More Than Enough | Megan Farrell

Nothing we have is ours. Our possessions, our time, our lives, our families. These are gifts from above. We are stewards of these gifts.  We hear this a lot, especially during church stewardship time, but have you ever really thought about what this truly means to you? Bear with me while I share my story about this realization. As stewards of God's creation, we are called to give. How easy this is to forget in the world we live in. I surely didn't understand what it meant to be a good steward until I experienced great loss. I was focused on the wrong things and anxious about earthly possessions and concerns. I was working hard to build the life I had planned for myself,and God was just along for the ride. Loss taught me to appreciate my gifts, and to give, because it was through loss that I came to know Jesus and learned just how rich I truly am. 

At 28 years old I was happily married, had a great job, and Brian and I decided to start a family. We were overjoyed as we were happily expecting our first child. Sadly the pregnancy ended in tragedy and we said goodbye to our baby boy before we ever met him. Through my devastation I did the only thing I could, I prayed. One night I fell asleep praying. During the night I had a dream. I saw a figure radiating bright light and was led towards a body of water. And immediately I was enveloped in peace. There are no words to describe the immense love I felt. I awoke in the morning with peace and strength and knew in my heart that God was with me and always provides. I came to know the love of Jesus and truly and deeply experienced the peace that passes all understanding. Through this experience my heart was changed but I didn't fully understand.

Several years and two beautiful children later, Brian and I experienced financial hardship when we found ourselves involved in a family crisis. We (foolishly) had cosigned loans for close family members that were not able to be paid. As we faced bankruptcy, I was filled with anxiety and distress. Brian and I had worked very hard to be financially stable and make a good life for ourselves and our family. I was angry that circumstances out of our control were impacting our future and financial well being. I was focused on myself and not on God's plan for me. I had forgotten how rich I really was. None of these earthly possessions mattered. Through this loss, I was reminded again that God is in control. I could choose to live in God's peace and let go of what wasn't really ours to begin with, or I could continue to live in fear and anxiety.

During most of these years we had been giving to the church but not tithing. Our monthly pledge was a nice round number that fit in our budget without causing us any discomfort. We didn't miss it and we felt good because we were giving some of our time and some of our money. But our experiences changed us and over time convicted us that we are called to give more. Not only of our time, but of our money. And to give in a sacrificial way that keeps us mindful of why we give. Because in giving back to God first, we are freed from material bonds. In giving I again know the peace that passes all understanding. I am reminded that God is with us and God always provides. Yes, it's uncomfortable to tithe, especially as we recently transitioned from two incomes to one. We give up things every month that we might want, but never things we really need. And we remember that we are stewards of God's gifts, and in giving we receive countless blessings and our lives are richer than ever.  

Megan Farrell
October 20, 2017

Fr. Steve Rice