I'm not sure where to begin.
In the last year, I have:
-Graduated from beauty school
-Drove & moved from Oregon to Oklahoma
-Vacationed in Maui
-Worked at the YMCA
-Moved to Boston, Massachusetts
-Started college again
This time last year:
I was terrified. Why, you ask? Because I knew I was called to Oklahoma, and I had NO IDEA why. I knew that Oklahoma was temporary and that God truly wanted me in Massachusetts.
So I moved to Oklahoma. I started working at the YMCA and realized that even though I made very little money, it was so rewarding! I have to admit that money was always on my mind though. Since I made very little, I barely scraped by paying my bills every month. I felt sorry for myself. I'd mull over questions to God, like, "God, what do you want me here for? What do you have planned for me? I'm barely making any money, God! I need more money!" His response? “I have given you just enough, Sara."
He was right, of course. I looked at my life and my finances. Although I was very poor, living barely paycheck to paycheck to pay all of my bills, I ALWAYS had just enough to pay every last one. A lot more than some people have.
I still worried about money. I knew that I wasn't supposed to be in Oklahoma for much longer. I needed money to move back to Oregon, where all of my friends and family lived. Where I was comfortable. But, of course, I felt that little voice in the back of my mind, whispering to me. "I want you in Boston." My reaction "WHAT??? Why? How am I supposed to afford that? I have NO money, God! How is this supposed to work? I don't have anyone I know there. I don't want to be by myself." Thanks to a wonderful friend and one of my confidantes, I told her how I was feeling and had told her before about it. Her response, "Girl, if that's where you feel called, go. He'll open the doors for you."
I didn't want to go at first. Sure, Boston sounded like a fantastic adventure, one where I could have a friend move too, maybe just a long visit? Nope. God wanted me to live there. I fought with him, telling him all the reasons why I couldn't go. Now I look back on them and they are so silly and small.
So I prayed and said I'd go. Right after that prayer, I felt a complete sense of peace. I was certain I was supposed to be feeling a certain sense of dread since I was planning on moving away from my twin sister and her family, away from my parents, away from every person I knew to a big city where I knew no one. 3,100 miles away from my parents and over 1,700 away from my sister....that's a long distance if you ask me. But no dread came, yes, some worries, but no dread, just a whole lot of peace.
Don't get me wrong, I had my hurtles and doubts. I was still worried about money. I am the person that will write down every expected expense. After I I had gone over how much everything was going to cost, I looked at that big number and felt like an ulcer had burst in my gut. I estimated how much I would make by the time I moved....it was not even close to what I needed. It was like having an anvil fall to the pit of my stomach. I got so stressed about money I could barely eat anything. That's my response when I am over-the-top stressed. You'll know when I'm stressed, because I usually love food more than a fish loves the water....there's definitely something wrong with me when I'm not eating.
When I visited my family in Portland before making the big move to Boston, my computer was on death's door. My money hadn't come in yet from my school and I was as poor as a beggar. My family, not knowing why God called me to Boston, embraced the decision and my dad, the rock star that he is, fixed my computer! I was then able to use it for school! They shipped me off with what little money they had and then I arrived in Boston. Alone, poor, and scared.
I got off the plane with little more than $150 to my name. Thankfully I got a job right away, but I was still so poor I had no idea where the money was going to come from. Oh, why did I worry about that when everything else had been provided for? Because I am human. I prayed for God's provision, and he gave it to me. The day I had the conversation about money and food was the day I received letters and a package from my family. They had sent me money and food. What was that I was worrying about again?
The great thing about God is he's BIGGER than money! I had to give up my life to truly live. I had been living on my own strength and understanding! I had never truly handed over my delicate and fragile life over to my God. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I took my heart out of my chest and placed it in God's strong, all-knowing, loving hands. I learned how Paul felt when he said (this is a summarization & I'm so sorry I can't remember which book/verse this is) “I have had little and a lot and I have learned to be happy with both." That is my life. Last year I was making good money, had some saved up, but I would NEVER have moved that far away because my faith was not where it is today. I had not gone through what I have now been through and what I continue to go through.
I am here to encourage those of you that doubt, that don't believe; to spread the word to those people that are concrete thinkers, who only believe if they see. Here you go. I am here to spread the word that life is hard, but it is also rewarding. Faith is hard, but living without is harder. I have plenty more to tell you, but not the time at the present time. So please feel free to read and share with me what's going on in your life.
God is good and he LOVES you! (Cliché is my middle name)