Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Testimony in Hard Times

My name is Alyssa Hansen, mother of the sole baby boy attending East Hills Alliance. I have only been attending for about two years now, and have had a lot of life changes happen in that time. Most importantly, my fiance and I had a baby boy last October and it's been a roller coaster since. We both work full time, and I attend LCC 4-5 days a week. Between his student loan payments, two car payments, rent, utilities, tuition,'s been a long year. One of my goals, since starting to attend East Hills regularly, has been to tithe on a regular basis. I have been faithful to this commitment, and have seen some major blessings. I wanted to attach a blog that I wrote about something that happened to us last week, just so that you know how blessed I feel to be attending East Hills and also to give praise to God by sharing this story:

"No matter what you’re going through..."

"...heaven's watching over you."
So, I got home from work yesterday, and it had been a pretty good day. It was busy at work and I had made good money. Which was good considering that Chris and I are getting a combined (maybe) 40 hours a week and super struggling with money. I know everyone is going through the same thing, so it's hard to complain too much. But, I've been at Sharis for over three years now and all of a sudden I have Saturdays, Sundays and another weekday off every week. Normally I'd be stoked to have the weekends off, but when you waitress it's the only time you can make really decent money.

But, the point of this blog wasn't to gripe about my schedule. I came home from work yesterday and the first thing Chris said was, "You should check out that card we got in the mail." I went over to the mail pile and found a blue envelope, no return address with a card inside that said, "No matter what you're going through, heaven's watching over you." It was a beautiful card, no signature...and had five 20 dollar bills inside. I instantly got goosebumps, because this kind of stuff doesn't happen everyday and it seriously felt like something way bigger had just said, "See, I told you it would be okay."

I have been attending a church that I really like for almost two years now. It's called East Hills Alliance and it's in Kelso. There are great people and great music. The head pastor is named Nick Stumbo and he's young and puts together simple, concise messages that really get to the point. Anyways, in the past two years, even if I slipped in attendance, I tried really hard to tithe every week, (give 10% of my income to the church). It's a touchy subject with some people, understandably, and I know that it's one of the reasons that a lot of people stay away from the church. But I don't think of it as greed on the church's part. For me, when broken down to it's simplest form, God gave it to me and it's my way of thanking him for always providing. In the last two years, since I've been tithing, so many things have happened as a direct result. Sometimes it was just the right amount of money at just the right time. One time it was Chris getting hired for a second job on the spot. Getting this house, and the way that it all came together I know was a direct result of having faith and trusting God.

And it's funny because last week the check that I wrote was literally $25 of my last $50 in my bank account. But I know that it's just as important to tithe when you're broke as it is to tithe when you're in a time of plenty. It's all about the trust that you'll be taken care of, and for me that's a hard thing, to basically put my faith in something out of my control....and even harder, trying to convince Chris that I know what I'm doing. But it's paid off every time.

So yeah, take it as you will. And if you are, or know of, the person who sent us the $100. You paid the remainder of our P.U.D. bill, and we thank you so, so much. You've also renewed my spirit and assured me that I'm putting my faith in all the right places. The card had no signature. I am holding onto it until I am in a place where I can help someone else, and I'm going to use that card.

I also wanted to share that God is working through me at my workplace, Sharis, and I have co-workers attending with me on and off. I know that God is softening hearts around me and I just keep sharing stories like this with them so that they might know that God is waiting to bless their lives as well.

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