I woke up that morning, Election Day 2016, knowing that I needed to fast. I needed God to move and I needed answers, so I decided to turn over my plate and pray throughout the day even though I was going to be at work. We arrived at the Super 8 the night before for either the 4th or 5th time and had lugged our suitcases and bags from my cousin’s truck to our room. By now, I felt like the people at the front desk knew us and while it was nice to be known, I was ready for the hotel hopping part of our journey to be over. I was very thankful for God’s daily provision, but I was also ready for this season to be over.
The Saturday before, we went to visit a beautiful lake home that we could move into with very little notice. The home was fully furnished and even included dishes, utensils, and beds for us to sleep in. The only thing that stopped us from taking possession of the home was the money for the 1st month’s rent and security deposit. Since I had just started my new job the week before, I knew that I would not have it on my own until the end of November. In October, I applied for emergency assistance with the county to help us with the security deposit and first month’s rent of an apartment. When I applied, I was still looking for a place so our application was on hold. Before we went to see the house, I called and let the county know that we found a place. Even though I only saw photos online, I believed that everything would go well and that God would not let this beautiful place get dangled in front of my eyes only for me to find out it was not what I thought it was. That Saturday, I fell in love with the lake home and I was ready to move in, but I still had not heard back from the county so we had to leave and go back to the hotel.
That Tuesday, when I decided to fast, it seemed like everything that could go wrong was going wrong. We woke up at 4:30 in the morning so that Malachi could get to school on time. We needed to take 3 buses from the hotel to his school. We got on our first bus with no problem and for some reason the bus took an alternate route that dropped us off on the highway (it is the weirdest thing but Minnesota has bus stops on the highway). The stop was named the same, but instead of getting off on the street where we’d gotten off so many times before, we had to get off on the highway. What I did not realize at the time was that we needed to go down and get to the other side of the highway to get to the second bus. We ended up missing the second bus and there was not another bus going that way until the afternoon, so I ended up taking him back to the hotel so that I could go to work. I was frustrated, tired and cold. We walked down the stairs from the highway and as we walked the three blocks to the bus that would take us back to the hotel, Malachi fell and hurt his hand and we were both at our wits end. After he got up, he said he was OK and I cried. I was done and I just wanted this to be over. When we arrived back at the hotel I left Malachi there with specific instructions and I left the hotel again so that I could take the bus to work. I arrived at work on time and I was thankful that the events earlier didn’t prevent me from getting to work on time, but I was wiped out and ready for a nap. I grabbed a cup of coffee so that I could keep my eyes open, but I continued to fast from food through the morning.
I sat in training at work trying to keep my eyes open and learn all that was being taught to me. I was also attempting to keep my mind stayed on Jesus. About 11 am, my phone rang and it was a representative from Hennepin County calling about my application for emergency assistance. I was finally able to talk with them a short time later and I was told that my emergency assistance application was approved and payment would be made to my new landlord for the security deposit and first month’s rent. My landlord agreed to let us move into the house that same night. I was so excited and thankful and my entire countenance changed.
That afternoon, I sent a text to my friend Jackie and she agreed to take us to our new home when I got off work. I felt like I was on cloud 9 the entire afternoon and I was so thrilled to be finally moving into our home. It was like a whirlwind, I remember very little of what happened at work that afternoon because I was so ecstatic about moving into my home. Everything seemed to be happening at lightning speed. I arrived at the hotel, we grabbed our luggage, bags, etc. and we headed to our new home. I signed my lease and we were in, just like that. I could not believe how quickly this all took place, but I was so thankful that I was able to sleep in my own bed.
After nearly three months of hotel hopping and living on blind faith, God showed up and delivered exactly what He promised and more. I wanted to live on the water, and God delivered a home on the water for less than I could have ever imagined. I was so thankful that He heard my cry and my prayer and provided just like He said He would. If God is telling you to do something, whatever it may be, obey Him and let Him lead you. It may not be easy, but nothing worth having is ever easy but it will always be worth it.
In Faith & Love,
Have you ever been in a situation where you stop and think to yourself, “If God had not changed me, I would be doing ____ right now?” I had this thought after a recent interaction that previously would have driven me to say some not so nice words.
God really has brought me a mighty long way. I was recently wrongly criticized for something that took major effort on my part. I was extremely annoyed by the comments given to me because not only was my effort not acknowledged, but also the other party’s criticism was misplaced because the other party felt they could do a better job. After receiving the criticism, I was hurt and very angry, but as I sat in my chair ready to throw in the towel and give up, God spoke to me. He told me to come to Him and while my first thought was to pick up the phone so that I could complain and vent to my friend, God said, “Come to me,” so I did. When I sat in my quiet place and talked to Him, I began to exchange my frustration for His wisdom and by the time I left His presence, I was feeling better than ever.
So, how is that different? Before, I would have stayed angry and been angry for a long time. I would have stomped around the house talking to anyone who would listen about my frustrations, about how unfair this person was being toward me, and about how angry I was toward the offender. I would have never prayed about it to get God’s voice on the matter, I would have walked around without forgiving, and I would have surely ignored that person completely until I felt they had suffered enough. But that is not how God wants any of us to live; The Word says in Luke 6:6 in God’s Word Translation, “Stop judging, and you will never be judged. Stop condemning, and you will never be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” It all applies, but the last part is what is key for me, “forgive, and you will be forgiven.” God wants forgiveness, not judgement or condemnation from us. It can be so hard to forgive, especially when you feel like you are right in your anger, but that is exactly what God wants from us.
God wants forgiveness from us because we can’t really love people completely holding onto anger. We cannot fully embrace others when there is hardness, bitterness and unforgiveness in our hearts. Our mouths may say that we have forgiven, but God knows our hearts and our hearts reveal the truth of who we are and how we feel. God wants forgiveness from us because that is His word! Forgiveness is not easy, but it is absolutely a must for us yet, at times, it can be the hardest thing we ever do. In this case, forgiveness for me, meant that I choose God’s way – coming to Him to release the frustrations and anger I felt. It meant leaving my feelings with Him and receiving His instruction, direction and ultimately His peace. The old Liela would not have done that at all; the old Liela would have bypassed God altogether and I would have been stuck in anger for days or weeks. Thankfully, I am no longer who I used to be; thankfully, God has changed me because I can forgive and move on from those negative and toxic emotions. It took a lot for me to get here and even more for me to actually realize that I had changed, but I thank God that His way is better than mine every day of the week.
My friend, ultimately we are all a WIP (Work In Progress) and none of us are perfect at all. God is continually working on us to make us who He needs us to be. It will not always be an easy journey, but know that just like you, I go through things too, and just like you, sometimes I miss the mark and other times I land right on it. The goal is not perfection – the goal is being less of who we were and more of what God wants us to be. If any of this rings true for you, comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Liela Marie Fuller
Author, Mother, Friend, Believer in Jesus...Really Just Me.
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