Last winter, I started dreaming of a family summer vacation. Our last vacation had been in Turkey when I was pregnant with J and I was ready for another one. We had been on some trips here and there but I define a vacation as a series of days where we are together as a family, I don’t have to plan or prepare meals, and we aren’t concerned about the cost of each one. That night, I talked to J about wanting to save for a summer vacation and the definition of one…just to make sure we were on the same page. We came up with a plan but also knew that we would need a little help from the Lord to pull it off. I thought to myself, “I’ll commit to faithfully pray all spring for the Lord to provide for this and surely by summer, we will have seen His fingerprint on our vacation plans.”
The next morning, as I got ready for the day, I began to think of ways the Lord could provide and pray about them. It went something like this, “Lord, could you allow my sister’s husband’s brother-in-law’s uncle to loan us his condo in Florida this summer?” Fat chance. Then, my amazing encourager friend Staci’s face popped in my head. Just the day before she had signed an email with “isn’t it just like God to do abundantly more than we ask?” I immediately prayed, “Ok Lord, I’m giving this vacation thing to you. Surprise me. I’ll stop trying to plan out how you can provide. I’m asking for abundantly more! I wait with excited expectation to see how you’ll provide.”
I went to the kitchen to make breakfast for the sleepy heads that were beginning to emerge from bedrooms. As I was waiting for the kettle to boil, I noticed the mail, unopened on the counter, from the day before. I absent mindedly flipped threw it and made a trash pile and an open pile. There was a nondescript envelop with my name typed on it. Trash pile. Probably junk. Just before I threw the pile away, I thought twice about that envelop and pulled it back out to open.
It was from an unclaimed funds service. They were writing to say that they had found a significant sum of money from my previous employer in my name that I hadn’t claimed. The letter stated that if I allowed them to recover the money, they would take %10 and I could keep the rest. My first thought was that it had to be a scam. After many phone calls, research and prayer, we decided to send my information to this company and wait to see what happened.
In the mean time, we realized that this check would be the amount we would need for a vacation. Would God really be so generous as to have the money waiting on the kitchen counter, even BEFORE I asked? We began to dream of what we could do the following summer, if the money came through. We found ourselves on the Pine Cove website and I cried when I saw the video trailer of a family sitting around a table for a meal and the counselors setting fully served plates in front of everyone. At that moment, I knew this was the vacation for us. (And a side note to say that the counselors also cut up our kids food, cleaned them up after the meal and took them outside to play as soon as they were done. This in itself made this the most relaxing week of the past 6 years! Well, ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but then again, may be not!)
We applied for a Pine Cove scholarship that week and quickly found out that we were accepted, even though they had begun awarding scholarships months before. The only problem? We had to make the full Pine Cove payment before we found out if the ‘lost paycheck’ was really going to come or if someone had just scamed us over. If the check didn’t come and we had already paid for Pine Cove, we were going to have some problems. After much prayer, we took our next step of faith and sent the money to Pine Cove.
Then, we waited.
A few weeks later, the paycheck arrived! It was a jubilant day! I still can’t believe it, really. But, it wasn’t the first time that God has used my previous employer from 7 years ago to bless us long after my career was over. It just goes to show that He is the ultimate accountant. I wonder if anyone will ever look over Pfizer’s books and wonder why random X employee still received paychecks every few years. I’ll just tell them to talk to my amazing Accountant.