Well, we've experienced a bit of a change in our fundraising status. We thought we were at 41 percent, but, as it turns out, we're currently at 29 percent. It was a minor administrative error due to my previous time (and different name) with TWR, but it's all worked out now.
Of course, at first we were confused and pretty bummed. It seemed like such a bizarre thing. Why did God need to make that happen? We were so happy and praising him for a high percentage, never mind all the letters we sent out with the news. Frankly, we felt a little silly.
I've been thinking a lot lately, "You give and take away. My heart will choose to say, 'Lord, blessed be your name.'" It's an older worship song that (shameful that I don't know!) I think came from a Psalm. That song used to leave me in fear. It got me really nervous thinking about God choosing the things in my life that he can take away from me. It made me feel small and helpless.
I've been reading "Come Away, My Beloved," a book Brittany Walters (now Peterson) gave to me on my birthday during a tearful good-bye as she began her new married life elsewhere. It has simply been singing to me ever since. It's basically letters from God, and each day it's like the book knows exactly what you need to hear. God is teaching me that these trials are an honor. What would we learn if we didn't need to fundraise? If the money simply poured in? There'd be very little prayer and no lessons learned. We'd say "God is good!" but we wouldn't have truly experienced it. We want to experience it.
Right now, we're wondering what God's plan is. We're a little torn in our human, finite understanding. The way we see it, either:
1. Our original plan of leaving in October was God's, and He's telling us that, yes, even financial miracles at the last-minute are possible. "Stop using human reasoning and math (oh, how we'd like to!) and simply trust Me to get you on that plane in October."
2. Our plans are not God's plans, and the October departure date was simply a human goal based on our understanding of where we thought God wanted us and when. Maybe God is telling us, "Wait. I will send you exactly when you need to go. It's not your plans, but mine. Wait for my departure date."
Mike and I keep saying, "Either one is fine, God! Just tell us!" Oh, how slowly we learn. :-) Just when we think we've got a lesson learned, right?