Photo by Samuel McCarthy
It took a long time for me to freely feel the love of God. After being abandoned by my earthly father at the age of six, I struggled to believe that my heavenly Father could love with such sacrifice and mercy. Thus, I spent the better part of my life searching for love in a harsh, sinful world. This search led me to various places—drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.—where I would overindulge until my appetite was satisfied. By the end of my search for fulfillment, I sat empty and alone, too wounded to press onward, waiting to be rescued. My Savior and Healer lifted me out of my wreckage—where I had faced so much hurt and rejection—and led me to a place of everlasting grace and goodness. God found me in the pits of my own sin, at rock bottom, where others dare not go—and there, He held my face, wiped my tears, and promised to never forsake me.
Now this promise is what I grasp tightly amidst the raging doubts and fears of daily life. God delivered me from bondage almost four years ago, and since, I have yet to find more joy in anything this world has to offer. Thus, I dedicated the next years of my life to international ministry in hopes of proclaiming the most scandalous, outrageous truth I’ve ever heard— Jesus came to live amongst a people who would mock and reject Him, only to willingly lay down His life so these same mockers could have eternal life with the great Creator, Comforter, Healer, King, and Father.
After dedicating the next years of my life to international ministry, I found myself on the hard path of financial support-raising. Logistically speaking, I was given six months to raise $50,000 so that I could move to Australia and begin ministering to students at the University of Queensland. I began fundraising in June of 2017, and needed to be on an airplane to Brisbane—where I was to share the gospel for more than a year—by January 14, 2018. On November 6, 2017, I got an email from the team in Australia saying I needed to be at 80% fundraised by November 17th. At the time, I was at 66% fundraised—meaning I needed to raise over $6,000 in 10 days or my departure date would be pushed back by six months. I spent the rest of the day in a pit of unbelief, giving anxiety control over my conscious thought. I made phone call after phone call trying to set up meetings with donors, and contacted every prayer warrior I knew in hopes of bringing my request to the throne room of the Father. I went to sleep hesitantly that night, knowing I now had one less day to meet the deadline.
I woke the following day, Nov 7th, and spent the morning in prayer. I sat at my desk with my journal in front of me, paralyzed with fear that I had misunderstood my calling. I wondered if the loving God I had grown so fond of was asking me, like Abraham, to bring Isaac to the mount to be sacrificed—had I made ministry in Australia such an idol that I needed to hold a knife to its throat?
At noon that day, after a morning of contemplation and doubt, I decided to check my email. What I would find was the short and sweet response of a kind man I had emailed almost two weeks prior—with a message that said, “Sara, I would like to give you $5,000. God bless.” I fell to my knees, weeping. Never had I seen more tangible evidence of God’s love than in that email. My Father did not leave or forsake me. He did not reject me. He did not ask me to sacrifice the one thing I wanted. Instead, through the words of a stranger, He said, “I am for you, not against you; I am more committed to my kingdom than you could ever know; I am more committed to you than you could ever know.”
Throughout the next three days, over $8,000 was donated, bringing me to 82% fundraised by November 10th— a full week before my deadline. This work was done only through our merciful Father who wants good things for His children as well as the advancement of His kingdom. To Him I give all the glory, honor, and praise, for He is worthy now and forever.
Now, I sit typing this a week before departing for Australia. I am fully funded and the Lord has prepared and equipped me with His gospel. I am undeserving of such an honor. As you read this, please pray for the lost in Brisbane. Pray they will be open-hearted to the God who loves and protects them. Pray that God will use my weaknesses for His glory. Our God is big. He is alive. He is making a way. Darkness trembles.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.