Trust

It was back in 2011 when I first thought I had learned to trust God. After all, He miraculously provided for me to go to summer camp (which, by the way, I only started planning to go to one week before the camp began). How could I ever doubt a God like that?

But two years later I was questioning His ability to provide for me to make a missionary trip to the Philippines (which, again, I was late in committing to). After that, I thought I had really learned to trust God. After all, He miraculously provided for me to go on an overseas mission trip. How could I ever doubt a God like that?

Oddly enough, two years later I was questioning His ability to properly care for my beloved mother as I again traveled overseas. This step felt like the most trust I could ever put in a Being. For as long as I can remember she’s been my reason for living, my highest love, my inspiration. It was a struggle, but I finally surrendered to God and have since had peace even in the midst of the storm that is my mother’s health. After that, I thought I had *really* learned to trust God. After all, He miraculously provides life to each one of us every day. How could I ever doubt a God like that?

And then my life started getting really confusing.

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                                I call this “my cherry tree.” It’s a beautiful spot to get away from the bustle of the city to think and pray.

My plans were getting shaken out from
under me and I was so distraught. The main question of the moment was whether or not to stay in school (complicated situation, but that was my “movement” point).

The situation had started to have a major effect on my belief in my heretofore life motto, which basically states: “Impossible is just a word for people who are focused on ‘Im’ going to do this. If I don’t rely on myself (I’m), everything is simply possible.” I started using and fully believing the word, “can’t,” which, you might recall, I despise.

In a state of not caring much about even life itself, I sought advice from a godly mentor/friend of mine and decided to press forward toward my degree.

So much seemed easier after that. I was no longer confused and was better able to focus on what needed to be done for my schooling. Because of my friend, I had again seen the importance of my schooling and again I had a plan–this time one that would accommodate the constantly changing environment that I live in. I was staying in school. No matter what. That was that.

12901147_1079964748713353_4886936956258320070_oToday I learned that I am unable to complete required TB testing before the due date. In my class, that is grounds for immediate failure of the course. Again, I’m back to questioning whether or not I’ll be finishing this quarter.

Can I trust God with this? Is this problem different or harder in such a way that Almighty God can’t figure it out? No way.

And so I think back on how He’s been faithful to me in the past. I’ve attended that summer camp for 4 years; I’ve participated in foreign missions twice; I have peace to this day regarding my mother’s health; and someday I’ll tell the story of how He’s been faithful to me regarding EMT.

Friend, no matter what your current circumstances, no matter what matter weighs heavy on your mind, we serve a God who is not defined by what “I’m” capable of. We serve a God who only sees possibilities, who ever lives and loves to give you the best unimaginable gifts. I’m trusting Him. Join me?

 

P.S. This was written last night. This morning I got an email that my instructor will be able to accommodate the situation and extend the due date for my testing!

Mission Experience–The Pre-Trip Stories

I love YD!

It was a wonderful time of the year…The most wonderful time of the year, if you ask me, although it has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas or Winter and everything to do with Summer. Any ideas what I’m talking about? YD camp, of course! 🙂

To catch you up on events:

Early in 2012 I received an information brochure and application for Mission Experience from Young Disciple. I read over it and asked my Mom what she thought (She totally thought I should go!) and then placed it in my drawer. I wanted to forget about it because the idea of going overseas was terrifying.

Yet I was constantly nagged by the thought that this was something God wanted me to do. This nagging got unbelievably worse when I went to YD camp last year.  I did my best, I could not forget it.

Now for the story…’Twas the most wonderful time of the year:

I arrived at camp on Sunday extremely excited! It was an amazing two weeks (of course!), but all throughout those weeks I was trying very hard to ignore everything shouting at me to surrender to God and apply to go on ME (Mission Experience). I finally did that when, during choir, Mr. Tony asked which of us would like to introduce the song “I Will Go”.

No one else was volunteering–and I certainly wasn’t! But there’s something about wanting to do things to make others happy that is very powerful in driving a person to do things they didn’t want to do. 😉 I nervously raised my hand, agreeing to speak in front of way-too-many-people for me to stay in my comfort zone.

He put my name down for the program Sabbath afternoon and I was stuck. If there is one thing I won’t do, it’s tell you to do something I refuse to do myself. So if I have to remind you  of the Great Commission and urge you to go and fulfill the mission Christ has for you, I also have to give in and fulfill my mission.

The thought constantly in my mind for the next couple days was: “How can I introduce the song ‘I Will Go’ without saying ‘I Will Go’?” You would not believe how ridiculously hard I tried to figure that out–from asking Mr. Tony, to asking my unit counselor and even the head girl’s counselor…It was unavoidable.

So that Sabbath afternoon, as I introduced the song for choir, in my heart I told God “I will go.”.  As soon as I got home, I filled out the application and sent it in. Long story short, I was accepted and started on the fundraising journey.

Fundraising:

In the beginning I was very excited to see what the Lord would do in and through me–the miracles He would work–as I sought to raise the funds needed for the trip. But, as so often happens, I soon became discouraged by the disbelief surrounding me and began to wonder if it was really possible.

A few people had asked me what would happen if I wasn’t able to raise the whole amount that I was supposed to raise and I had to tell them I had no idea. I told my parents this and they advised me that I should call YD and ask them. I didn’t really want to (have I mentioned that I’m terrible at phone calls?), but ended up calling anyway.

I’m so thankful that most–if not all–of YD staff are perfectly willing to have mostly one-sided conversations, if you can’t figure out what to say! I tried to call Mr. Ted, but he wasn’t there so I just called the main office number and ended up talking to Mr. (Will) Evert. Here’s the gist of our extremely encouraging conversation.

Conversation:

I asked Mr. Evert what would happen if I was unsuccessful in my fundraising and he told me that no one had ever been unable to go because of a lack of funds–some raise more than they needed and some less, but either way God provides. I told him that was encouraging and he said “Oh, so you need encouragement too, huh?” We ended up having a rather long conversation during which he shared some awesome things with me. I’d like to share the two which have really stuck in my head ever since.
1. “When we give ourselves wholly to God and in our work follow His directions He makes Himself responsible for its accomplishment. He would not have us conjecture as to the success of our honest endeavors. Not once should we even think of failure! We are to cooperate with One who knows no failure!” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pg. 363

2.”Work hard…Pray hard…Trust hard…And God will answer prayers!” –Mr. Evert

So when we give ourselves completely to God, working faithfully for Him, cooperating with Him through prayer, and trusting in His power, God will answer our prayers–through Him we CANNOT fail!! That’s awesome!

After that I went back to my fundraising with a renewed hope and energy. God provided in so many ways and on Sunday, March 26, I was on my way with an amazing team to experience my very first overseas mission trip. Scary, but amazing…And that’s another story for another day.

Until next time,

Stay Faithful!

Samantha

My Words–Poem

Have you ever felt like God couldn’t-or didn’t want to-hear you?  Here’s a poem I wrote that was inspired by such feelings…

My Words

O Jesus, my Saviour, Please, do you care?

O Father, my Friend, Are you really there?

My words just evaporate into thin air!

 

O Lord, you’ve promised my burden to bear

But just at the time when my load I’d share

My words just vanish into the air!

 

I’m crying, I’m crying but still I’m not found

These thoughts about You just spin round-n-round

And now my words just bounce on the ground!

 

I cried Lord for help; but it did not come

O Jesus, please give me Your Spirit just some!

But Lord at this moment my voice has gone dumb!

 

I give up just now-I’ve lost somehow

My voice will be quiet-My mind shall be silent

 

O My precious child, you now hear my voice

“Be still” is surely the very best choice

My words were drowned by all of your noise

 

Now come lay it down, and I’ll pick it up

And come to my table, together we’ll sup

With My Living Water I’ll fill your dry cup!

 

My Spirit you asked for, just open your heart

And My Holy Spirit of you will be part

On your tablet mind I’ll draw My best art

 

My child, don’t cry your Father is near

With Me by your side, you’ve nothing to fear

I’m talking to you! Now please, won’t you hear?

 

Dear Jesus, I’m sorry, I now understand

It’s not on my words but Yours I must stand

Now Saviour please guide me by Your precious hand

 

O Jesus, my Saviour, I’m sure that you care

O Father, my Friend, I know you are there

Your words won’t go into thin air!

I wrote this poem at midnight (almost exactly-one of those “I can’t sleep with this poem in my head!” nights…), May 20, 2011.  Rest assured God’s words will NEVER fail! And He hears our prayers…and ALWAYS answers, even if it’s not in the way we think He should answer.

Until next time,

Samantha

Poem copyright 2011 Samantha Edeliant

The Refiners Fire

It’s one of my favorite songs…but it’s also a reality in life.  For those of you who are Christians yourselves you might be familiar with a verse in Revelation which quotes “I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich…”  Do we understand what it means?

“Gold tried in the fire” I don’t believe this is literal.  In Isaiah 48:10 God says “Behold, I have refined thee…I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” In Malachi 3:3 the Bible says “And He shall sit as a refiner…and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”  Malachi 3:2 states “For He is like a refiner’s fire…”

We are the metal, trials are the fire.  In Job chapter 23 Job says “when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”  Gold. We can become as pure gold!  Sure, it’s no easy road–but I’d say it’s worth it!

“When trials surround us, when struggles come

The spirit grows weak, the body grows numb

When these things beset us He doesn’t forget us…

He sends down His love on the wings of a dove!”

I love that song as well!  🙂  How many times have we felt forgotten? How many times have we wondered if life is even worth it?  Here’s a lesson I recently learned…”To look to God is to find joy!”

Here’s what I mean…We’ve all been through trials-some more than others.  I’ve been through my share and you’ve been through yours.  While we live on this earth we’ll continue to go through these fiery trials to perfect our faith.  Yet when we learn that we are not alone it is a lot easier, at least in my experience, to continue on!  I’ll share a couple things that help me in case you’re struggling with something right now and I’ll promise to keep you in prayer as an anonymous reader of my blog!

I’ve tried different music genres (like the kind that numbs your mind), reading story after story and then fantasizing about how those stories could continue after the pages of the book end (so much that I had a foggy sense of reality), and I’ve tried just ignoring it and trying to go on with life (hahaha-not! It never really worked that way).  None of that really worked–but prayer always does!

Prayer. It sounds simple-but in my experience it works!  Not the kind that says “Dear Lord, I’m angry. Make my life better. Amen.” (yes, God does sometimes answer that kind of prayer in His love and mercy) but the kind that says “Father, I’m having a really hard day and I can’t handle it without you! Please replace the anger in my heart with your peace-you’ve promised to send peace that passes understanding and I claim that promise. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer! Amen.”  I’ve discovered that if I really talk to God as I would to a friend (or more like a father) I enjoy and yes, look forward to my time with Him!  I’ve learned to simply tell Him about my day–how hard or easy it was, if I’m happy or sad, and then share with Him the burdens which I have on my heart.  I ask Him to bless my friends, to heal those who I have come in contact with that I know are suffering, and to bless the readers of my blog (yes, you! 🙂 ).

The other two things which work for me are listening to uplifting music and my favorite sermons (these often bring me to my knees, somehow).  There is one sermon which is really encouraging to me and I often listen to it when I am down. (You can listen to it here: God Doesn’t Waste Our Pain Pt.2 I have heard part 1, and you can listen to that on the same website, but somehow I liked pt. 2 better…)  Christian goes through the story of Job and how he began to feel abandoned by God and how he was being judged by his friends because of different trials that he was going through. He shares how trials can mean a lot of different things and they’re certainly not always punishment from God!   The music part is fairly well covered in other posts, but I’ll say here that I love to listen to “The Narrow Way” and “My Prayer” when I’m discouraged.  I trust that as we look back on our life when we’re in heaven we’ll be able to confidently say “Heaven is cheap enough”!

Remember, my friends, I’m praying for you, God loves you and He won’t waste our pain!

Pressing onward!

–Samantha

The Refiner’s Fire

“There burns a fire with sacred heat
White hot with holy flame
And all who dare pass through its blaze
Will not emerge the same
Some as bronze, and some as silver
Some as gold, then with great skill
All are hammered by their sufferings
On the anvil of His will

Chorus:
The Refiner’s fire
Has now become my soul’s desire
Purged and cleansed and purified
That the Lord be glorified
He is consuming my soul
Refining me, making me whole
No matter what I may lose
I choose the Refiner’s fire

I’m learning now to trust His touch
To crave the fire’s embrace
For though my past with sin was etched
His mercies did erase
Each time His purging cleanses deeper
I’m not sure that I’ll survive
Yet the strength in growing weaker
Keeps my hungry soul alive”

CHORUS