One week ago tonight, I flew home after spending six days in Texas. I was in San Antonio for our annual Young Life College Summit. It was an absolutely incredible time to see where we have come and where we want to go in our ministry to college students.
I was privileged to lead 200+ people in prayer. We prayed to hear from the LORD, to spend time just with Him; we prayed for our families and we prayed for our individual college ministries. We took time to pray for each other's needs on stickies that were posted on the walls.
I took home all those stickies and have been praying over them this week. I have been stirred, heartbroken and challenged to be faithful to pray for my fellow YLC staffers.
But I must confess, I have wondered often, if God will answer all these prayers. Is He paying attention to those that are hurting? Those who are really struggling with family issues? Those who need money to keep their ministry going? Those who are questioning their call?
I have cried over some requests and been thankful over others. I have been humbled and challenged. I want to pray more and ask the LORD of the Harvest to bring more workers so that our college age friends can know the love and grace of Jesus Christ. I want us, the YLC staff to be pray-ers. That we would be people who continually sought Jesus in our lives, and for our ministry, that it would become so normal for us to go to Jesus for His help whenever we faced challenges.
It is hard to admit that I am not always the first one to go to Jesus when certain things happen. I believe its a process that we get better at the longer we see God's trustworthiness in our lives.
It isn't always easy, is it?
But this week, I have seen God provide in ways that have humbled me and left me awed with immense gratitude.
You see, I got home and realized that next week on Monday, our youngest daughter will have a hysterectomy.
Katie and Nate have been through the wringer with her health issues since they were married four years ago. She has been dealing with health issues from the time she was 13 and broke her back playing basketball.
She has suffered from Stage 4 endometriosis for years and has had countless surgeries for this extremely painful condition. She has been so incapacitated by pain that Katie has been unable to work for 2 years now. They have tried to get pregnant for at least three years. After test after test with a fertility specialist, they were told that her eggs were damaged and the chances of getting pregnant were almost nil.
Yet the pain continued week after week.
Why should she continue to live in pain if she will never be able to give birth? Her doctor has recommended a hysterectomy for 16 months, and next week, she will undergo the operation.
Their medical expenses have been huge, even after what the insurance has covered.
So I had the idea to try and raise some money for Katie and Nate.
That in itself was a really scary thing for me to do.
Would people give?
Would they think it was necessary?
Would they think I was being opportunistic?
Would they think bad of Katie?
I was very hesitant to do this, but I wrote something and then posted it on Go fund me. (see: http://www.gofundme.com/hcpdk4)
I pushed "Post" and prayed.
Would God provide people to help them with all their medical bills? Would we get even $1000.? Would people care?
Four days later I can tell you how humbled I am.
I am in complete awe of how people have responded. I have been brought to tears many times. We are almost at the goal I set.
I am thanking God that he used people to provide for Katie and Nate.
I am thanking God that He cares about this mama's heart and how I have ached for my girl for so many years.
I am thanking God for what He is doing in Katie's life through this.
I am thanking God for friends who have responded.
Is it silly for me to have hope that He will answer the requests on all my sticky notes from our YLC staff?
No. Not anymore.
I have seen God provide for me over and over again.
Why would I be surprised that He is providing for Katie and Nate?
Why would I be surprised if He provides for all the prayers of our Young Life College Staff?
Why would I be surprised if He provided for what YOU need?
One of His names is Jehovah Jireh. God will provide.
In His time.
For His glory.
To get us (me) to realize again what a wonderful Father He is.