Translation (NLT)31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[ above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

GodWinks: the unexplainable moment in life when it can only be GOD!

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