i believe in miracles

do you? why not add your miracles too?


A Lovely Blog

lovely-blog-awardThanks to Sarah Bolme of Marketing Christian Books, who conferred on me the One Lovely Blog Award. This award is a moving blog award, meaning that each recipient who accepts the award passes it on to other blogs.

The rules of this award are that if the blog recipient accepts the awards she posts the One Lovely Blog Award image on her blog, includes a link back to the giver of the award’s blog, and passes the award on to other blogs.

So, now it is my turn to pass this award on. And the winner is… 110% Surrendered? – a blog by a young woman who calls herself simply His Daughter. Love the blog and I can only hope my daughter will be so committed when she reaches that age.

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Testing, Testing 1…2…3…

Praise God, Daniela got her visa for Peru. There wasn’t anything miraculous about it, in the way I think of miracles, but it was one of those things that tested every fiber of persistence in her being. From dishing out almost $500 to get to Mexico City (the only place in the world a Mexican residing in Mexico can get a visa to Peru), to literally having to chase down the last bus that would get her to El Paso in time to catch her flight out to El Salvador the next morning, the ordeal was filled with one bloomin’ obstacle after another. Daniela has expressed an interest in journaling about this experience because it held some lessons for her, so I hope the in the coming weeks (after the Peru trip!) she’ll guest blog for me and let the rest of the world in on what she learned.

The Saturday night before she left for Mexico City, I attended prayer meeting and was asking for prayer for this situation when I saw a parallel with an ordeal I went through some years back when I believed God was telling me to give a truck to a man in Savannah. This humble servant in Savannah had been very kind to me and helpful in a time when I was in need. He lived on next to nothing and for many years had been driving a truck so beat up that it would only be on the road in a state without inspection laws (that’s Georgia). He could literally pull the entire steering wheel off effortlessly – it was actually quite dangerous.

I was living in Arkansas at the time and I felt God tugging me to buy this man another truck – used of course! We were going to South Carolina in July and would go on down to Savannah and drop the truck off afterwards. So we looked around with a budget of $1500 for the truck. We found a truck that seemed to be in decent shape, but the windshield was cracked. We replaced it – $250. Then a funny thing happened on the way to Savannah. Following behind in my air conditioned Cadillac, I noticed something leaking from the truck. We were in rural Tennessee, about 80 miles past Nashville. We pulled over at a rest stop and determined it was transmission fluid. We made for the nearest exit and asked around for a mechanic. It was July 4th weekend. No one was willing to look at it past being able to confirm that it was tranny fluid and it was not drivable.

I dreaded the worst while hoping for the best as we all loaded in the Cadillac and continued on to South Carolina. On the way back, we learned it was not going to be a quick fix in Po Dunk, TN. Disheartened, we went on back home and then began to negotiate with mechanics via long distance. There was a whole lotta looking for cheap parts to get the price down, but the long and short of it was another $1400 to get a rebuilt tranny for the truck. OK, this was God’s money, so I just said, “Father, if that’s how you want to spend your money, fine by me.”

Almost three weeks later, the truck was ready to be picked up. So off we went again from Arkansas, across Tennessee, to pick up the truck whose source of air conditioning was two front windows open going 60 mp. On we went to Georgia. Everything was good until Atlanta, when yet another muddy-looking substance starting leaving the truck at record speed. We pulled over and ascertained it was oil. Oh bother!! Well, we conducted a little experiment and learned we could make it about 50 miles down the road on a quart of oil, so we went to an auto store, bought a case, and headed on to Savannah. I knew my way around there better and thought if we could just get to Savannah, another repair would be easier to manage. This time, I kept the truck in my rearview because of oil it was spraying. Thank God no cop stopped us. The truck began to leak more and more oil, to the extent that we were only getting 10 miles to the quart by the time we pulled into Firestone on Martin Luther King, Jr. Street in Savannah.

At this point, I was so doggedly determined not to be beat by this thing, I didn’t care what it cost, darn it, this truck would be fixed and given to that man! Thank God, it was just a hole in the oil pan, and with a few other things we didn’t know were wrong, the total bill was about $250. The mechanic said something from the road must have flown up and punctured the oil pan – how odd.

That night, we pulled up at the man’s house and called him outside with an elaborate charade to give him the truck in a way that would really, really surprise him. It involved taking him to Wendy’s for ice cream. We had touched base with him earlier in the day while the truck was being repaired, just to make sure he would be there. When we arrived at his house (the truck was at Wendy’s), he had company and said he was very sorry and invited us in, but he didn’t feel he could leave to go to Wendy’s. That just iced the cake, that our surprise was muddled. We went to Wendy’s and picked up the truck and brought it back to him (along with Frostys for everyone) and just said “Here, have a truck,” or something anticlimactic like that.

The look on his face was priceless as he slowly understood that we were in fact giving him a truck. He started shaking and tearing and said he had been praying about the matter for some months because his truck was not safe to drive, and probably not legal to drive either. My husband was especially blessed by his reaction and I was very happy for that because all along John had just been going with this thing that he probably thought was some scarebrain idea rather than being a vehicle of blessing.

When it was all over and for months later, I thought and thought on that ordeal and wondered “why!” I believed all along that it was something God was leading me to do but everything was going wrong. It did occur to me that the devil didn’t want me to get that blessing or give it either, but I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t clearing the path a bit better. Everything was such a struggle. I’m writing this after five years and there is much I don’t recall, but I do remember enough to say that there was a lot more hassle and stress involved than I can articulate in a blog!

Back to Daniela and Peru…the following week in prayer meeting, I was able to give praise that Daniela had indeed gotten her visa amidst many trials. And again I pondered why. Of course, I know the scriptures on testing and if hope is the end result of all this testing then I’m going to have one big hope some day. But it still just leaves me with a question mark over my head. The next morning, a central tenet in the pastor’s sermon was this thought: God allows tests and trials in order to soften our hearts, not harden them. I’m still contemplating that.

And I’ve got a lot to chew on just now. We’re less than 48 hours out from the Peru trip and I just received a call that two of the participants are pulling out of their completely paid for trip. It’s mind boggling to me. The reason was too much work. Both are in full time ministry so I can’t say that they have their priorities out of order – either way they would be busy about the Lord’s work. But only one of these options is the Lord’s will. And I just don’t know which. Is this Satan distracting this couple from the view of the forest by waving trees in front of them, or is it God’s will that they don’t go? Either way, it’s a test for me because it immediately discouraged me. My husband said, “Just don’t let this discourage you.” So I guess that’s test for me – will I allow it to discourage me?

All along my prayer has been that God’s right group would go and that’s the assurance I cling to as I close this post now wondering, “Just who will be on this mission trip anyway?”