A Story of God’s Faithfulness

A Story of God’s Faithfulness

I wrote this post two months ago at the very beginning of the year a few days before my spring semester when this “Only God” story was fresh in my mind and heart. I wrote it and I thought, “I’ll post it tomorrow.” And then tomorrow came and life got in the way and now here I am a couple of days before Spring Break starts, finally posting it because it’s the first time I’ve really had time to breathe. Even though this story isn’t being told when I wanted to tell it, I believe God’s timing is better than mine and His stories are always worth being written about and heard. Also, even though this was at the start of the year it feels like it was forever ago and I know I need a refresher right now on how faithful God truly is.

On January 13, 2016 I wrote a really important journal entry to God. I wrote out of faith to my Father who had just whispered a sweet and crazy promise to me. He told me, “I can do it.” It was one of those statements that you know in your heart is true, but your head just can’t seem to wrap around it.

The promise He made me was that He would take my family to Georgia, reunite us with our family there and then take me to Passion 2017 in Atlanta.

To understand how big of a deal this was for me to hear I have to go back a few years…

When I was a little girl I remember watching videos of the first Passion conferences that were held out in the middle of a huge field with hundreds of college students praising God’s name at the foot of a cross. I can remember listening to Chris Tomlin and David Crowder’s music and hearing Louie Giglio’s sermons, the man who created the Passion conferences and Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia. And ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be in college so I could go experience all of this awesomeness for myself.

Now, fast forward to about five years ago to the last time I was in Georgia visiting my dad’s side of the family. Again, ever since I can remember my family and I would all get into a car and travel hundreds of miles to see our family in Georgia- it was just something we did. But five years ago we had a falling out with our family there and decided we wouldn’t go back again.

And we didn’t. It was difficult for me because I just love being around family, even though sometimes they are the ones who hurt us more than anyone else. I mourned the loss of not getting to see these family members again. I prayed against the bitterness that gnawed away at my heart and hoped that God would somehow make at least one more visit happen one day- even if it was through my own doing.

So, now fast forward to November of 2015- I was finally 18 and in college, which meant that I could go to Passion for the first time! They were having the conference in three locations, two in Georgia and one in my home state of Texas. I remember the excitement of buying my ticket to Passion 2016 in Houston and being so ready to experience it for the first time. I had no idea how I would get there or who I would go with, I just knew it’s where I wanted to spend my first few days of 2016.

I began to ask friends who I thought would want to go with me, but unfortunately no one else shared in my passion for Passion. I searched for a college group to go with for a solid two months with no luck. I began to get discouraged and realized that maybe God didn’t want me to go this year, even though every part of me wanted the opposite.

So, I sold my ticket and trusted that God had a better plan than I did for myself. I felt Him tell me that it would be next year, 2017, when I would get to go. I also remember having a really hard time being okay with what He said- there were definitely tears- even though I knew it was part of His plan.

Then, they announced where Passion 2017 would be: Atlanta, Georgia. It would happen only in the place where it’s traditionally held, in The Georgia Dome, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary under one roof. I suddenly felt discouraged again and thought, “How am I going to get to Atlanta next year if I couldn’t even get to Houston this year?”I wasn’t sure how, but I knew that if God wanted me to get there He would make it happen.

The next day, we got a letter in the mail from my Great Aunt Donna in Georgia. She wrote about how she was praying for our family to heal the wounds that have kept us from our loved ones in Georgia, how she hoped that we would reconnect before too much time had passed and it was too late. I remember how strong of a sign that was for my heart.

That was the same day God told me, “I can do it”. He promised that He would take me back to Georgia where He would heal our family and bring me to Passion 2017. I remember the excitement and burst of faith I felt in my heart, I felt misty tears of joy in my eyes just thinking about these promises of breakthrough that seemed impossible to me but so possible for Him.

I wrote all of this down on January 13, 2016. I trusted and believed that He would stay true to His word.

Today, on January 13, 2017 I can confidently say that God is faithful, always.

Around this past Thanksgiving I still had yet to buy my ticket for Passion 2017 or commit to my church’s young adult group that was going for the first time together. I was nervous that the same let down and frustration from the past year would happen again. It would also be really expensive, the ticket, travel and hotel costs added up quite a bit.

But I remembered God’s promise to me at the beginning of the year, so I decided to give it to Him. I saw that Passion was giving away scholarships for the conference and so I applied for one. I told God, “If you give me this scholarship, then I’ll go to Passion.”

That same night I had talked to my mom about how I wanted to go to Georgia. There were some tears and I remember pushing harder on the subject than I ever had before.

A few days later, God gave me the scholarship and I committed to my church’s group that night. It was so much easier than the year before, which was just confirmation that He wanted me there. With Him, it’s easy.

That weekend at church we focused on thankfulness and praising God for the breakthroughs He did over the past year. The speaker (shout out to Ben Moreno!) said, “And if He hasn’t given you the breakthrough you asked for, then praise Him in advance because it is coming.”

My main breakthrough for that year was Georgia, I remember having to force myself to give thanks to Him for breaking through the wounds of Georgia and healing them even though it hadn’t happened. I also remember thinking that it was an impossible thing to pray.

That same night at dinner, God answered my prayer. At the end of the meal, my dad said to our family, “So, your mom and I have been talking and we are thinking about going to Georgia over Christmas break.”

WHAT. You have to understand that for the past five years any mention of Georgia would start a fight and just cause more hurt. The fact that all five of us were sitting at the table just talking about it was a breakthrough.  But talking about actually going to visit? His timing is amazing and funny and crazy and just one more example of how awesome He is.

For the next month or so we talked and prayed about it as a family, a couple of weeks into December we decided it wasn’t a good decision and that we wouldn’t go because tensions were still just too high. I was pretty bummed about that but trusted that whatever happened was meant to happen.

On December 22nd that decision changed all because my mom said, “If y’all really want to go, then I will go.” At first, I didn’t really believe the truth in that statement but the next morning my parents opened the conversation back up for a Georgia trip. They planned it out so we would leave the next morning and get there on Christmas Eve.

Everyone was on board except for me, honestly. Isn’t that funny? For the entire year all I had hoped for was this moment and now that it was here, I was too clouded by my own feelings to see it. It was a mix of not wanting to be let down and not wanting to spend Christmas away from home. But eventually my family got me on board too and we all decided it’s what we wanted to do. We started getting ready to go to Georgia that day.

My dad called a guy who was renting a house where we wanted to stay, the people who were supposed to stay there had dropped it the day before and the owner generously knocked the price down by $700 to stay in the house for a week. Total God thing- with Him, it’s easy.

The next morning we woke up really early to drive all day from Dallas, Texas to Dallas, Georgia. We left around 9 AM and got to our “temporary home” at 12 AM on Christmas Eve, it was a crazy day. Once we got there though every moment was just wonderful because I could feel God’s protection every step of the way.

I had one of the greatest, coziest Christmases I’ve ever had. From getting to go four-wheeling in the woods with my cousins to seeing family members who I genuinely never thought I would see again, it was such a special time. I’m very thankful that God made a way for us to reunite with them. It was also amazing to be back where my dad grew up, to be in the places he talks about from his childhood and all of the funny stories from his time in Georgia.

The entire trip was filled with “I never want to leave this moment” feelings, both the greatest and the most bittersweet of all. It was hard saying “hello” and “goodbye” to my sweet relatives so quickly, but God also gave me a peace about all of it.

I just felt so content and full the entire trip, even when we had difficult or stressful moments, because I really could feel God with us the entire time. He redeemed every small fight and frustrating moment by healing wounds in a big way and bringing His peace to every circumstance, it was a beautiful thing to be apart of.

The feeling of an answered prayer is the greatest, most comforting feeling I have ever experienced. It was indescribable, it goes deeper into my soul than words ever could.

We stayed in Georgia from December 24 through January 2 (which was my dad’s 50th birthday!), after we celebrated my dad- the greatest dad EVER- my family dropped me off at the hotel with my church group who I went to Passion with. My family loaded up the car and headed back home but I stayed in Atlanta for a couple more days to go to the conference.

Honestly, if I had gone home with my family I would have been content and so filled up with all of the amazing things God had just blessed us with. But, God isn’t just a “filled up” kind of Father, He is a “filled-up-and-overflowing” kind of Father who is in the business of giving back-to-back blessings to His children, even when they don’t deserve it (which is every single moment of every single day). To say that Passion 2017 was one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me is an understatement.

All of my years of watching and waiting to experience Passion couldn’t have been prepared for what God did in The Dome. It exceeded my expectations and awakened my heart in ways I’ve never dreamed of before. There is something so powerful about worshiping God with reckless abandon with 55,000 other college students, I felt like I stepped into a slice of Heaven on Earth and it left me speechless (which, if you know me, is a really big deal…).

The speakers were incredible, the worship was electric, the community groups were encouraging- but above all, God was there & He moved in a mighty way.

I think the reason this encounter with God was so refreshing and powerful in my spirit was because of what He had just finished doing in my life through our trip to Georgia. It kind of reminds me of when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead after four days in John 11, He waited until the odds were impossible to show people the power of God and bring ultimate glory to Him.

In a way, God raised parts of my family and my heart from the dead- He did the unthinkable to prove to me how good, powerful and faithful He is. He left no room in my heart for doubt, even when the enemy tried to attack me with it.

He performed the biggest miracle and broke through the hardest wall in my life to bring glory to His name & belief into my heart.

I left Georgia completely in awe of God. He has opened my eyes to a whole new level with Him and I am very thankful. I have caught the fire for Him and my prayer is that it never burns out, no matter how big or small the flame gets. My life is still a big mess and I get it wrong more than I get it right, but knowing that I walk in His authority brings hope to every single situation the world throws at me.

I’m sharing this story of His faithfulness to remind you that He is there, He is moving and He hears your breakthrough prayer too. I don’t know what you are going through but I do know that you aren’t going through it alone- He is with you & nothing is too impossible for Him. God is a good Father who loves us. He cares about what you care about and He is faithful when He gives you a promise.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. -2 Corinthians 1:20


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