For those of you not well-versed in Hebrew, that title means "God Our Provider" and my oh my, did He provide today.
And for the record, I totally had to Google that.
I knew way back at the end of December that my communication with Pastor Chris was not going to stop there. What I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined was the day when he asked me to join his church's online community, or when these strangers started contacting to tell me that they appreciated me, were praying for me, loved me, and that my story had changed and affected them. I joined that community in early February, and by mid-April, I had this deep and longing desire to visit that church and those wonderful people one day. In fact, I just looked it up, and the first day that I mentioned that desire to Pastor Chris was April 21.
I'll be honest. One of the biggest struggles that I have in my walk with God is that I have no problem being absolutely certain that my friends' prayers will be answered, but I have a brutal time trying to believe that mine will. In fact, it almost never happens, that I have a feeling of certainty right off the bat that God is going to give me a desire that I have. But I told God from the very beginning that if I was meant to go to Austin, He was going to have to make it happen. Not only did I know I didn't have the money for a plane ticket on my own, I just decided that I wasn't going to force this one. But I kept on praying for it, and I told a few of my friends to pray for it, too. Ironically, one of those people immediately responded, "Oh girl. You're going. End of story. No doubt in my mind." She just knew.
All of that to say, I got what is possibly the biggest shock of my life tonight when I opened my email about twenty minutes before I was due to leave for work to find a private message from one of the members, one whom I have rarely spoken to directly but whom I know has followed along with every post I've made in that community. This is what it said:
Since about 4 months ago (4 months!! Just WEEKS after God laid the desire on my heart!), God is telling me that you need to come to Austin. I told Chris about it and we both prayed for that. I didn't know how to tell you, but when you mentioned that you would like to come to visit us everything made sense for me. I really want to support you with your air ticket, but please don't tell anybody. Let me know when would you like to come to Wells Branch and I will take care of your air ticket.
"It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus, and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others." (Ephesians 2:10 LB)
How incredible is that?!?!?! I seriously sat there staring at the screen speechless for about three minutes before my mind could even process what was happening and how to respond. It's all I've thought about all night. I knew I had to talk to Pastor Chris, and that it had to be some time during my Christmas break, and he told me all but one of the weekends was good.
So I decided why prolong the impatience? I finish the semester on Monday December 9th, and I'm flying to Austin on either Wednesday December 11th or Thursday December 12th and returning Monday December 16th. I still feel pretty much in shock about it all. I never imagined that I'd be writing in the community asking for a pet-free place to stay (the donor of the ticket has a dog, otherwise they'd host me), I really didn't expect it, especially not this soon.
But I really should know better. The God that I serve loves to blow all of our human expectations out of the water. And because of His amazing goodness, three months from now, I'm going to get to meet, hug, and personally thank so many people who have prayed for me and loved me for months without even knowing me. My Jehovah Jireh came through in a major, major way today.
Thank you, Lord. May I praise your name always.