So, since Trent and I acquired our jobs for this coming year in China, we have been extremely busy getting all the preparations underway. It is funny how after God made such a huge and obvious provision for us in this job, I began to sweat the small stuff… packing all of our stuff, selling vehicles, finding renters, vaccinations, Visas, lesson planning, learning Chinese, the list goes on and on and on.
“Be still and know that I am God” He says.
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” He gently reminds.
You see, I too, am a victim of America. In this society of “me”-monsters and immediate gratification, I need reminders that God’s timing is impeccably better than my own. I prayed a lot, but forgot the “be still” part while God was working things out for his glory.
One of my biggest stressors has been trying to sell my car. We kept getting hits and people wanted it, but things kept falling through. It was easy for me to get flustered and frustrated and think, “Come on God, time is running out…”. Well, apparrently, God had other plans. He decided that my car needed to take a trip to Mexico to a local church down there for a pastor to use to bless other people. How perfect… my car is going to Mexico. There’s no better place for it. I’ve always thought a part of my heart has stayed there, and now my vehicle will too. You see, I had to be patient for the answer to my prayer so that the timing would be right for this pastor’s prayer to also be answered.
Another thing stressing me out was finding renters for our house while we’re gone. Again, we’d had a few people interested, but no one following through. Then, by chance (or not, as it turns out), my co-worker invited me to lunch with her on the last day of school. As we sat and chatted, it turned out she and her husband were looking to move into the area but were looking at properties to buy. Even though it seemed like a shot in the dark, I mentioned to her that we had a cute little place that needed to be rented to see if she would bite. Turns out, she was interested. She and her husband had wanted their 15 year old son to go to Steele High School (which is just down the road from our house). A week later they came and saw the house. The next day she called me and said that they liked the house but were waiting to hear if they had gotten financed for the houses they had been looking at. Several days passed and I got more and more nervous with time. Finally, she called me on Saturday and asked if the house was still available. I told her that indeed it was, if she still wanted it. Later that evening when they came by to sign all the paperwork, we got to talking. Turns out that they did get financed for BOTH of the houses that they had been interested in, but they just didn’t have “peace” about it, it didn’t sit right. I know that that peace comes from God, and so does that unrest. It just reminds me that even though Trent and I had done our part in digging ditches, God already had it under control. I had only to trust him.
We’ve had two garage sales so far to try and get rid of some of the stuff we have. Garage sales are a LOT of work. Especially when you’re OCD like me and everything has to be categorized by table and look aesthetically pleasing. Anyways, this second sale was kind of a dud compared to the first and it was easy to get disappointed. But, already, I’ve been able to see that God has other plans for all of that stuff. You see, he’s already provided for us financially. Everytime a need comes up, he takes care of it. His provision has been more than sufficient. Instead, he wanted to give shorts, t-shirts, and jerseys to kids at camp who didn’t have the appropriate sports gear. He will use children’s clothes, toys and games to bless women and children at the Guadalupe County Family Violence Shelter. He will use old electronics and household items to bless disabled veterans and their families. He will use some of our furniture to bless the sweetest old lady, Roseanne. It is beatiful when we let go of the things we cling so tightly to and let God use them for his glory.
Finally, we were so blessed the other night by our next door neighbors, the Walsh’s. They called to tell us that they had a gift for us that they wanted to give us as a family before we left (there are 10 of them… April and 9 kiddos). So they came over and one of the youngest boys excitedly hands me an envelope filled with money. Their church had decided to give each person in the congregation some money on Sunday morning. Each received a different denomination and the only stipulation was that they couldn’t put it back in the offering plate and they couldn’t spend it on themselves. So they had collectively decided to pool all of their money together and give it to us for our trip to China. How cool! I am so excited to see how this money will bless others and how generousity unleashed on one end of the world in a little German town called Cibolo will soon stretch its reach half-way around the globe to Qingdao, China to meet some unknown (to us) need that God already has in mind.
So, the main idea is… don’t sweat the small stuff. God clearly had already taken care of the big thing (getting us to go to China), how much more so will he take care of the little details that need to happen to get us there. This faith walk has been a growing experience but it has been such a blessing!
“But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness , then all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33