Well, I'm still scuba diving. And that has given rise to fear. Today my sweet hubby heard this on the radio and shared it with me. I found it so encouraging. I hope you do, too! In honor of Dr. Stanley's advice and in honor of my friend, Deb's, practice of requesting five favorites on Friday, I decided that I would share my five favorite ways that God has been faithful to me. Please share your favorites even if Friday is long since past as they will encourage me and my other readers.
1. It was 1985 and I was a lower middle class girl from South Dakota wanting to attend a private Christian college. I was a finalist for what was called a Faculty Scholarship. It was for $10,000 which at that time was a lot. I had done all the interviews and I felt sure I would be awarded that scholarship. I remember clearly trudging through the snow to the tiny post office in my hometown (of 100 residents) to pick up the envelope that had my college fate inside. After I opened it, I couldn't believe that God had let me down. I had not gotten the scholarship. My little life had been mostly full of successes up to that point. I was reeling as I realized that I couldn't attend college there. I showed the letter to my mom and I made the difficult phone call to the college to tell them that I was withdrawing my registration. To my surprise, the admissions person said that although I hadn't won the scholarship, I had been awarded enough other scholarships and financial aid to pay for all my schooling. God is faithful!
2. In 1989 I traveled to Europe and the Soviet Union as part of a college seminar after I graduated. I left my passport and all my critical belongings (credit card, airplane ticket, visa, etc.) but $200 on a train in Moscow. I was told that my passport would most likely have been sold on the black market immediately and that it would take the cash I had just to call home. My seminar leader told me that they would have to go to the next country without me. I went to my hotel room and took a shower that alternated between scalding hot water and freezing cold. Maybe just to make the story better? LOL I remembered that we are to pray about crises like this until we have peace. That is just what I did. I said, "Lord, you can make the person who finds my passport turn it in." I fell asleep after feeling the matter was decided. I was awakened by my leader who told me the passport had been found. When I retrieved it the next day, not one coin had been removed from it. God is faithful!
3. In the late 1990s, I received a phone call that my dad was near death. I was devastated. I wasn't ready for him to go home. I prayed and prayed and asked God for affirmation from His Word. I opened my Bible randomly to read Psalm 6. It said my prayers had been answered and my dad couldn't praise God from the grave. My dad did indeed recover. In 1999, I had the habit of calling my dad in the nursing home every Wednesday evening. Often if I had something else to do, I would forget to call him and would call on Thursday. I remembered one Tuesday evening that I would be at church the following night so called my dad. We had a conversation that encouraged me that my dad knew the Lord. The next night I received a phone call before I left for church that my dad was once again near death. I knew that he would not live. But I also knew that God had assured me of my dad's salvation. He died that night. God is faithful!
4. In 2001, I aspired to be a "real" writer. One afternoon I received a copy of Woman's Day magazine that asked for nominations of women who make a difference in their communities. I put the magazine in my massive to-do pile, intending to nominate Sharon Rohrbach, an acquaintance from church who had founded Nurses for Newborns. A couple months later, I came across the magazine and emailed a letter with a brief prayer, sure that it was too late. Several months later I learned that Sharon would be an award recipient and would be flown to NYC to meet the First Lady. I was shocked when a few weeks later one of Woman's Day's editors called and invited me to come, too. I met with an editor who asked me to send her a story idea (the story idea is an incredible answer to prayer, too). Suddenly, my writing was printed in a magazine with a circulation of 6,000,000. God is faithful!
5. In 2001, I had also suffered a painful miscarriage. I had also wrestled with the grief of never having a daughter. I was so thankful for my healthy baby boys and loved them all passionately, but had to let go of the dream of a girl. In 2003, I was nursing my fourth precious boy when I began to feel extremely fatigued. I was sure I wasn't pregnant as I had not even started cycling again. I had always planned my pregnancies to the minute in the past. But sure enough, I took a pregnancy test and was stunned to learn I was expecting again. Because I had no idea how long I had been pregnant, I had to have an ultrasound. The technician gave me the baby's due date and I sobbed all the way home. It was the same due date as the baby I had miscarried. Months later I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. God is faithful!