Waiting and trusting, patiently obeying, and taking that first step into the unknown is painful. And hard! But God calls us to do this consistently. He calls us to obey when we don't know what is coming next. He ask to trust that His plan is best. And through it all, we must be patient for his timing. In the midst of that, you sometimes find it hard to hope.
But then the moment comes. His promise is fulfilled and you find yourself wondering why you ever doubted His goodness. Because His plan is better than you imagined, better than you could have thought. Let me explained a little more :)
In December this last year, God brought me (again) to the story of Abraham. God fulfilled His promise of a son to him, but He later asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Issac. Abraham did not know what God's plan was but trusted that it was the best. This story resonated with me and I realized that God desires us to sacrifice everything to Him, even when it doesn't make any sense! Over the past few months, God has asked me to surrender my desires, or my "Isaac"s to Him. This included my hope for marriage (right now), as well as my desire to go back to Uganda this summer. As I made my final decision to not return at this time, I told God that he could have it, have this hope, and that I would not go unless He gave "it" back to me (just like God gave Isaac back to Abraham).
For months, I grieved the loss of a return trip as my roommate/best friend/travel partner/soul sista Jenny prepared to go with the team to Uganda this summer. We would joke that if the team raised enough money for me to go, then maybe that was a sign from God. We included our resident Ugandan/prayer warrior Milly in on this joke. We should have known that she would take it very seriously!
On Thursday April 30th (less than two months before the team would leave), I received this email from Milly:
I hope the Lord is telling you to go with us. We have also started funding raising late but we are confident we shall make it. Please join us. You do not have to raise all your need your self. Some body is willing to bridge the gap in case of any deficit. Please join us. Just let Greg and Rick know you want to go."
I was shocked, doubtful, and excited. Was this it? Was God giving me back this hope NOW? Upon further investigation, I found out that there a generous donor who was willing to "bridge the gap" and donate the money we needed in order to get the team to Uganda. Hours later after receiving this email, we found out that one of our projects received a large grant that would cover some of the other in-country travel costs. Within the next day, our two veterinarians, Jenny and Cyndie, also started a partnership with another organization that would pay for their airfare. Therefore, all the money they had been fundraising would now go to the rest of the team...which very soon would include ME!
To say the least, I was skeptical. I wanted to make the right decision. I only wanted to go if God wanted me to go. Plus, I was graduating and needed to find a job. I was convinced that if I made the right decision than God would provide me a full-time job for next year. That is when my girl Jenny called me out- I was acting as if God's promises were conditional on my faithfulness. But as you can see in the story of Abraham, God fulfills his promises despite our mistakes. God's promises are founded in His faithfulness, not on me or my faithfulness. God would fulfill his promise to me to provide a job, whether I made the "right" decision or went to Uganda.
So with that, I decided to go. I decided to persevere through my doubts and wonderings and trust that God would provide. I boldly proclaimed that truth as I shared my reasons for returning. I have known since I started my masters program that God would provide a job following graduation. Now I just gave Him a slightly smaller window to show up, between my graduation trip to Hawaii and this adventure to Uganda.
One week after Milly's email, I had an interview for a school counselor position at a high school in Vacaville. I felt good going into the interview, I felt confident in the interview, and I felt positive after the interview. I knew it was crazy, but I prayed that they would call back that day. Four hours later, I got a call from the principle. And they offered me the job the same day. This NEVER happens...except with God.
Within a week I had decided to go back to Uganda AND God provided me a job. SAY WHAT?!? I was bursting with JOY and couldn't contain myself as a relished in God's goodness. He longs to bless us with good gifts. And they are even more sweet when we are patient and trust in His good and perfect plan.
Often times, it seems as if God is slow to action, but when He decides to move, it happens really quickly! I have been swept away in this river of goodness. And I CANNOT WAIT to see where God takes me next!!
More on my next Ugandan adventure to come :)
More on my next Ugandan adventure to come :)
You are loved.