thankful

Thankful By Faith

Note: My desire for this blog is to fill you up with HOPE! One way of doing that is by sharing true-life testimonies of what Jesus has done for others. Revelation 19:10 says, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” When we hear about what Jesus has done in the lives of others, we are actually being prophesied to. Just like the Word of God is a mirror showing who we really are in Christ, so testimonies show us what God is able to do in our lives. May you be encouraged as you read this testimony! What Jesus has done in my life, He is able to do for you!

When entering the New Year of 2020, I knew, as a weary missionary and mother of three, that I needed a time of restoration. Things needed to change and be put in order so that I would be led by the Spirit …not by my own emotions, which were often based on the needs abounding all around.

One of the ways I could modify things was by getting a maid, a common household lifesaver in Africa. Finding the help we needed enabled me to spend more unhindered time in the presence of God, and to discover the basic necessities of life for my own family.

During this time, I was encouraged to wake up each morning and declare, “Thank You God that You have good plans for me, not to harm me, but to prosper me and to give me a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). “Thank You that You have written my story and that it will come to pass” (Psalm 139:16).

Even though almost everything within me wondered if it really would come to pass, I kept saying it by faith. That’s how I had to live. It was my constant prayer. It was what kept me going.

I knew that the life we were living at that moment in time was not the life I had imagined. I knew God had a better plan for us. So, I started thinking, “Where can we go? Where can we take our family to be revived, renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated?”

While spending some alone time with God one day, I felt in my spirit that He was speaking to me: “If it was just you and Me, and you didn’t have to worry about finances or what people thought, where would you go?” I shared with Him the desire of my heart and He said in response, “Then go for it!”

Excited by the permission to go ahead and with the approval of my husband, I began pursuing the place of my longing: a ministry school in Northern California.

As I started the application process, COVID-19 broke out. In spite of the timing of everything, I continued to thank God over and over that He had good plans for me. I was beginning to be convinced that if the school was actually part of His plan, then I would find myself there no matter what.

One night I mentioned to God, “Tomorrow I would like to pay the deposit for school.” I prayed this while knowing I had no money in the bank. When I woke up the next morning and looked at my account, I was astonished. I needed $500 for the deposit and there was more than enough to pay for it. I wondered, “How can this be?” I had no idea why I received money from that particular source …except that God had heard my prayer. I received it by faith and paid the deposit off just as I desired the previous night.

Soon after, our family received news that a woman who had been a faithful supporter of ours, had passed away …and, had left us in her will. The amount that we were to receive would be more than enough to cover a year of living expenses in California. Although we were told it would take months for us to receive the gift, the news was a divine confirmation for me to keep moving forward.

As the deadline to pay off my tuition approached, I wondered how I would manage. Then, in God’s perfect timing, retro pay from the government was deposited to our account – once again, it was “more than enough” and I was able to pay my tuition in full.

Thankfully the air tickets were covered by a family member earlier in the year. Before the idea of going to California was even on my radar, we had booked flights to visit Canada at the end of July.

Just within weeks of the departure date, we were informed that our flight had been cancelled due to the pandemic. Then, a week or so later, we heard that the airport had been reopened! I rushed there as fast as I could to rebook the tickets. We made it out of Zambia and into Canada where we had two weeks of quarantine, followed by another two weeks of intense preparation before travelling again.

We had expected that the inheritance would have arrived before we went to California but that didn’t happen. Still, God made a way for us to pay for my husband’s visa, first and last months’ rent, and air tickets.

When booking the flights, our travel agent stated several times that he thought we would be turned back at the US customs in Toronto Pearson because of the pandemic. Several people wondered why we would be traveling at such a time.

And truthfully it did seem like the craziest of times to travel. I thought, “Of all the years that I could have gone to the school of ministry, how did it end up being this year?” I just had to keep saying, “Thank You God that Your plans for us are good. Thank You that You’ve written my story in heaven and if this is part of that plan, then You’ll get us there.”

By faith, I went ahead with our children while my husband waited behind for his visa. We made it through customs by God’s grace and traveled from Toronto to Redding via Dallas and San Fransisco. All went well. We arrived safe and sound followed by my husband two weeks later.

Although the will was an incentive for us to keep pursuing our year in California, the irony of it all was that the inheritance didn’t come in time to fulfill all our financial needs. It came halfway through our time spent in California but God kept us going. He sent His people to help us through gifts of groceries, clothing, rides, presents for our children, and a really good deal on a vehicle. Time and time again He showed up.

God did a miracle for us. In the midst of a pandemic our family had the greatest of adventures. Being with hundreds of other students, all with the same passion to pursue Jesus, was exhilarating. We gleaned from teachers of the Word, were refreshed in God’s presence during corporate worship, and were so encouraged by friendships made and words of Life spoken over us. Truly it was a year of healing and restoration.

Going home was another story. Our flights kept being rebooked due to the travel restrictions. We decided to cancel them all together and drive across the States from California to Michigan and into Ontario. All I could keep saying throughout our journey was, “Thank You God for loving us so much that You allowed our flights to keep being canceled so that we could have this amazing adventure – seeing the vast beauty of Your magnificent creation.”

I’ll never forget those steps of faith via thankfulness. Being grateful for God’s promises brought us through a very challenging time. In the end, I came out renewed and with greater clarity to pursue my destiny fulfillment path.

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