What a year!
And yet, when I look back at this year, and particularly this past summer, I see the faithfulness of God.
Psalm 107:2a says, ‘’Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!’’ Let me ‘’speak out’’ just some of what I have seen Him do. May my eye-witness testimony encourage your heart.
I planned to come home in April to clean out my house, get it ready for market, do all the things needed to list it.
And COVID-19 closed that door.
I planned to keep renting my place for another year just because of market uncertainty.
But a series of events closed that door.
I planned to come back to Maryland in mid-June to deal with my house.
But that ticket was cancelled.
Throughout this time, I had no idea how I was going to pay my bills.
In fact, that was true of the entire 2019-2020 school year.
Due to circumstances beyond my control, 10 out of 12 months, from the time I left in August to go to Guatemala to the time I sold my house this past August, my income was not sufficient to meet my expenses.
But I never got behind on a single bill.
Every month God showed up.
I bought a ticket to come to Maryland at the end of June. A nasty itinerary with an 18-hour layover, but at least a way back.
Shortly after I bought it, the airline added a direct flight to DC. I was able to change my ticket with no fees, no issues. Went from 22+ hours of travel to a nonstop, 4.5-hour direct flight to DC.
The day after I landed in the U.S. I “just happened” to run into friends from church.
One of them offered me the use of their brand-new basement apartment.
They had gotten final use and occupancy that week.
The only thing it didn’t have?
Which, of course, I had.
And, since God loves the details, He arranged it so that my kitchen stuff matches the décor of the apartment.
A few days after I got home, friends approached me, telling me of their interest in buying my house.
I never listed it.
I never had to show it.
And they bought it “as-is”.
I made no repairs.
I did no cleaning.
I painted nothing.
Six weeks after I landed, the house was sold.
99% of my possessions were dealt with, given away.
And even in that, God worked in awesome ways.
Thrift stores are taking minimal donations because everyone cleaned out during the quarantine.
Yet God provided people and non-profits to take it all.
I needed to do some adjustment with an organization that was coming to get stuff.
I had the phone in my hand, getting ready to call an 800 number to navigate the process.
I was dreading it – trying to get to a human being, dealing with being on hold, figuring out who I needed to talk to – and as I sat there, getting ready to dial, my phone rang.
They were calling me to confirm.
I was able to make the changes without any effort on my part at all.
I needed to finish raising my funds for the year.
Without churches meeting in person.
With people being in huge amounts of financial uncertainty.
Unofficially, I am at 100% of my needed support. (The online tracking needs to catch up with the promised giving…)
Officially, I am at 76% of my needed support.
The airport in Guatemala was supposed to open June 30.
It was supposed to open at the end of July. It didn’t.
So I started praying then, asking to get back in mid-September.
At the time, officials there were planning a staggered re-opening: first in-country flights only; then Central America only; then international flights.
So the prognosticators were saying October at the earliest for people like me. Many were saying January.
But I kept asking specifically for mid-September.
When the airport did not open as scheduled on September 1st – the only hope I had of getting back by mid-September – I took a deep breath and instructed myself: “Kathy, sometimes God says ‘no’ and sometimes He says ‘wait’. His timing and ways are perfect. So trust Him and keep waiting with a happy heart.”
And then came word that the airport is opening on September 18th.
This coming Friday.
With no gradual reopening.
I asked for mid-September.
It looked impossible.
And God made a way where there seemed to be no way.
I am scheduled to land at noon on Friday.
And there’s even more!
But in the interest of conserving words, let me just say that I have seen God do impossible things. All school year long. And particularly this past summer.
Jesus said, “Put My interests ahead of your own and watch what I will do to provide. You are so easily consumed with the unimportant stuff, the things that NONE of the rest of My creation worries about. But if you will let go of your kingdom to focus on Mine instead, I promise I will take care of the rest.” (Matthew 6, Kathy-phrased)
And He has.
Oh, how He has!
If you weigh my current choices with the philosophy of the day, they are sadly lacking in “wisdom”.
But Paul put it this way: “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God…This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.” (1 Corinthians 1)
The ‘’foolishness’’ of the cross:
Deny yourself. Live for God’s agenda. Follow in His footsteps. Die to self.
Impossible to do in our own strength.
But the way of the cross is the ONLY way to resurrection!
You have to die in order to experience resurrection power.
And not just on the day you trusted Christ to be your Savior.
That day you gained eternal life. Guaranteed.
But every day that you walk in obedience, every day that you die to yourself, every day that you hold ALL of your life in open hands before Him – those are the days that you gain the abundant life that Jesus promised.
My biggest concern as I write this is that you will think that this kind of thing, these kinds of provisions only happen for us “professional Christians” – pastors, missionaries, etc.
But the reality is that I am not something special.
I am a stubborn, foolish, stinker of a girl, a sinner saved by grace alone.
God is wonderful.
He is faithful, good, kind, able, near and utterly powerful without my help.
He does not need me.
But I am desperate for Him.
And that is my testimony.
Look at God!!