The question loomed large, larger than the news that her job was about to end.
Would she be "all in" with her promise to faithfully tithe from her very last paycheck? Or would pending rent and an already overstretched budget be reason enough not to give this one time?
It was a question the "40-something" mother of two pondered.
Officially single after a 20-year marriage, and with teenage children to consider, it seemed logical to hold onto every cent. Already, the Seattle-area professional was accessing the church food bank and pulling cash from her IRA to survive.
"I rationalized that God would understand," Cathy Fisher said as she reflected on the financial unknown she was facing. "He knew my situation, and that I would make it up to him once I knew what was happening in the month ahead."
But was that really her original intention when she'd told God she was "all in" with her renewed relationship with him?
The Bible she had begun to study months earlier had a lot to say about giving back to God. Something Cathy had never done when she and her husband lived on a combined household income of almost a quarter-million dollars.
"I am so sick to admit that we probably gave the least then than we ever did," said Cathy with regret as she remembered the many "toys," big home and properties they enjoyed -- and had to maintain. "We thought we couldn't afford to give 10 percent."
Now in the leanest of times so far -- and with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner -- she had to ask herself whether she would step out on faith again, trusting God to provide. Without a job and not knowing where she and her daughter would live the next month weighed heavily, and her faith faltered.
"Then I stopped myself right in the middle of it," the petite brunette said, remembering the moment, "and I said out loud, 'No! I am going to trust God with this. I'm all in and I mean it. I'm doing this.' "