I’m sitting in Gate A78 at the Detroit Metro Airport waiting for my flight to Maryland, Baltimore. Even though I’ve been in transit for more than 24 hours, it is only beginning to sink in that I am actually in the US.
I will finally, after so many years, be able to visit my tita (aunt) who lives in Maryland and explore Washington D.C. with her. I will go to Disneyworld (it’s on my bucket list). I will be attending the Every Nation GO conference that only happens every three years. I will be exploring and eating my way through New York (another bucket list) with my best friend before she gets hitched. I will be spending my birthday here.
How did I get here?
About year ago, this was only a faint goal that I had in mind. My savings couldn’t pay for this. My salary couldn’t pay for this. Here I was, a twenty-something year old, still living with her mom, with nothing but a, “Hey God, can we go there?”
I prayed and fasted for this in the latter half of 2018. To say it was hard is an understatement. I had wrestled many, many times with God about this trip (it was actually the time when I experienced what wrestling with God actually way). Nothing was letting up. I was so ready to just walk away and let this go, telling God that it was just too big and impossible to do. Bargaining with Him that, it’s okay, we’ll try again in three years, no big deal.
But it was a big deal.
I cannot explain exactly why the desire never away in those months. All I had were two things. One was this strong impression—call it a gut feeling—that this conference would be the end of an era in my life, and that I would find myself in a different place in my life when the next one comes around.
The other thing I had was faith. Faith that God could pull through, and I would have first row seats to what He will do. And to be honest, there were more days when majority of me wanted to shut that faith thing off (especially when I had to calculate my expenses) than there were days that my small faith told me to keep pushing forward. The biggest moves in life tend to do that to you.
So, with faith that felt more blind than bold, I purchased a ticket to the conference last September.
Then, just as the year was about to close, an idea came to mind. I remembered something that would help me fly to the US. Despite this, I still did not have the funds to accomplish it. And to top it all off, I was moving out of my mom’s house come February 2019. Moving to a new place meant advance rent deposit, security deposit, and incoming bills.
Months went by, and my focus shifted to my new living situation (will write on this another time). Naturally, it was becoming more and more clear that I barely had funds for this trip with all the bills and daily expenses. But, given all that, how was it that I was still holding onto going to my trip?
Maybe it was stubbornness, really. But what if, in some way, that was faith was? To stubbornly and against-all-odds hold onto God despite what your reality was. To stop thinking about what you can do, and allow Him to surprise you. To remember how it was to be a child once more, confident that You’ll be taken care of no matter what.
To stubbornly and against-all-odds hold onto God despite what your reality was. To stop thinking about what you can do, and allow Him to surprise you. To remember how it was to be a child once more, confident that You’ll be taken care of no matter what.
I wrestled with my faith in the months that passed through prayer, asking friends to pray for me, and fasting. In those months, I had drawn up the confidence to obey whatever God wanted for me. Even though I bought a plane ticket, I was still ready to not go if ever that was God’s resolution in the end.
In between then and now, many of my original plans changed. My aunt let me stay with her in Maryland. My original lodging plan and roommate situation didn’t push through. My best friend decided to go with me. An AirBnb cancelled. Friends blessed us and financial provision came through at the last minute. I do not have enough time to write about all that had passed in the last five months, but I am glad that I did not have the final word in all of this—God did. I just had to be there to hear it and receive it.
And as it turns out, that final word was GO.