“The Lord was gracious to me,” says Candice Rice, a single mom and member at Brook Hills. “Even though I didn’t deserve it – I am so far from deserving – He provided. This was God’s plan.”
About three years ago, Candice had recently renewed her commitment to Christ and was looking for Christian counseling and a church home. She had a 6-month-old daughter and desperately wanted her to grow to know and love God. She’d heard of Brook Hills, but she learned about counseling at the church through a friend she knew from high school. Candice began meeting with Pastor Jim Houston once a week, then she started attending Worship Gatherings.
Not long after she began coming to Brook Hills, Candice felt the Holy Spirit urging her to leave her job. Though it was a decent job, due to its competitive nature, she consistently felt pressure to lie in order to keep her job. According to Candice, it might not have sounded like a smart move, but she knew the best way to remove the temptation to sin was to leave the position immediately.
“Of course, as a single mom, I was worried about money and how I was going to pay rent or find a job with the right schedule so I could take care of my little girl,” Candice explains. “But I had this peace about it, because I just felt like God was going to take care of everything.”
Over the next few months, Candice continued diligently job hunting. Every month, she brought each bill to the Lord and asked Him to provide. And every month, the money came from completely unexpected places.
“I received a check in the mail one day from a company I used to work for six years ago. It was the exact amount that I needed. I thought, this had to have been God, because after all these years, how else did this money come right when I needed it? So then, I just gave God the glory. And that grew my faith more. If He provided for that, He was going to take care of everything else.”
God brought one specific passage of Scripture to Candice’s mind again and again:
“Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add one moment to his life-span by worrying?” – Matthew 6:26-30.
As Candice tells it, many people were a blessing to her during that time, and the Body of Christ came around her to support, encourage, and pray for her and her little one.
The Lord opened and shut several doors for Candice. After about five months of God providing for her in countless, inexplicable ways, Candice found out about a job opening that fit her skill set through a friend in the church. She felt that the Lord made it obvious to her that this was the right opportunity. She went to a couple of interviews, and she got the job.
Candice says the whole experience helped her to gain perspective and grow in her faith and dependence on God.
“My heart changed a lot. I saw things differently. I was on the side of needing help. And even now when things happen, I remind myself of how He provided then. He’s providing for the birds of the air, and here we are, His children. If He’s providing for all these, He’s got me. I can trust Him.”
God is continuing to grow Candice in both big and small ways. Last year, Candice shares, she went through the Financial Peace University course offered here at Brook Hills.
“I had gotten to the point where I was just sick of living paycheck-to-paycheck. God had provided a great job, but I realized I wasn’t being a great steward of my money and what He’s given me. So I knew a change needed to be made financially.”
She began researching and reading some of Dave Ramsey’s information online. Once she heard through her Small Group that the course was offered at Brook Hills, she decided to take it. Candice says Financial Peace University drastically changed the way she viewed her finances, motivating her to make some significant changes in order to be a good steward and avoid living paycheck-to-paycheck.
“One of the biggest things I think I’ve learned from it all is budgeting. You just have to budget. I need to make sure I know and am paying attention to where my money is going. I’m still getting into the swing of it all, but it also takes time. It’s like anything new, you have to get into the habit of it. But this course teaches you the baby steps.”
As followers of Christ, we are to be an example of Christ to the world in everything we do – in the ways we trust Him to provide and in how we steward all He’s given us. Through every unknown, we can see God directing our path. If doubt creeps in, may we “consider the birds.”
Candice Rice has been attending Brook Hills for a little over three years and has been a member for about a year. She currently serves in Preschool and has a 3-year-old daughter named Everly.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Financial Peace University course offered at Brook Hills on Sundays, beginning January 21, and Wednesdays, beginning January 24, visit brookhills.org/life.