Stepping Out Of The Boat
I have a story I’ve been beyond eager to share with people. It’s still difficult for me to fathom what happened and how much God came through for me, but it has had an extreme impact on my life and walk with God. I hope it can be an encouragement to you. It is kind of a long story...so, here we go.
June 2016. I boarded a plane and was headed to California to visit family. I had anxiety that was so bad it was physically crippling (which is another story for another time). As I was sitting on the plane getting ready for takeoff, tears streaming down my face, I told God, “If I make this flight, don’t get sick, and overcome this anxiety, I will volunteer for my church’s annual mission trip.” God responded to my plea and when the plane took off I felt completely at peace. I knew right then I would be signing up for that mission trip.
September 2016. I got a new job at my school I was excited about, as it seemed extremely promising. It started out being enough to pay the bills, but as time went by I received fewer and fewer hours. Eventually, I was only working one hour a week, if that. For those three months, it felt as if I didn't even have a job. My bank account was completely bare. Due dates for bills were approaching and all of my savings had already been used on previous bills. I had nothing.
November 2016. I found out that my church’s next mission trip to Oaxaca, Mexico in February had one open spot left. I knew this was exactly what God wanted me to be a part of. As I prayed about it, an extreme sense of peace flooded over me. I signed up, eager and hopeful that something would work out financially for me to be able to go, even though I currently had nothing.
December 2016. I asked my previous retail job if I could return and they offered me my old position back. It was an incredible blessing from God because they were already overstaffed on shift managers and had even surprisingly agreed to give me weekends off for my photography work (which is something not usually allowed). Even with this second job however, my paychecks still weren’t enough to pay my bills, build back my savings, AND pay for the mission trip. Up to this point, I had only given the church $25 towards my fare and the entire amount I owed was $1500. I got ahold of my trip leader and let them know I was going to have to pull out of volunteering for Mexico due to my inability to make payments.
December 10, 2016. I was in class when I received this text message:
The moment I opened that text and read what it had to say, my heart started skipping, my hands started shaking, and all I could respond with was:
I was beyond ecstatic. This incredible miracle and out-of-nowhere blessing erased any lingering doubt about whether or not it was God actually telling me to go. This was His confirmation to me! Because God was in charge, knew my needs, and had a plan for my life, He provided for me. He knew that the only way I’d be able to attend this mission trip was if He supernaturally provided. And He did. This changed everything! It gave power to my prayer. I spoke with complete authority over my situation and knew God was going to continue to come through for me.
To give a little bit of a backstory, I was prophesied over by a youth pastor several years ago. He had prophesied that I was going to be on foreign soil and that I would be a storyteller and a cause writer. This prophecy and the $1,000 miracle were ammunition for when I prayed.
Here is how my prayers generally sounded:
“God, I thank you for the incredible blessing you have provided me. I thank you for the plans you have given me and for the doors you have opened to me. I speak right now over my finances. You have given me confirmation in prayer, in miraculous donations of money, in scripture, and in prophecy. I WILL be on foreign soil. I WILL fly to Mexico with my church. I WILL document the trip. I WILL tell the story of your people doing Kingdom work. I WILL write for your cause. Devil, you can back off, get your hands out of my wallet, and leave me alone because my God has plans for me. You have come to steal, kill, and destroy, but my God has come to give me life and life abundantly. I have dedicated myself to God, so you have no jurisdiction here. In Jesus’ name I declare, out loud, Amen.”
January 2017. $475 was still due and the trip was a month away. My bank account looked better than it did the previous month, yet it still remained in terrible shape. With the amount of hours I was working, it was going to be impossible for me to come up with that kind of money on my own. Regardless, I continued to trust God to take care of me. Surprisingly, I wasn’t experiencing any stress during this time. I had given all my worries and burdens to God knowing He would provide in one way or another. So, I continued to pray and declare financial miracles over my situation.
January 26, 2017. Once again, I was in class when I received this text message:
If for some reason, I wasn’t already 100% convinced of God’s plans for me to go to Mexico, I sure was then after reading that text message. Once again, God came through for me. I was speechless. God confirmed His plans over my life through prophecy, prayer, scripture, music, and miracles. Going on this mission trip could not have been a more obvious decision for me.
February 2017. It was a few days before payday and a little over a week before we left for Mexico. I was praying over the last $275 that was due and I asked God to miraculously deliver a check in the mail or for someone to anonymously donate towards my fare again. But the response I heard from God was: “You will be able to pay for it yourself.” I was amazed, yet again, at God’s provision. The money hadn’t arrived yet, but I knew without a doubt the rest of what I owed would be covered by my next paycheck.
Payday arrived, I opened the bank app on my phone and sure enough, just as God promised, there was enough money in my account to not only pay for the rest of my fare, but also to pay for my bills while I was in Mexico and any toiletries for the trip. It was all taken care of. God had provided every last penny I needed! It was at 9pm the night before we left for Mexico when I made that last $275 payment, a mere six hours before we were off for the airport. Talk about a last minute miracle!
God supernaturally provided for me. There is no questioning that. He had plans for my life and because of those plans there was not one thing on this earth that was going to get in the way of them. The devil will do everything in his power to eliminate God’s blessings. The moment we get closer to those blessings, he is going to pull out every weapon he has to attack us. It wasn’t a coincidence I had the worst financial period of my life right before the biggest and most important trip of my life. This trip was going to shape my future, confirm my spiritual purpose, and fulfill God’s blessing in the lives of everyone who was involved or influenced by this mission trip. The devil did not succeed, not one bit!
There is a story in the Bible about a man named Peter stepping out of a boat and walking on water towards Jesus. The wind was blowing like crazy and the waves were beating up against the boat when they saw Jesus walk out to them on the water. Peter asked Jesus to call him out to Him, which He did. So, Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the stormy waves, walking straight towards Jesus (Matthew 14:22-33).
As it is prophesied in the Bible, we will experience troubles in this world (John 16:33). There will be waves beating against our boat and the devil is going to blow storms our way. But the only way to overcome those attacks is by focusing our attention on God and putting total trust in Him. Don’t focus on the waves, look straight at Him, and step out of the boat. The moment you start looking around at your surroundings and start worrying about how you’re going to get through your situation, trying to fix things yourself, is the moment you begin to sink. God is calling you and asking you to trust him. The waves are going to seem dreadfully large and what you’re stepping out onto is going to seem beyond foreign and scary to you, but God is the answer. He is the only answer. Step out of that boat with confidence that He will keep you afloat. The moment you start trusting God and give Him complete control is the moment you begin to conquer those storms. Take heart! For He has overcome this world (John 16:33).