I have been to many retreats or camps where I can grow closer to God. Most of the time, it feels like a time to get my life right with God. However, coming out of Spiritual Saturation this week, I don’t feel like I have been purged, but built up. This has been such an amazing week of faith building, and I know God is not finished with me yet.
The day before Spiritual Saturation was a day of amazing testimonies. I had found a babysitting job that would pay for my cell phone, which I had worked on getting. Also, I found out a friend’s fiancé who was paralyzed was able to walk small distances. I was so excited to see God moving and doing miracles. In addition to the testimonial high, I went into Spiritual Saturation week wanting to draw closer to God and in that also feel the guiding of the Holy Spirit about some opportunities in my life. I was debating about applying to be an RA and applying to be an Assistant Team Leader (ATL) for a mission trip next summer.
The day Spiritual Saturation began, I was thrust into a whirlwind of financial stress. First I was told that I was not able to get a certain cell phone from a friend. I was counting on that phone to save me a lot of money. I don’t have a cell phone yet, and with that phone I was going to be able to afford to set up a plan. Then, I was sitting, waiting to get into class and I checked my e-mail. I found out that my hours were being cut at the Library. I knew it was only a couple of hours a week, but I was counting on those hours for school. I no longer could afford to even have a cell phone. I was stressed! Then, to make matters worse, my mother called (I was borrowing my cousin’s phone for a few hours while I tried to figure things out) to tell me that my loan was denied. Now, I couldn’t even afford to be at school. I broke down. I was overwhelmed. At this point, I thought it was impossible to be able to be an ATL and planned to apply to be an RA. That way I at least could have some living assistance.
Wednesday came with a downpour of rain, which put a hold on some of my financial planning. I had found another work-study job to supplement the Library job, so I needed to finish the paperwork. The only thing I did was try to trust God and tell my Mom to apply for a PLUS loan. We assumed it would be denied, which would create more headache, but a route to pay for school nonetheless. If they would have been denied, I could have taken out a larger Unsubsidized Stafford loan.
With the coming of Thursday, I had felt uplifted in my faith to trust God. I was not worried about my finances, but I was stressed about them. The speaker at chapel spoke about something that I cannot remember for the life of me (unfortunately). I remember we prayed for finances, healing, and freedom at the altar. As I was praying God told me, “You are applying to be an RA because of finances. Don’t! I can cover the bill. And if you apply to be an ATL, I can get you there.”
After chapel one of the professors walked up to me and a friend. We were crying and praying for each other because God had told us both the same exact thing at the same time. He asked if we were praying about finances. We said that both of us were. He pulled out his wallet saying, “God told me I should empty my wallet for you. You can split it.” We just stood there amazed as he handed us $90. We split the money and it was almost the exact amount we needed for the applications to be ATLs. God already began to confirm what he had said to us!
I was sitting at lunch when I finally talked to Mom. She had tried to get in touch with me. She applied for the PLUS loan and was accepted!! We were amazed. I talked with financial aid and was able to take out enough money to finish covering my school bill. God promised to cover my bill and provide for my trip. He showed me that same day just how easily he can make the pieces come together.
God had showed me so much of his faithfulness and that I could really trust him through any struggles I face. The next morning, God took me a step farther in my faith building week. The speaker spoke about how God sometimes puts us in difficult situations where we are thinking, Oh God HELP! I’ve never done this before. God will then use it to make us grow. I found it totally interesting from the moment he said his title because the night before I was filling out my ATL application. One of the questions was asking why I chose the position (TL or ATL) I was applying for. I talked with my roommate about it and said, “It isn’t that I am opposed to being a TL. The thought of it just makes me feel like Gideon must have felt when God told him to lead the army into battle.” God began to deal with me about trusting him to be equipped for whatever leadership He takes me through.
New days are coming for me. I know I will go through financial trouble, but I also know that God will give me exactly what I need when I need it. I know I have my interview for the ATL position on Tuesday. With that, I will have a lot of responsibility. I do not know where I will go, but I know that God will get me through it, by his strength, guidance, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.