Obviously, it is no surprise to God that our faith shifts up and down. God knows my heart and knows very well that at times, I have had faith that could move mountains and at other times, despite great effort, faith that hangs on by a thread.
Thus, it’s safe to say out loud that God is completely aware that these last three years, I have had faith the size of a mustard seed and occasionally that of a peach. Various situations have stretched me during the last few years but I have held tight with fervor. He has brought us through one step at a time.
As I reflect back on this month of chaos, I am grateful for unexpected extensions. Besides finishing internship and school (for what I hope is my last degree) and taking my first LCSW license exam, I had other things pressing on my mind.
We were one month away from our intended departure date to Spain and our situation did not seem so promising. Visas: not approved. Funds: 1/4th of what we need for one year collected. My family was also processing a huge change that needed to happen quickly. We needed an extension.
We reserved plane tickets for August 20th, arriving in Madrid August 21st. This gave us enough time to orient ourselves before Youth Camp- our target arrival date, which we desperately wanted to be apart of. We were told that we had until August 6th to purchase or cancel the tickets without penalty. After emailing the Spanish Consulate several times regarding the status of our visa, with no answer, August 6th came and went. We needed an extension.
Our deadline to purchase our tickets was extended to today, August 10th, 2010. This morning we received the good news that our visas were approved, only ten days before our departure date, and purchased our tickets.
Last week, at 4:30pm, half-an-hour before business offices closed for the day, my family received the extension they needed for the following day.
During the month, we also went from having 1/4th of our funds to almost 3/4ths! Amazing! I have been constantly humbled by the way that day by day, slowly but surely our funds are coming through!
Now that we are ten days away from our departure to Spain, running around like crazy people, all I feel is gratitude--gratitude for the way God helped to hold this situation (and me) together--gratitude for all the friends, family and churches that have supported us most importantly through prayer, as well as through financial giving.
I still don’t have an answer as to why we sometimes see God’s mighty hand of intervention (in situations far worse that this) and why we sometimes don’t. Why sometimes we pray for something so hard-and the contrary transpires. Friends, family and brilliant theologians, pastors, etc, will say that EVERYTHING that happens is God’s will, God’s purpose. Others will say it’s the universe or chance. Although I can’t say I agree entirely with any one of those statements, I don’t claim to have any other answer to offer nor intend to engage in a theological debate on “The Problem of Pain.” What I can say is that at the moment, I am at peace with that mysterious and profound question. I simply pray that God will give me a few more threads of faith and strength to hold onto when the going gets tough and I know that only by God’s grace and strength have I traveled through these last few years of difficult situations.
And now for the next phase of where God leads.
“ I’ve learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. I have the strength to face all conditions by the power Christ gives me.”
Philippians 4: 12-13
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