Following God and Finances

I’ve been talking a lot recently about trusting God in several different areas of my life. I’ve also been learning to trust Him in other areas that I’m not ready to talk about just yet. In fact, trust has been a theme in my journey with Him for the last several years, and that doesn’t appear to be changing in the foreseeable future.

Since I started thinking about the move across the pond, I’ve been trying to raise the money needed to live in Ireland. The acquaintance I have there has informed me that I should plan on having around $1500/month for living expenses and travel. My current income is approximately $800/month, so I’ve got quite a bit left to go to reach this goal. (I do have a bit in savings, but I’d rather not have to use it all. God can provide other ways.)

It’s daunting to look at that difference of $700/month and know there is no way I can raise that in the 45 days before I leave the United States. Thankfully, I don’t have to. That’s where the trust aspect comes in.

For the last 12+ years, I have worked at a paid job for only about 10 months, and yet, I am currently debt free. I have traveled to more than 20 countries, and God has provided every dime I’ve needed. Even the job I worked fell into my lap without me lifting a finger to find it.

Living this life and doing what I am privileged to do isn’t always easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! The hardest part of my “job” is raising support, but perhaps not for the reasons you might think.

Yes, times are getting more difficult for everyone with the economy, and some folks cannot give financially. Yes, there are those that count supporting missions among the luxuries like cable TV and eating out, (and some of those would choose to cut that support before the other luxuries). And there are some folks on support that give others of us a bad name and leave people skeptical of giving anything. However, I have found that there are many people who are willing to give sacrificially, far beyond what I would imagine, simply because they believe in what I’m doing and in the God I’m doing it for.

No, by far the most difficult thing about raising support is remembering that I am worth it, and so are those that I am talking to. I hate asking for money, not because I believe less in what I’m doing or the God that it’s all for, but because I forget that it’s not about me in the first place.

The folks who give financially into my little piece of seeing the Kingdom of God come to earth are no less a part of that process than I am. The fact that they may receive a steady paycheck from their job, doesn’t mean that they trust God any less with every part of their life – finances included – than I do. It just means that God has asked us to play different parts.

For now, my part includes a move to Ireland to study missions movements of the past, and train others to build on the foundations laid by Celtic Christians and others who have gone before us. Previously, it included living in Afghanistan to bring health education and literacy training to women there, taking others on trips to the Middle East to teach English, prayer-walking around the old city of Nürnberg, and spending 20 hours a week with a special little girl here in Colorado. These assignments are fun, but they are no more or less important than any other.

*Forgive me as I step onto a soapbox here.* I dislike it when people in the church place full-time “workers”, whether local or abroad, on a pedestal. I know for a fact that I don’t deserve to be up there, and I am just clumsy enough to fall off and hurt myself or others badly. Not only is the work I do no more important, it is no more spiritual than that of a teacher, a banker, a mechanic, an administrative assistant, a waitress or anyone else who works for the glory of God. *Steps off soapbox.**

As I write this, I am reminding myself once again that I am following God, and the provision for this new adventure is ultimately His responsibility. I’m noting again that making my needs known is not a self-serving gesture, but instead an invitation to those whose part in this story may be as an answer to the prayer that my faith will become sight in this situation. And I’m remembering once again that I can never stop at being the recipient of blessings and prayers and financial support, but I must continue to sow into others as God leads me to. We all have a part to play in someone’s story.

I have seen God “show off” His love, power, and provision in so many ways, and in many of those displays it seemed He was responding to the faith and action of His children. I don’t believe He holds answers to prayer hostage until we behave the way He wants, but I do believe that He delights in meeting us more than half way when we take steps to honor Him with all that we have.

So, in closing, as one of my acts of faith, I’m just going to throw this out there… If you would like information on how to give toward this step I’m taking, please email me at steph.loves.travel12@gmail.com, and I will contact you with the necessary info.

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