“Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago” Isaiah 25:1
When I was growing up, my parents wanted my sisters and me to grow into independent and self-sufficient women. And that is exactly how I turned out. Almost to a fault.
Therefore, I have difficulty when it comes to asking for help and giving other’s responsibilities. It used to take a lot for a friend or a person in my life to prove their trustworthiness to me. To show they will do what they say they will. If they didn’t, then I would take it over myself.
Unfortunately, this tends to transfer over into how I view God. In my relationship with God, I know that I want to be utterly dependent on Him, but this is counter to how I was raised to be.
This tension has become especially evident during support raising. When I feel like God isn’t providing for my support, I feel as if I need to work harder and I need to do more to move forward in my support. I feel as if I need to take more control. When in reality, I need to trust that God is faithful and His word is trustworthy, giving up all of my control.
“He who did not spare His own son, but gave him up for us all- how will He not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
So how do I grow in trusting His trustworthiness? Well, I have to remind myself of the ways that He has already proven Himself to be faithful and trustworthy.
One way that I remind myself of His faithfulness is to remember all that He did to get me to South Africa in the first place.
This is that story.
Going into college, I expected that in four years I would be graduating with a degree in chemistry and would be on my way to a medical school in California, destined to be a pediatrician. During my sophomore year of college, that goal only slightly changed.
I had decided to place Jesus on the throne of my life as my Lord and Savior. So, in addition to medical school, I wanted to use that degree to go into missions somewhere overseas.
The original plan changed a lot more at the beginning of the second semester of my senior year of college and it kept changing during those last four months.
I had thought about the idea of doing missions long term but wanted to have practical experience before committing to anything. I was able to join a short-term trip that was scheduled to launch to Dubai mid-March for a week. But, as I was starting to support raise, the endeavor was canceled.
Still determined to go on a short-term mission trip, a StuMo staff member and I started looking into more organizations that had summer mission trips.
Each one of them fell through.
After returning to Mizzou from spring break, I got a call from a StuMo staff member about a spot that opened up on their short-term trip to South Africa, and they were inviting me to go. This call came in on a Monday.
Tuesday I talked with the team leader about the specifics.
Tuesday night I discussed the opportunity with my parents.
Wednesday I confirmed that I would be on the team.
Thursday they bought my plane ticket.
Friday, I went to Kansas City for training, and I began support raising.
Within a week my summer plans had changed, and though I didn’t know it, all of my future plans were about to change too.
To top it off, this all happened only five weeks before the departure date.
At the time I didn’t realize it, but the team leader had made a massive leap of faith by buying my plane ticket before I had even started support raising. The rest of the team had the whole semester, at least 4 months, to raise their support. And even with all that time, not everyone reaches the full amount before departing.
I officially started support raising April 9th I reached full funding, about $5,300, by May 8th. The Lord provided all the financial support I needed more quickly than I could have imagined, even giving me the week before to take finals and get ready for graduation.
In similar fashion to the beginning of this journey. The weekend following finals week, I graduated on Saturday, got baptized on Sunday with all my family present, and then on Monday my parents drove me to the Kansas City airport to leave for South Africa.
I remind myself of this story because it is proof that His plan and His timing is perfect.
All this happened not because of my excellent planning and organization skills but in spite of them. Only God could have made that happen; He alone deserves the glory for the vast and immeasurable ways that He provides.
I went into the second semester of my last year of college unsure of what I would be doing and what my life would look like, and it wasn’t until the last two months of my time at Mizzou that He made clear to me a portion of His plan for me. And a year ago this week, I was preparing to leave on the adventure of a lifetime.
Doors were closed, and doors were opened. My patience was tested, and it will be tested again. But the Lord is always faithful, and He is steadfast in His plan for me and for His name to be known in every nation.
Though I can’t see what He is doing behind the scenes right now. Even though it feels as if I am on my own. I can take a step back to remember what God has done in my life and to remember God.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my savior” Habakkuk 3:17-18