so anyways... back to the story...
So God specifically told me that I needed to go to Orlando. I whined for about a day and finally made the call to cancel my plans to Germany and reroute myself to Orlando for the summer. Well... a quick snag. It was too late to get financed for the trip to Orlando, because it was about two weeks away. (It's a long story, but you have this big process you go thru with IMB/NAMB to get funded for your summer trip as a student... yada yada... long time)
So I think, "well God, looks like this confirms it! I gotta go to Germany!" Boy was I relieved! After all, following God is very rational, because we serve a very rational and practical God. Obviously, there was no way to get to Orlando. Right???
Right. There was no way to pay to get myself to Orlando. But I heard God tell me. "That's where I want you to GO."
Damn. I was cornered. I had a little savings and not much else. Now this is the time where you usually hear... "Then this random check came in the mail for $2000, and God paid for the whole trip, because what God orders, He pays for!!! Glory Halle---"
No... Didn't happen.
If you wouldnt mind going with me to this verse, Matthew 13:44 Did you read it? I'll be here when you get back, just click the link, or pull out your Bible.
I had to empty my pockets to go to Orlando. I had nothing... I went for it, because I KNEW God was telling me to go. Just like you are reading the words on this page God was speaking into my heart so that later (even now 10 years later) HE would receive GLORY. God was preparing a story that would put the spotlight on Him and His son.
So I recall feeling a little sick to my stomach that I had no money left. I paid for my flights and was hoping I could make it the whole summer on what was ultimately a "faith" budget. (When you have nothing it really is a "faith" budget. lol) I still remember boarding the plane and taking the first leg of the flight to ATL. I just couldn't believe I had missed the trip of a lifetime to Germany!!!
* * *
As I write this I realize there is a heck of a WHOLE lot about that summer that went on to change my life, my view of God, and my heart. But one of the biggest things that happened, was that I met my wife. Her story about coming to Orlando, was just about the same. She was reluctant, almost disappointed to be going to Orlando. She thought "Whats in Florida!?!?"
This week 10 years ago I saw my wife for the first time. I still remember seeing her for the first time. I was devastated by her beauty... I had never seen a person more beautiful in my life. I couldn't even start up a decent conversation with her when I first talked to her. It was an EPIC FAIL.
But then God reminds me that it's not my business to worry about making my own way, but to trust HIM. So I knew that since God was a rational, practical and sensible God, that I had a snowball's chance in hell to date this girl. So I needed to get over it. But something in the deep back of my heart trusted God. Obviously since the title of the last two posts is not "how everything is really sucky.." you know that this gorgeous Jesus-follower became my bride. Despite myself, God found a way for Kim to actually see what God sees in me. She loves me. She loves me so hard. We are best friends. And it's all Jesus' fault.
So please don't tell me what God can't do.
I am the son of a Mexican migrant worker who only ever knew toil and poverty. My mother and I were beaten by her first husband. I grew up in a trailer, and lived below the poverty line most of my life. I remember times that there was only beans to eat. But God was with me then...
I grew up with horrible self-esteem problems, and ran to every known thing to quench the pain of this life. I got drunk when I was 13. I wanted to kill myself daily. I was depressed more than any teenager should ever be. I smoked weed and lusted heavily in high school. But God was with me then...
I had a full ride to school, but failed out my first year. I was desperate and lonely. I drank very heavily. I had to work my tail off for the 7 years while going to school. I didn't think I had what it took to make it.But God was with me then... (and I was the first person in my whole family tree to graduate from college.)
God was, is, and will remain faithful. You may not believe in God, especially in His son Jesus. But I ask you, look at my life! Look at what He has done. I am a damned mess, but He has taken this mess and found a way to bring beauty, joy, rightness, goodness, wonder, passion and hope through his son Jesus. I have so many reasons to point to Jesus, because HE IS LIFE!!!
It was my first year in college when I heard Jesus call me. I cried out to Him, and He heard me. Now 15 years later, here I am...