Tuesday, January 5, 2010
God's Peace and Provision
The end of 2007 was a pivotal turning point in my relationship with the Lord. My husband Forrest and I had only been married about a year and a half and were living in Starkville, MS. I was working at Mississippi State University with an education grant and Forrest was doing odd jobs, working with the our Church, and taking classes on Mondays at New Orleans Theological Seminary through a satellite campus in Jackson, MS (Jackson is about 2 hours from Starkville). Up until this point, I was not very convinced that him continuing Seminary was the best thing for us as a family. We were struggling financially and it was costing us alot of money each month not just in tuition, but in gas back and forth and food for him to eat. My salary plus what he was making doing these odd jobs left barely enough for groceries much less school. I knew that he enjoyed going to seminary, but I felt that it was not a necessity for training him for the ministry. But he believed that the Lord led him to go and that not finishing wasn't an option. I on the other hand did not have a peace about it and was frankly was too stubborn and focused on the finances that I was missing what God was trying to teach us about trusting Him.
In December 2007, Forrest came to me to discuss his next step with Seminary. He at this point had already taken all the classes he could at the satellite branch which meant he was going to have to drive to New Orleans each week for the next year and a half in order to finish school. I was not happy at all about this! I was thinking "He is being so selfish with school! Isn't our family more important! Now he will have to be in New Orleans at least 3 days a week, not be able to work at all, and when he is home he will have to study and work with the Church!!" Not to mention that once all was factured, it was going to cost about $1,200.00 a month for tuition, dorm fees, books, and meal plans. WE DID NOT HAVE THE MONEY.
I went to the Lord and began to pray about all of this, but honestly my mind was made up regardless of what God had to say. We couldn't afford it, I didn't want him away from home and that was that. Well over the next week or so as I was praying and thinking over all the options, God spoke to me very clearly. I was being selfish, and I was more concerned about how this was going to affect me rather than doing what God desired for our family. His spoke to my heart, reassured me that everything was going to be okay, and told me to just trust Him. Although I did not understand how all this was going to work, His peace that surpasses all understanding came. I knew Forrest was going to have to make a decision quickly about the next semester, so later that night I told Him that I had a peace now about his finishing school, even if it meant that he would have to live in New Orleans half the week. From that moment on, I would have never guessed what God would do next.
Within weeks of making the decision, Forrest received word that he was awarded a scholarship through a foundation that would cover all his costs for tuition, dorm, and meals. He also was told by a very close friend that he wanted to also support Forrest's ministry by financially giving to help with any costs associated with seminary training. Furthermore, within six months I was given a promotion at work and my pay increased by $12,000 a year! God had been faithful and provided for us! This was truly a turning point for me. I prayed, received His peace, and walked in faith knowing God would make a way if this was what He wanted for us and He did!! I also have to say that I was wrong, very wrong about the necessity of Forrest going to Seminary. God truly had a plan and I was so blind to see it in the beginning. Forrest was taught so many life lessons, spiritual disciplines, and grew so much through Seminary and I truly cannot thank God enough for what he taught us through this experience. Praise be to our PERFECT father who truly takes care of all our needs and is daily conforming us to be like Him!