Growing up, I had a lot of dreams for my future including financial success. In fact, the draw towards becoming a pediatrician was, in part, the promise of a six-figure salary. It also helped that I liked math and science. Although I didn’t become a physician, my intention was still to have what would be considered a profitable career. Earning a graduate degree from Johns Hopkins’ public health school would ensure that, right? Instead, God had other plans. He called me into full-time ministry with YWAM a few years after achieving that degree.
I’m sure you can imagine the shock and the total disruption to my plan to sense God saying that. It looked crazy and DEFINITELY couldn’t be His will for my life. Why would I work to receive degrees from two prestigious universities only to shelve them for a life in missions? Yet, I obeyed and did a Discipleship Training School (DTS) less than six months after God’s call —quitting my job and seeking the prayers and financial support of family, friends, and churches. I still remember the challenge to trust the Lord in that way. I was stuffing envelopes with my support letter, addressing them with the help of an encouraging friend and freaking out the entire time. I kept asking her: “What am I doing??” Thankfully, she had also been through YWAM training and was excited for me. Her encouragement and faith helped mine. Even though I didn’t know how the tuition and fees for the DTS were going to be paid, I believed God’s word to me and acted on it. And you know what? He came through! Within the first week of my school, I had enough finances for my fees as well as extra to help other classmates! God was teaching me what it means to trust Him for financial provision, and not myself or my career.
That was 15 years ago, and God continues to stretch my faith in financial provision. Recently, as my ministry support dipped, I was tempted to make up the difference on my own by getting a job as well as doing other funding techniques. However, the Lord said: “Don’t do anything differently” in response to my questions about my low funds. For a person who likes to “make it happen”, doing nothing differently isn’t exactly easy. But, again, obedience to His word has yielded miraculous provision on His part. People have donated to my ministry unsolicited by me and at just the right time. For example: I have received the exact finances needed to satisfy a bill just as it was due; people have given me groceries or invitations to meals (my fridge has never been fuller); and much of this contact with others has yielded opportunities to share my ministry vision with those whom I would not have had the chance otherwise. God’s also challenged me to be generous, contributing what I have to others’ needs that arose demonstrating my dependence upon Him. The best thing has been seeing our God as the truly big God that He is. He is not limited by our circumstances. The bottom line is to hear God’s voice and obey Him in every area of our lives, including our finances. There is no sweeter reward than that.