Monday, May 12, 2014

For His Glory: The Start Of A New Story

         The stories that God orchestrate are my absolute favorite. They are filled with so much beauty and grace that sometimes all I can do is stand and wonder at his goodness. There is a savory sweetness in knowing that only the God of the universe could have plotted every single detail of the pages unfolding before you. He is supremely creative; surprising even the cleverest of readers. He utterly amazes me!

           "If I find in myself a desire
            which no experience 
            in this world can satisfy, 
            the most probable 
            explanation is that I was made 
            for another world." 
                                                                                                          - C.S. Lewis

    I am speechless. I literally, have no idea where to start or what to type. God has blown me away and I am so undeserving of his undeniable favor. How do you express your utmost gratitude to the Savior of this world or convey to the people reading these pages just how undeniably grateful you are? You can't. It's as simple as that. Yet, I'll try because I have to remember..... I need to remember. 

     This story starts almost a year ago when I returned home from Kenya completely and forever changed. I instantly began pleading with God to send me back... please God, send me back. Despite every prayer, I heard him whispering "no." I can't tell you how that devastated me. I laid in bed crying as that simple word resonated through my head. I don't expect anybody to understand why it was so painful. It's hard to explain what it's like when you leave a part of your heart in a country and with a people that you dearly love. Trust me when I tell you that I tested the waters. I put my name on, and took my name off the 2014 Kenya list so many times it's embarrassing. Ultimately, God had the final say and I took my name off the list for good. 

The End.
    Praise the Lord, that is not the end of the story. I knew that I wasn't supposed to go with my church and with my friends who meant so much to me, but I didn't give up praying. I can't tell you how many times I have laid in my bed or sat at my kitchen table, begging God to still allow me to go. I kept asking him, "Why not, Lord? Why not me?" I was so willing and so desperate to go back. Slowly, I began to hear his quite whispers nudging me in a different direction. There was another team going to Kenya (from a different church in Waller,TX) but their time there would only be spent at Little Eden's Children's Home. If you read my post from my experience at Little Eden last year,  then you know what an impact it had on me (Read about it here) and yet, for some reason, I was really hesitant to reach out to them. I think I was fearful that they would say no and that would be the end of it. Finally, I sent out an email asking if they had a spot on their team... which they didn't but they promised me they would let me know if I spot opened up. I really did think that was the end of the story. God had finally closed the door and I resolved within myself that I would just try again next year, but I still continued to plea with Him that a door would still somehow open.

    That brings us up to date and this is when the story starts to get really good. Last Sunday, I sat with some teammates of last years trip and I told them of my desire to go back. Monday morning (last Monday), I texted my friend Melanie and said, "I am still holding onto hope. Hope that this was all just some crazy trust exercise and that God is still going to let me go." That very night I was told that a team member had dropped off the Waller team and they wanted to know if I wanted to fill that spot. I swear that angels sang and light streamed down from heaven and set my red hair aglow. It all came together and I knew that it had all been perfectly orchestrated by God. His plan was bigger and better than what I could see last July when I begged him to send me back or when I sat in my house pleading for one more chance.

 As amazing as that all is, this story still isn't finished. 

      This is the part where I get to sing His glory and tell of His wondrous love. Last Monday, I was told that I was going to need approximately $2,300 for this trip and, really, I needed it a month ago. I needed to buy a plane ticket ASAP as ticket prices are always going up. Unfortunately, we don't have it in our budget to write a check for that amount, so I was going to have to raise it and raise if fast. So, for the first time in my life, I prayed a HUGE prayer. I asked God to bring in the full $2,300 by next Tuesday (tomorrow). I quickly typed up support letters and sent them to the people God laid on my heart. The rest of the week I spent on my face pleading with God to move in a mighty way. I knew that God was able and I was asking that he would be willing to fulfill this prayer. I went through moments of absolute belief that he was going to provide as well as moments of doubt and panic. I had absolutely no idea of how this was going to come together, but I prayed that however it happened that he would be glorified. Yesterday, I sent out texts to my closest friends asking them to spend time praying on Monday that God would provide all the money in just two short days. GET READY..... Today, ALL the money came in..... the full $2,300. God is so good! There are no accidents with God. There is no way you can write this off as coincidence... you just can't. What else can I say? I have no other words....Speechless! Praise be to HIM! HE IS SO AMAZING!

This is my favorite worship song right now. Simple but it speaks. Turn it up loud and praise him with me (you may have to skip an ad).