I Saw God Provide When...
In December, I got engaged to my high school sweetheart (aww!!!). From then on, we were wedding planning. Which, if I was just doing that, I would not be overtly overwhelmed. (We were very blessed that our venue came with a wedding planner.) Engagement ended up being one of the most challenging times in our relationship, due to us always planning or doing something for the wedding and not having time to spend with just each other.
Additionally, both of us were in college. My husband was finishing school, and I decided to add a second major. We also decided to go on a mission trip together to the Dominican Republic, which was amazing! This came with more planning and time. Plus, I was also training for a campus ministry job that I will start in August. The cherry on top was us looking for a place to live after we got married. All of this on top of our usual school/work stress...
At the beginning of the year, I was anticipating all of these things and thinking, "How will it all get done? There's no possible way I can do it all and not have a mental breakdown every day."
Turns out, I didn't have a breakdown every day. As someone who deals with anxiety, especially when I don't have time to rest, the first half of the year could have easily been a disaster for my mental, physical, and spiritual health. But it wasn't. We did all of the things and enjoyed it. How could that be?
In John 6:5-15, there is a story about how Jesus fed the 5,000 with just five loaves of bread and two fish. There was a large crowd of people following Jesus because they saw him healing the sick. When Jesus asked the disciples how they will feed all the people, his disciples saw a huge problem that not even 200 denarii could solve.
This is how I felt, looking out over all the things happening this year. I don't have enough resources to solve all my problems or fulfill all my plans! Jesus had different plans for the 5,000 and for my life, too.
"Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted." (John 6:11)
Then they even had some leftover!
The mistake we often make as the human race is underestimating God. We are quick to believe that we have to solve all of our problems ourselves and forget that God is sovereign, loving, and gracious. He wants to provide for us, and help us in our struggles. In this past season of my life, I knew that to get through it all, I needed to trust God and rely on him for peace and security. Did this look perfect all the time? Absolutely not! But God still provided for me anyway.
Does that mean God will give us whatever we want? Um, no. Often what we want stems from sinful desires. God gives us what we need, and leads us through seasons to strengthen our relationship with him and be a light to others.
On John 6:6, the Enduring Word commentary says this:
"Jesus knew what miracle he was about to perform, but wanted to use the opportunity to teach his disciples. For Jesus this wasn't only about getting a job done (feeding the multitude), but also about teaching his disciples along the way."
Jesus is the best teacher and the best guide through busy, difficult seasons of life. This year, he has taught me so much about his character, and continues to provide for my family & I over and over and over again.
I wanted to use this blog post to tell about what God has done in my life and the ways my husband and I saw him provide throughout this year. To preface, I'm not using this as an opportunity to brag about all the things we did (if it were up to me, I'd just stay at home and eat Poptarts haha). I want to praise the Lord and encourage you with how I witnessed his provision in our modern world.
I saw God provide...
When we were raising funds to go to the Dominican Republic. Both of us started late in our support raising for this trip, and had to meet a 50% goal within three or four days. God gave each of us full funding within that time period.
When we were in the Dominican Republic. This was my husband and I's first mission trip, and we were a little nervous. God humbled our hearts and lead us to hear incredible stories from the people who live there. It was amazing to hear about this resilience and great faith in the Lord.
When we were looking for a place to live. Trying to find affordable, available places to live now is hard. There seemed like there was no availability anywhere. We were put on many wait-lists. One night, we gave up this worry to the Lord. The next day, we got a call that a place was available during the right time frame, a good price range, and great location.
When I was going through the months of March and April. During these months, I didn't have a free weekend. However, instead of feeling stressed, I felt at peace and joyful for the people around me. God was constantly giving me small pockets of rest and strength.
When I was doing classwork and going to class. The graphic design program at my school is known to be tough. I was incredibly blessed with understanding, gracious professors who were very patient and helpful when I was overwhelmed at times. One of my professors even helped me design my wedding invitations!
When we were planning our wedding. My family and friends were so so so helpful in this process! I even had a few cousins who were also getting married at this time and were really encouraging to me. Our wedding planner was also a believer, and she was really great at organizing everything for us (and I mean everything)! Our wedding party was just a great, loving group of people, and we had a blast hanging out with them.
When we were serving in campus ministry. We are so blessed to have the community we do. My friends were constantly checking in and helping me with wedding stuff and school stuff. God provided so much comfort and love through these friendships, and I am so thankful for them!
There's a thousand more examples I could give, but those are the highlights! It's easy to get negative when things get hard. However, God is still providing, still working, and is still good! I've seen it in my own life, and I know he's working in your life, too.
I hope this post has been encouraging to you, even if you're in a rough spot right now. Below are some questions to help you think more about God's provision:
How have you seen God provide in the past year, physically, mentally, and spiritually?
What holds you back from trusting God's provision and plan? What steps can you take to break this cycle?
Thank you for reading! Until next time,