Riley's God Pocket

When Riley was diagnosed with Pars Planitis, I became very much overwhelmed. God had just prompted me to leave my job. We had just used every penny in our savings taking Riley to multiple doctors seeking a diagnosis. The possibility of surgery was mentioned at the first appointment at Emory. Numbers danced through my head and fear crept right in behind them.

As an early interventionist, I had worked with many families that had faced this same fear and it was not long before I received a call from one of my families. This sweet Mama talked to me and calmed my fears. It was such a blessing to have her Christian voice to reassure me this would all be okay. She reminded me that God already knew all of this and had prepared for it in advance. This was no surprise to God.

She shared with me about an envelope she kept for her child. She said that she had prayed over this envelope and tucked it away. When there was a need the envelope was always full, and when there was not, it sat empty. She said God always provided money for the envelope in the most clever ways, She always knew when she received money if it was for the envelope or not based on how it was given or words that were shared, or even a written designation. She told of how often they would receive gift cards and tuck them away as well.

I took in her words but honestly did not immediately do anything about them. Our local Christian radio station was running a campaign for people to create a "God Pocket" where they tucked money away to share with others when they saw a need. They were even giving away gift cards for people to share with others. I think this was based on a book, but do not quote me on that. God began to whisper "Riley's God Pocket" to me repeatedly.

Several days later we received a call from Emory and were instructed that Riley did in fact, need surgery. We would need to be prepared to pay up front. The surgery was scheduled one month out. Oh. My. Lands. Again I heard the whisper of God. "Riley's God Pocket."

I let it simmer, but still did nothing. I told God how preposterous it was that money would just fall from the sky. One day in an effort to get God to quit whispering to me I went and got one of our Dave Ramsey cash envelopes and wrote "Riley's God Pocket" across the top. I slid it into my checkbook and dropped it back in my purse. I went to check the mail just a few minutes later. There was a card from one of my best friends with a $20 bill inside. I knew. I knew it was for Riley's God Pocket. I knew God had sent it. I knew we would be alright. I sat on the front steps and cried.

I did not share with anyone about Riley's God Pocket. I kept those treasures tucked in my heart for sometime. When I finally began to share it was out of gratitude to tell what God was doing for us.

Within days a church member came to the door with a gift card for Chick-fil-a, Riley's favorite, but she did not know that. A raffle was organized by a sweet family, our friends, from church. The God Pocket envelope filled up quickly.

A high school classmate contacted me through Facebook and said that she had won a gift card from a radio station. It was a campaign for a God Pocket. She wanted to share it with us. She did not know about Riley's God Pocket. I could hear God saying "See, I told you."

I received a call from the child-life specialist at the hospital saying that it would be a good idea to bring a bag of surprises for Riley for his surgery. Other parts of the hospital automatically supply prizes, but this was considered outpatient. He would need a distraction for his wait time and his recovery. Prizes streamed in, a fun cinch bag was given to us with his name on it. God was supplying all of our needs.

His first procedure came and went and a check-up just a month later showed that even though the surgery went well it was not effective. They scheduled three more consecutive procedures, with the final one being a major eye surgery. Once again I began to panic. But God, in his infinite wisdom had already taken care of this. He had a plan. 

Again we saw the God Pocket fill to overflowing and then empty again. Each time we went for a surgery or a check up, it was always full. This covered our meals, transportation, hotel or Ronald McDonald House charges, prescription protective goggles for swimming, glasses, medical bills and prescriptions.

I would often think that there was not enough money in the envelope and it would be exactly enough.

I would often think that the envelope was overflowing and it would be exactly enough.

Just a few months ago the envelope began to fill again and my heart began to grow anxious. This is always a sign that something big is about to happen. Just weeks later we were sent to Emory twice in two weeks. Riley was suspected to have glaucoma. His prescriptions were changed again.

After a few visits back and forth paying for gas, meals, co-pays and prescriptions the envelope was again empty.

1. We prayed to Him for provisions.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

2. He promised to supply our needs.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Here He has instructed me to not be anxious, to tell Him the needs and desires of my heart, and that He will meet those needs according to HIS riches, not mine.

Last year I had the very humbling experience of receiving blessings from places where I would not have chosen for them to come. My pride did not want to receive these blessings until God pointed out to me that He can bless me according to His plan. He said that while He was working in my life He was also busy working in the lives of others. He was teaching people to listen to Him and to be obedient to the blessings He placed on their hearts. That was a hard lesson for me to take, but we were certainly blessed because of it.

Riley's God Pocket remains in his "doctor bag," we add items as God sends them.