This morning I turned on my computer to complete my end of the month CARES report. I had some time before I needed to leave for church and all I needed to do was write some highlights and then click submit. But when my computer booted up I heard the ding, ding sound that meant I’d received an email in an account that only meant one thing: support notification.
I quickly opened my account. A friend had told me he’d donated this week and to let him to know when that came in so this is what I was expecting to find. I actually did find that email in addition to another that rocked my world. A friend from my childhood, who I haven’t seen in over 10 years, made a one-time donation that completely funded my Outgoing Expenses. I stopped breathing. Then my heart started racing as adrenaline pumped through my veins. What did this mean? How could this be happening?
I had so many plans. I’d thought of many creative ways that I could help God out in this support-raising process like hosting a spaghetti dinner or a movie screening to get the extra funds. But God was whispering in my ear, “I’ve got you. This isn’t about you and I don’t need your help. Why do you doubt so often?”
Do you know what it feels like to be in center of God’s Will? It feels like today. It feels like reading that email. It’s comforting, confirming, reassuring, peaceful. I’m overflowing with gratitude; grateful for daily mercies and patience in the face of my complaining and doubts. It’s inexplicable.
This weekend I went to a conference. I was able to speak with a guy whose ministry is partly to help people raise support and also to help them be successful in the field. After speaking with him about what I’ve done the past five months and hearing his advice for me, I realized how utterly unprepared I was/am for this journey.
I’ve never gone on a short-term trip where I needed to raise support- so I have no previous experience. In fact, I avoided going on these trips for the very reason of not wanting to raise support. I’ve never been to “support bootcamp”, or taken a class on “how to’s”. I read a book over a year ago about how to think about support- not really a guide on actually doing it. I am in the dark on this. I did what I thought was normal. I made a blog and I sent out letters. I don’t have a script when I talk to people. No presentation has been the same as another. I don’t really have a plan!
I say all that to point out that I take no credit for being fully funded in Outgoing. I am not a motivational speaker, or writer for that matter. What compels someone to give when they haven’t seen you in 10 years? I am not self-deprecating; in fact, I think I’m pretty amazing. But I am not that amazing. I do not inspire life-long devotion. I do not have a cult personality. God is working in the lives my friends and family despite me not because of me. I am a weak, damaged tool in the hands of the Almighty. And I can only marvel at how He uses my flailing, childish attempts to bring forth fruit.
The struggle is not over. I still have an additional $1,423 to raise in monthly support which pays for my daily living expenses, insurance, social security, etc. while I serve. But it has never been a question of if this would happen. I have received confirmation after confirmation, today being just one example, that this is where I am supposed to be. However, that doesn’t mean it will be easy; that there will not be pain; that I still won’t wrestle with doubt and fear. But I choose to trust in the words of Jesus when he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.