Whoa, it’s been over a month since I last posted on my blog.
You must all be wondering what happened to me, ok maybe no one is wondering and you didn’t even notice that I was gone. Whatever the case may be, I thought I would take some time to catch you all up on the events that have been happening in my life over the past month. Really what I will be writing about is my fundraising experience for the mission trip I went on to Belize over Spring Break in March.
So, last year around November or December I saw an advertisement on my school campus for a mission trip and right away I knew I wanted to go. So I decided to sign up for the trip, not knowing where I would be able to get $1,500 from. Fast forward to January and I had an interview with one of the coordinators of the mission trip. There was a limited number of spots so I was not sure whether I was going to get in or not. After the interview I was informed that I had been chosen to be on the team and I was honestly overjoyed.
After that initial moment of excitement I realized that I had slightly less than 2 months to raise $1,500 for the trip. I decided that I would create a GoFundMe page and that I would write and send out fundraising letters. As time went on I got some donations but not enough to cover even half of the trip. As I was fundraising I was praying fervently because I knew that it would take a miracle to raise that kind of money, and I knew for sure my parents did not have that kind of money to give me.
Fast forward to March; the full amount was supposed to be paid by Friday, March 6 because the trip was happening from March 13-22. On Wednesday, March 4 I still did not have even half of the money that I needed and at that point I started to panic. I can honestly say that I have never doubted God as much as I did on that day and I even got angry with Him. I did not understand why He let me get my hopes up for the trip if He wasn’t going to help me raise all the funds.
So, in my discouraged state of mind I went to talk to one of the leaders of the trip and I told her my dilemma. At that point I thought she was going to say “sorry, you can’t go on the trip”. But she didn’t, instead she sat down with me and brainstormed some last minute ideas of how to raise the remaining money. On top of that she extended the payment deadline for me till the Tuesday of the next week.
That afternoon I tried one of the avenues she suggested and I got shut down cold. At that point I couldn’t take it anymore, up until that point I had tried to keep strong but after that rejection I broke down crying. I was literally sobbing. I felt like I had worked so hard for nothing and that all the effort I put into the trip was going to waste.
It was at that point that I called my mom and basically just sobbed into the phone while she was frantically asking me “what’s wrong?!” After pulling myself together a little bit I told my mom that I did not think I was going to go on the trip because I still had about $900 left to raise and that the money was due in 2 days. The words my mom said next were such an encouragement to me, she said “Do you believe God wants you to go on this trip? Because if you do then you need to stop doubting Him and have faith. Gods timing is not our timing. Who knows, you might get a $900 check in the next few days. If God has called you to go on this trip then He will provide.”
I would love to say that I believed every word she said but I was still doubtful. I mean, how could God send me a $900 check in 2 days? So I put that off to the back of my mind and decided to try another avenue that had been suggested to me. And I was able to get a few hundred dollars into my GoFundMe account, but it still wasn’t enough.
Friday morning rolled around and I went home to pick up the money that I had and at that point I needed $700 more dollars for the trip. Before I went home I called my mom and at the end of the conversation she said “don’t forget to check the table before you leave the house, an envelope came for you.” After hearing that I got a little flutter in my heart and I wondered if God had really come through for me with the remaining money.
I got home and checked the table, sure enough there was an envelope waiting there for me. Inside the envelope was a check for $900 from my parents. I almost started crying.
I called my mom and asked her how they could afford to give me such a large amount of money. She said “We love you and we did not want to see you miss out on an opportunity because of money. In life we learn to make sacrifices for those we love.” She went on to tell me that her and my dad have a special account for missions that they put money into from each of their paychecks. They started saving that money years ago because they wanted to be prepared to help anyone who needed sponsorship for church missions.
I didn’t end up needing all $900, but the fact that they were willing to give so much money to support me just blew my mind. And I thought to myself, if my earthly parents love me enough to make that kind of sacrifice, how much more does my Heavenly Father love me? Exceedingly and abundantly more than I can imagine.
Right then I knew for sure that God wanted me to go on this trip. In fact, long before I knew I would be going on this trip, God knew. He knew I would need the money so He impressed my parents to start a separate missions account.
God knew that I would go on the trip but He also saw how weak my faith was. He used that fundraising experience to build and strengthen my faith. He showed me His incredible faithfulness and mercy despite my doubt. When I look back at that experience, the words of Isaiah 55:8 ring in my head:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
I only began to panic and doubt God because I thought I knew the right way to do everything. I still had not surrendered myself completely to Him. God knew what needed to be done and He knew how it needed to be done, but in my foolishness I thought I could direct Gods ways. At the end of it all I realized once again that God knows best, He always does.
If there is one thing I learned from this whole experience it’s this: I have no cause to doubt God because He has always been faithful in the past and I know He will continue to be faithful to me as long as I stay in His will.