“He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.”
1 Thessalonians 5:24, ESV
I don’t know about you, but every once in a while my life hits high gear and moves so fast that it’s hard for my head and/or heart to catch up with all the changes.
For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been able to take a six-week leave of absence from my job in NH and head to MI to serve at the Life Action Camp for the last couple weeks of summer family camps!
Now that I’m finally here and have had the chance to settle in a bit, I wanted to share—in more detail than my last newsletter—how God has provided, cared for, and stretched me through the process of making this trip possible.
This sharp bend in life’s ride came into view while sitting at the dining room table having a heart to heart with a friend. I wish I could say I was calm, cool, and collected, but in all honesty, I was brooding with frustration and discouragement. In an effort to console me, my friend voiced this thought, “I wish there was a way for you to get a sabbatical from work so you could go out to The Camp for the summer.”
I must confess, my initial response was a defeated, sarcastic, and unbelieving, “Yeah, wouldn’t that be cool?” And then it occurred to me that, well, why not? I guess it couldn’t hurt to ask… So, after some brainstorming, I shot off an email to Life Action and approached my boss about it taking time off.
What happened after that, was a roller coaster ride to be sure! But all the sharp bends, highs and lows, loops and curves have certainly proved to be an incredible and unshakable reminder that the Creator of this ride knew what He was doing. He has made it secure, not letting one detail slip or anything be lost in all the stomach lurching angles. And when the ride subsides, the exhilaration and joy are worth the ride and far better than keeping your feet “securely” on the ground.
I tentatively approached my boss that Monday to explore the idea of taking a six-week unpaid leave of absence to serve at The Camp. The idea was met with overwhelming and unexpected support! In the two weeks following that brief conversation, a massive amount of complicated details slipped into place as though this had been planned long ago.
When I got off work, I headed to a scheduled meeting with a local pastor to discuss my calling to LAM. Our meeting was a wonderful time of encouragement as I was able to share how God has led and provided through this amazing journey. Then, as we were wrapping up, he said he would like to write me a personal check. As he handed me that small thin piece of paper, I was dumbfounded to see $900 written in the “amount” box!
I headed home, booming up the coaster rails in my secure little cart, to discover that my laptop had crashed and my roller coaster took a steep dive—you know the kind that leaves your stomach at the top but are oh so fun (though I didn’t really think it was fun at the time)? I had just been handed a check big enough to cover the worst possible scenario of my little computer crisis.
Now I wish I could say I was cool about it, trusting God’s plan. I did have all the data safely backed-up, so the reassurance that it would all pan out was definitely there, but I had more moments of internal panic and frustration than I care to share. My heart was saying, “Why now?! Right when I need it most!” I could feel the wind in my hair as the pit of my stomach dropped from the crazy ride.
However, as I look back, I am so thankful that God took my computer out of commission for this brief week. He lovingly cut me off from my personal database of information—especially regarding my closely guarded “stable” finances so that I would learn to cling to Him for my security and provision.
In the middle of trying to get my computer up and running, I heard back from Life Action to discover that they would love to have me come out for a few weeks, but because my support was only at 51% I wasn’t eligible to withdraw funds yet. So, the roller coaster took yet another sharp twist as I didn’t know how my budget would fair without an income for a month and a half and, because my computer had been strategically taken out of the game, I couldn’t “crunch any numbers.”
Our God is such a tender-loving Father and attentive teacher! He forced me to rely on Him and Him alone as one need after another presented itself and was promptly provided for. With some major unexpected car repairs, minor computer fixes and a few little things in-between, I was continually overwhelmed with the calculated, exact, and gracious provision of our loving King.
After I got my computer straightened out, which only ended up costing $57.12(!), and just before I left on the two-day road trip to MI, I put together a spreadsheet that paralleled all my unexpected expenses (totaling $1,870) against all the unexpected gifts to discover that God’s provision surpassed the expenses by about $220! Then I applied the surplus to my projected budget that had been the source of so much stress, only to discover that, when I added up all the various unexpected income God orchestrated in the weeks preceding the trip, my budget was only off by about $100!!!!
What a mighty God we serve! Even in my defeated and self-centered mindset, He cares enough to swoop down and remind me who it is that I am serving and how much He is backing me in the process!
So here I am with my dear NH friends after making the two-day trek to MI with me and getting the supreme camp tour! What an incredible ride it has been and I’m sure will continue to be!
Photo Credit (top): Jubilee Coaster by Daniel Carter @ stock.xchng