Can you imagine your life without your agenda book? Without a schedule? Or even without a clock?! I know I couldn’t! We spend so much of our lives wondering what comes next for us. What college will I go to? What job will I get? Who will I spend the rest of my life with?
Think about this for a second:
Commit to the Lord everything you do. Then your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)
When you schedule your week do you ask God what HE wants you to spend your time on? Do you pencil God in last when planning the course of your day? When someone asks you the timeless question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Do you look to God and ask HIM what HIS plans might be for your life? Do you spend all your time worrying about the future and whether or not you’ll end up with someone more than seeking a relationship with God?
After reading this verse in Proverbs, I have examined my life and how I personally let God in. I am somewhat of a “control-freak” when it comes to my life and how it is run. I believe in God and love Him with my whole heart, but I wasn’t going to let Him determine my steps without my consent. I was listening to a sermon once and the pastor had said, “what would your day look like if you penciled God into every hour of the day? If you let God into everything you do instead of confining him to morning or nighttime devotions?” At the time this didn’t mean much to me or sink in, but recently this has echoed even greater in my life.
After returning from Beach Reach last yer I knew God had changed my life drastically. When spring break trips for this year were announced I immediately felt God’s calling to return to Panama City Beach, however, lack of funds kept me from committing. The deadline was approaching rapidly and even by the day of the deadline I still hadn’t made the decision if I was returning or not. I took the entire morning service to pray and ask God that he would reveal the answer to me before the end of the service when the final sign-up meeting was. Even at the end of the service I still had no idea what God wanted me to do. I kept praying and seeking but nothing was coming clearly to me. I was running up to my mentor to ask her advice when my sweet friend Maren interfered to say hello. She noticed that I looked distressed and asked what was up and I told her that I had to make a decision to go or not but I knew I had no support at this time. As soon as the words left my mouth she responded, “I will support you”. It’s crazy the feeling that overwhelmed me in that moment. I knew that was God’s way of answering my prayers. I knew then and there I was called to go.
Now let me start this next part of my story by telling you that even though I knew I was called and that I was signed up to go at this point that did not mean I had somehow magically come up with the $700 it cost to go. Raising support to go to Beach Reach is where the bulk of my story comes from. I went out on a whim using addresses from my home church directory and even asking people I knew point-blank for their home addresses. I had no idea what to expect. When I had gone last year I had contributed most of the funds myself. I did not have the ability to do that this year. So when I sent the 25 letters I had no idea what I would get in return or if I would even get anything at all. HOWEVER, God had bigger plans for me! I literally put it ALL in His hands because I knew I couldn’t do this on my own and I couldn’t believe my eyes when the support started coming in. The willingness to give from the people I wrote to blew my mind! I have never experienced a more humbling moment in my entire life than watching this process unfold as God made the path for me so undeniably clear. As the due date for the money got closer I was still a good $200 maybe even $250 short of my goal. Now I had mailed 25 letters but I had also posted my blog entry about my trip last year in hopes people would read my story and want to support me for this year’s trip. I probably posted this around 7 or 8 times, but had no response. On the day the money was due, I decided to post it one final time. Within a 12 hour period I had just three or four people step up to support me, but the amount they gave allowed me to reach my goal. I have never felt so much love in my entire life! I was completely overwhelmed by the end of the day and in complete awe. At two minutes to midnight on the day the money was due, I had become 100% supported. HOW COOL IS THAT?!
This has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I have never given God complete control over anything in my life and to watch this unfold before my eyes has taught me a lot. I need to have child-like faith in all areas of my life and give EVERYTHING over to God, not just the things I pick and choose or the things I think he can handle. I have learned that NOTHING is too big for God.
I am so excited that God has provided this opportunity for me to return to Panama City Beach and I am even more excited to see how He will use our team. I know that as long as we put it all in His hands that things will work out and His glory will be revealed through the work we do. Keep an eye on Facebook and here for updates on the trip!
I know I’ve said this before, but if you supported me in anyway and are reading this right now, thank you from the bottom of my heart. As you read I have not only been extremely blessed but God has taught me so much through this experience and for that I am forever grateful.