“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.”
I’m sharing this verse before anything because in light of the stories I’m about to tell you, this is the truth. God is my sure thing, my shelter, and my victory comes from Him alone.
Last week we had a bunch of random stuff for class. I know that can sound a little negative but I don’t mean it in that way at all! I wouldn’t trade the things I learned last week and over the weekend for anything.
One of the days, we had yet another teaching on leadership, but this one had a twist. Most, if not all, of the teaching was told from experience. Our friend Libby told us stories from past leadership situations she had gone through. It was nice because she would get to a part and then ask us what we would do. So, we had the opportunity to almost get a head start on some situations we might face as a leader. It was great practice and such good truth. One of the things she said was, “Care more about the person than the situation or failure.” So often we can get caught up in what people do wrong and try to fix everything. Sometimes we forget there’s an actual human being with real feelings and a real soul. It’s so important to ask, “How are you doing?” or, “Are you okay?”. Especially when someone has failed or messed up, it’s important to not jump to conclusions and point out all they’ve done wrong. So powerful!
To kind of go along with that theme, we also took a test this week called the Strengths Finder Test. It was basically a series of questions to figure out your top five strengths. This test came with a book and before you took the test, you read the book. It had some really interesting things to say. The biggest thing that it talked about was the fact that our culture is so fast to point out others weaknesses. In that, we feel like we have to fix those weaknesses and make them strong. This book stressed the importance of strengthening your strengths. Basically turning the phrase, “You can be anything you want to be,” upside down by saying, “You cannot be anything you want to be — but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” That’s a big key in development. Don’t focus on who you are not, strengthen who you already are.
So that was my big take away from the week…
On a different note, I had an amazing opportunity to go back home to Florida this past weekend! The main reason, was to connect with my supporters and raise as much money as I could for my school’s outreach to Mexico and Ukraine coming up. It was a plus that I got to spend time with friends and family!
You could say a short time of two days and an evening could have been a waste of time and money… and some did. Honestly, I started to believe it at one point, but then I was reminded that God can do amazing things in a moment, much more two days! So I went, expecting God to do great things through me and for me. I’m happy to say that He exceeded my expectations completely. It’s funny because He always seems to do that, and somehow I never get tired of it! Whether it was someone donating money or simply giving me a word of encouragement, it was all worth it.
I could tell you many stories about my time at home but I’ll just tell my favorite. So, I had a yard sale and every cent I made would go to my outreach. Many people who weren’t able to donate money, donated things they didn’t need so I could sell them. It was actually a really great time. A lot of people came and I even got to share about YWAM and things God has been doing! At the end of it, we prayed over the money. We prayed God would use it for His glory and that He would multiply it. We counted it and it came out to $194.69. Awesome! I was so thankful. Of course, not everything sold at the yard sale. My aunt offered to take some of the kid toys over to a store that paid you for donating toys and clothes and said she would give me all the money that she got. Praise God for her! So she did that and returned with $55.55. You see this was a miracle in itself because that store rarely paid that much. You were lucky if you got $20. My aunt also personally gave $20 because she bought some things from the yard sale and another lady gave $20 for some toys after the yard sale was over. So that’s $290.24. But it didn’t end there.
I was beyond thankful, but what I didn’t know was that my mom had been praying for $300. She told me that after we found out about the $290.24 amount. I jokingly said, “Well mom, maybe you’re supposed to give the last $10.” But she said, “Oh no. God’s got this!” I believed, but I was so blessed by the money I already got that I didn’t even worry about it. So, my aunt comes over to give us the money. As we’re standing there, she counts it, “55, 75, 95..” Then she pauses, and pulls out a $10 dollar bill. She explained that she didn’t have any cash in her wallet, so either she didn’t see the $10 when she was counting before or God put it in there. We went with the latter and FREAKED OUT! That was the $10 my mom so faithfully prayed for, the $10 that grew our faith and the faith of those who will hear this, and the $10 that got me to $300.24.
You can’t tell me, “God isn’t faithful.” He is the most faithful. When we’re in His will, He so carefully orchestrates everything out for His glory! I was so blessed to have gone home. Thanks to everyone who made it so great! I love this journey that God is so beautifully taking me on.