Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My Fear and Faith Journey

Here is the rest of the story, Friends.

Let me back up a little. One of the requirements for acceptance into the school was a letter from my pastor. I was one of 30,000 members and my pastor didn’t know me from Adam’s horsefly. I had to go to the pastoral office for an interview. I’ll never forget it. I was so nervous!  I was working in the church nursery at the time, and I asked a group of friends to pray the interview would go well. I get to the pastoral office and the lay-pastor says, “Georgia, your reputation precedes you.” Huh? What reputation? He said, “As I was walking to my office for this interview, I ran into _______________.   She said,  'You are about to interview Georgia today and ….” I don’t even remember what was said but when I got out of that interview, my heart was so full! I had never felt the urge to shout until that day. I never felt the urge to dance and raise my hands like I did that day. I'm not a shouter or dancer and  I was not in a place where that sort of behavior would be understood,. So, I went to the church library, waaaay behind the back shelves where nobody could see me, and I raised my hands, waved them in a way that God would hear “HALLELUJAH” from my heart. I didn’t dare speak. Tears stung my eyes. I was not the crying type. I paced the floor with glory-to-God---there-is-NOBODY-like-You,-Lord energy! My God, your God, our Way-Maker had caused the path of the nursery supervisor and lay-pastor to intersect at just the right moment on behalf of little old me.

He’ll do it for you, too, My Friend. I know He already has for many of you, but right now you may be facing a new challenge and the terrain looks like nowhere your feet have been before. That’s alright. If the Father has called you there, He’s already got cleats, sandals, snowshoes, hiking boots---whatever kind of shoe you need to get across that terrain. I have learned that it’s ok if your legs are trembling so long as the feet attached are stepping out in faith. Are you going to go or not?

OK, now for the tuition part.

I had a little money saved for my first class that summer. Earlier that spring, I heard a voice say, “Loan that money to ___________.” I pretended He was talking to someone else. I reasoned that it was the devil trying to trip me up. I rationalized that it was my overactive conscience and that I should ignore it. The impression would not go away. Ya’ll, I went to the mat on that one! How did I know I would get the money back in time? You already know what happened. I loaned the money through tight fists and gritted teeth, and the money was returned in time.

My church had a scholarship program for students back then. Fear said, “That money is for young people trying to pay for college, not old heads like you.” I think I may have talked to a friend about it, and she encouraged me to apply anyway. The amount of money I got determined how many classes I could take. I started out with one class. The next semester, I went to pay for one class. 

“Ma’am, your class has already been paid for.” 

The tears came before I could compose myself. The lady looked a little embarrassed at such emotion. I couldn’t help it. Why would anyone want to pay my way? Who was I? I was able to take a second class that semester with the money I had from the scholarship program.

Over time, I noticed that the checks got smaller each scholarship season.  One time I got called to the office. That feeling was like going to the principal’s office.
“Someone has donated $1,000 in scholarship money-an anonymous donor.” Another student was in the office with me and was receiving the same amount. I remember we both sat in stunned silence and got our lips to move at the same time when we said, “Oh my gosh!” Apparently, that sort of thing happened all the time because one office lady said to the other, “I thought I’d let you have the experience this time.” Imagine what it’s like to be on her side of things; having the joy of sharing exciting news of money falling from heaven to needy students. God bless whoever it was who gave!
I now have a notebook with letters I got in the mail during those years of anonymous donors giving $100 and $500, but that’s not all.

I fear I’ve made this post too long so I will save the rest for tomorrow.
Know this: this is not a story about me. I hope you see, I’m nothing special. I have all the same doubts and fears as any of you. No, this is the story of one regular person’s experience with an extraordinary God. You have stories too! I’d love to hear them!  You may email me: ordinerrygirl@yahoo.com.

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