We did cardboard testimonies as part of the Easter service at church this past Sunday. I got a call at the beginning of the week asking if I'd be willing to share my story and God's faithfulness. Of course I agreed. When we got to church on Sunday, my sign was waiting for me. The first side said, "Needed funds." The other, "Going to Ireland." I read it again. Five words. The wrong words. They were true words, I had a need and God had provided, but they didn't speak deeply enough. These words were all about financial need, monetary provision. That's only a tiny part of my story. The wrong part. The less important part. So here's the Whole-Story-So-Far, written by the Author and Perfector, and condensed into sentences that could fit on (lots of) cardboard:
Graduated college feeling lost and seeking a greater purpose.
Moved to Chile to teach English for 1 year.
Came back home after 3 months, feeling even more lost amidst my deflated dreams of adventure.
Went to graduate school, for lack of anything else to do.
Decided that a job at Heifer International would fulfill my desire for purpose.
Applied for several jobs at Heifer.
Prayed for an interview.
Got an interview.
Didn't get the job.
More feeling lost. More prayer for purpose. More desperate searching.
Moved to Little Rock.
Got a job at Starbucks. Loved it. Left after 9 months.
Starting working at an outdoor outfitter. Enjoyed a killer discount on awesome gear.
Transferred to Northwest Arkansas with said outfitter.
Got let-go after 3 months for my increasing wander-lust, that nagging desire for something bigger.
Got a call from my Daddy. He'd heard about a team going to Ireland, thought I'd be interested.
Got 3 calls from strangers, talking about Ireland. Thought I'd like to come meet them.
I found purpose.
We formed a team.
We visited Dublin.
We prayed for financial support, sending churches, spiritual oversight.
They got it. I didn't.
They moved. I stayed.
I had my purpose, but no provision. Now I was lost in frustration.
I waited. I prayed for patience.
I found assurance in ancient promises of hope and future.
I found rest in my Creator.
I found a testimony forged in His faithfulness.
Then it came. The financial support, the sending church, the spiritual oversight.
Going to Ireland.
Here's a summary of the Whole-Story-So-Far: God is faithful. Faithful in His pursuit. Faithful in His call. Faithful in His timing. Faithful in His refining. And, yes, faithful in His provision. Is that too much testimony for cardboard?
My wonderful sister found this post before it was finished. She decided to add a little flare of her own:
Jes is awesome and so pretty. I want to stuff her in my suitcase and take her to Ireland.