Another month has flown by, but it has been powerful and also full of trials. We have learned to live in the moment and not worry about tomorrow. To trust even when situations look tough. We found a little campground just outside of St. Augustine with the intent of staying a week. As we pulled in we trusted our hearts and decided to stay a month. We had some wonderful neighbors and a great park owner.
This entire month has been one of learning to rest and trust in Gods provision. We met some wonderful families and people. We have never asked anyone for anything and we are learning to lean on the Lord and go to him with all our needs and God continues to show up. Before we left for St. Augustine, God provided for us, enough to pay our bills and pay for the next months campsite. We enjoyed visiting the beaches and the area around the campground. We saw Christmas lights and visited forts and preserves. There was a wonderful man who came by and started asking about our truck. We got to share with him and encourage him. But he also encouraged us a lot. After our conversation, he left and God put it on my heart to give him some money (there is a point to me telling you this, so hang tight). He was leaving the campsite and wasn’t going to return for a few weeks.
We then met another guy who became a great friend also. We had some great conversations and he blessed us with oranges from his moms orange tree and even brought the kids some Christmas presents. Toward the end of the month, Joe was helping him with his camper and he couldn’t raise his arm above his shoulder without pain. So Joe asked if he could pray and he said sure. His shoulder was healed right then and he was amazed. God was so faithful. He began sharing it with everyone.
Joe also had been struggling for a while with pain in his shoulder. We had prayed, but hadn’t seen anything happen. But one night, I just prayed for the pain to leave and it moved down his arm. I prayed again and he said it left. He hasn’t had any pain since. Which is so awesome! God just moves and its fun to watch. But you know, we had some trials also, that didn’t seem to move. The kids and Joe came down with a stomach virus, Reagan later got an ear infection, and then I got pink eye. So, I don’t understand why sometimes things move and sometimes they don’t, but this too is part of the walk. Learning to follow the Lord.
This was our first Christmas away from all family. But we knew God didn’t want us to go back for some reason. So we rested in that. But God knew this could be lonely, so he brought us a wonderful couple right across the street from our campsite. They immediately took us in and invited us out to eat, took us bike riding, and even made Christmas dinner and had us over. It was an amazing time and God used them in our lives to provide family.
Earlier in the month, Joe and I had each prayed and asked if there was anyway we could take the kids to Disney, it would be a blessing. I had no idea Joe prayed and he didn’t know I had prayed. We were down to a few dollars in the bank and a little gas. Then out of no where, Joe gets a call on a Sunday morning from a friend who asked what we were doing. He said they were in Disney and asked if we had ever been. They invited us down and said they would cover everything. We spent 3 days in a hotel, doing downtown Disney, going out to eat, MagicKingdom, swimming, and Sea World. They even blessed us with cash for gas and souveniers for the kids. We also got to meet his wonderful son and daughter in law and all their kids. The kids had a blast and we made some new blessings of friends.
Well, toward the end of the month, funds were getting very low, but God has really been working on our hearts and showing us in scripture how we are to take what is set before us and live in the now. We can’t worry about tomorrow or next week, we are trusting Him and he will lead us where he needs us. There is no agenda or ministry or church we are trying to build. We just want to follow him. We never take our needs to man and we always take it before the Lord. He is our provider and he has been showing us that provision is a grace just like healing and salvation. They are gifts from Him. So we were hanging out at our campsite with the first gentleman I mentioned (the one we gave some money to). He tells us that financially he was really fine and if we wanted out money back he would give it back to us. We told him no to keep it because God told us to give it to him. He said he was wanting to help us out somehow and that he was going to pay for our months rent, but since we gave him the money he felt we were fine. When he told me this all these fleshly things rose up in me…like, maybe I shouldn’t have given him the money….lol…but God quickly showed me He was in control and He had something else planned. You see when things like this happen, it shows our flesh and what we trully hope for and trust in…my heart was exposed that it was this gentleman. This was the reason God had me give him this money. God didn’t want him to provide for us at this time, so by doing this it stopped him. This also exposed my heart, which is always awesome because I don’t want that dependence and hope in anything but God.
At this time, we have $30 in the bank account and we are leaving in a few days. Joe gets a call from a friend who says you know, I have been praying and I have been wanting to send you money, but God keeps saying, “NO”. Then we are sitting at the fire with this gentleman again and he tells us he has been praying because he wanted to bless us, but God kept telling him, “NO”. But you know, an amazing peace came over me. I started seeing that God really was going to come through, I just didn’t know how.
It was time to leave, and we had some overage on our electric, so we had to pay $30…haha! So we hitch up, bank account at $0 and gas tank almost empty. Closest Pilot travel center to stay overnight is about $40 of gas to the Southwest. Zack had come up to us and said God told him we would go south. Joe got a text from a friend who said he saw us going west. So its funny because it was confirmation to go to that Pilot Station. The whole time I just had peace, God what are you going to do. This is a huge change from my past. But God had been coming through for us all month, from dinners, to oranges, to Disney, and extra cash. So as we are leaving another gentleman from the campground, we said bye too, hands us an envelope and in it is a nice note and $40! Crazy, right?! I know what you might be thinking…why not more….well, because if had received more, we wouldn’t have stopped where we did and God always has a reason for everything if we are following his lead then he gives us enough for the day (this is what we are learning right now).
So off we go to the Pilot station. We pull in but rather than be upset because we didn’t know where we were going, we have now realized that God puts us where He needs us and even if it’s a Pilot station, we will wait for God to come through. I began calling around at campsites to see how much they were for a month and for a day. I began making a list. We played with the kids and just hung out and spent the night. In the morning, Joe prayed that if we were here for someone, then have them pull up next to us. We were in the back corner away from all the other truckers. We still had no money and the kids were asking, “when are we going to the campsite?” We talked to them and told them that God would provide. We prayed as a family and Zack said, God told me to give you my money so we can get a campsite. My initial thought was, thanks buddy, but $1 and a bunch of change will help, but its not enough. But then God brought to mind the story of feeding the 5000 with the boys lunch of a loaf of bread and 2 fishes. So we thanked God as a family for what Zack brought to us and asked God to multiply it. But after some time nothing had happened and the temptation to use a credit card was pulling on me, but God kept telling me not to lean on my own understanding. To put my faith in the card and ask God to backfill was a temptation we had fallen into before, and I learned a big lesson. But when you are in a gas station and you need a place to stay, it is a huge temptation. I told Joe, it was not an option, so he cut up the card. I felt peace, if God has us on this journey, we will never ask for money from another, and we will not rely on anyone but God. He will come through when He needs to.
So, we make breakfast and after some difficulty moving the truck back and forth, one pulls in right next to us even though there were tons of empty spots and we were in a back corner. Later that day, Joe heard the gentleman get out of his truck. He went out and asked him if he would like some chili. He looked up surprised and said, yeah. Joe said he would heat it up and come let him know. He went back out and began talking to him. The guy began telling Joe all about his struggles with his family and Joe just began sharing with him and encouraging him. He prayed with him and he came in and ate chili with us. It was an awesome time of fellowship and encouragement. He came over for breakfast the next morning and it was a blessing. After he left, another friend called us up and said God told him to pay for a campground membership for us that will allow us to stay at their campgrounds for 2 weeks, then we have to stay out of their network for a week, but can come back for another 2 weeks after that. So praise God, we have some camping paid for! Then this trucker, comes back and hands us $200, we tell him to keep it, but he insisted. What a blessing. We filled our tank, got groceries, and now have a place to stay! God is so amazing!
The biggest lesson I have learned though this entire month, is that we spend so much time looking to the future, what we will do tomorrow, will we have enough money for tomorrow, etc….We must begin to live in the now. Take what is set before you today. If its not what YOU expect, then rest in the Lord because He has other plans. There is a peace I cannot describe that comes from trully looking at God alone as your provider. When things come though like this and you know that God is the only one who knew your needs, you can take no credit for the blessings. You know it was all 100% Gods work. This grows your faith and peace in tremendous ways. It’s the walk that settles The Truth in your heart. Be encouraged and if God is calling you out to do something for Him, just do it. Follow Him, He will not disappoint you or leave you hanging even when things look tough. Go on your journey, you will be amazed at what He will show you and the lives that will be transformed!