Saturday, 21 December 2013
Emmanuel - The God who really is with us.
As part of a much bigger story, which I will write more about after Christmas, I wanted to document the amazing events that have unfolded for us over the last couple of months which have shown me what it really means to call our God, 'Emmanuel, God with us'.
Last summer, we began to feel it was right to take our family to visit India. Now, this is no small task for someone who doesn't even like the torture of being trapped in a car with the boys for a few hours. We've never taken them on an aeroplane and, living in our white middle class small town, have never exposed them to other cultures which are so different from our own. We don't have enough money to even go on holiday, let alone take them so far abroad. Eating naan bread is exotic enough for them. And anyway, the rules about taking the children out of school have changed and we now can't take them in term time. Quite honestly, the thought of it filled me with terror.
Despite all these (very good, in my mind) reasons not to go, we felt it was something God was asking of us. Seriously, I thought, we have no money, the boys don't have passports and school will never agree to it. I went along with the dream, never for one minute imagining it would become a reality.
Knowing that in the past God has faithfully provided for us, we began praying for enough money for the trip. There was no way we could save that much money in such a short amount of time. I approached the schools and, to my secret horror, they understood and agreed we could take the boys out of school for the time we'd asked for without being fined. God was with us.
One morning in October when I was praying, I looked out of the window at the tree outside and heard God whisper into my heart that by the time the leaves had fallen off the tree, we would have enough money to book the tickets. I held the whisper in my heart for some time before telling anyone else. Every day I would peek out at the tree, counting the remaining leaves. Mid December, there were six leaves left and we still had no money.
"It's now or never, God." I prayed.
That week, £1000 was anonymously deposited into our bank account. By the following day, the tree was empty of leaves. God was with us.
We booked the tickets, without knowing how we would pay for the visas. Two days later, we were given an envelope with enough cash to pay for visas. God was with us.
And so, in February, we fly to India on the biggest adventure our family has ever undertaken. Schools have agreed, the money has miraculously been provided and, with great excitement, we will board the plane and hope very much that the people sitting close to us will like children! Each step of the journey has proved His faithfulness to us, and as we take steps that are a bit scary we can stand on His promise to us that He is with us. The dream has become a reality and over the next few weeks and months I will write more of our story - both the events that have brought us so far, and the adventures that await us.
Have a fabulous Christmas. Emmanuel - God really is with us.