In my last blog post I gave a description of my life and what I have been through before I came to Christ and now, He's put it on my heart to start a series on my journey as a new believer, which I hope will be an encouragement to fellow new believers as well as longtime believers. I remember my dear friend Melayni commenting during our Women's bible study how refreshing the point of view of a new believer can be. I named the first installment of this series "Now What?" because after I got saved and started to grow a stronger relationship with God, I often ask myself "OK God now what?" Sometimes He answers right away and other times not so much, but what I learned as one of my first lessons as a Christian is patience, because God does everything on His schedule and does not always make it known to us. Part of growing our faith in Him is letting go of the reins. I had been trying to white knuckle and force in the direction "I" wanted to go is not necessarily where "He" wanted me to go and it is so much easier and peaceful just to let go of the reins altogether and allow Him to lead just as He intended.
My first revelation of this lesson was during my immigration process so that I could move to the states and marry the love of my life Eric so we could finally be together as a family. Let me tell you the immigration process is not for the faint of heart, especially having children in the mix as well wondering why we can not just pack up our stuff and go. It took a total of twelve months before we could finally do just that. We got engaged in December of 2018, filed the first paperwork in January of 2019, went for our embassy interview in November 2019. Mia and I got approved but we needed a single piece of paper signed and notarized giving me permission to take my youngest, Kiera, across the border even though I had full custody and her paternal father couldn't even be bothered to show up to the custody/divorce hearing back in 2018 and had not tried to see or contact our daughter for two years and now I had to try and contact him to get this paper signed and notarized.... now what God? I did not have a clue why He was doing this to me after all I had endured but we prayed about it and within a week I had contacted him and we set up a meeting at his parent's house to get the document signed and it went off without a hitch and I discovered some much needed closure and forgiveness in that process and now realize that God wasn't doing that to me to cause more heartache and pain but to start healing the previous wounds so that I would not bring that excess baggage into my new marriage with Eric. After we submitted that piece of paper it would not be till the end of January 2020 that I could finally drive to Winnipeg to pick up our passports with the Visas contained within. I will always remember that day. Then on February 16th, 2020 we said goodbye to our home of twelve years and made the long journey South to Mississippi. It took me three days of eight-hour minimum driving to get us there but by the grace of God we made it in one piece with little to no troubles and on February 21, 2020 in the courthouse of Meridian, Mississippi I finally got to marry my best friend with his family and our daughters by our side.
After the longest wait of my existence, I found myself asking the same question, "Now what?" So, I started reading the word, doing reading plans, and praying for insight into what I should be doing next, then COVID 19 hit and our world got a little scarier. But through the lessons I learned I gave it all to God and tried not to worry about the numbers and instead focus on my family and my new job as their teacher for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. I am so thankful that God got us down here before the pandemic hit. I do not even want to think of what state I would be in if we got delayed any further. All throughout 2020 I have not had any of the fear and anxiety that I normally would have had, and I owe that all to God. He kept me focused on the good things that were happening in my life instead of the panic and what if's that used to plague my mind. I had a loving little family, my daughters finally had a father, I finally had a true partner, and that because of his work in the US Navy we still had a source of income and a home unlike so many others impacted by this horrible pandemic. For once in my life, I did not have to agonize about how I was going to pay rent, bills, gas, and put food on the table, we were being taken care of just as God has always promised. I just had to surrender the reins, give it to God and continue to ask the question "Now what?"
I am still asking "Now what?" as I am coming up on my 4 year anniversary in March of being saved. I find I still have more questions than answers but I am ok with that as long as I keep bringing that question to Him instead of trying in vain to figure it out for myself. I know He will never leave or forsake me because even when I was still ignorant and trying to go it alone He was always there in the background waiting for the blinders to come off so that I could truly see Him and realize the amazing, unconditional love that He shares for all His children. We need only to reach out, take His hand and continue to ask the question, "Now what?"
Wow, thank you for sharing this, Jenny! You have been through so much, and I am so happy for you and your daughters that you have a loving home now. It sounds like you are doing a great job of looking to God and discerning or waiting for God's direction. I'm not great at doing that and I've been a believer for more than four years. :) I'm looking forward to seeing what else you will write in your series! I'm glad you can be a part of the ALC community and the Writing Room from Mississippi.
Oh my precious little sister in Christ! How this writing makes me so thankful and in awe of our amazing God! Keep sharing your incredible story and journey. It’s making a difference for people. It encourages me as a seasoned believer to always trust in Him! Thanks for sharing your heart. So proud of you ♥️
The point of view of a new believer truly is refreshing! It is a gift to pause and see God anew through your eyes, to have the privilege of being able to share in the excitement of your discoveries about God. Watching your story of healing and redemption unfold has been a wondrous thing to be a part of. And again reading this, I smile because of you, and your spiritual and personal growth and the wisdom and insight you have into how God beautifully weaves all the pieces together in His perfect timing. Your family was joined together exactly when God knew was the best time for all of you! It is amazing when we are able to look back and see the whys and what God orchestrated in the delays and recognize how much better His way was then ours. It is so hard to be patient when the delays hurt and are confusing. I know all about that. That is why I genuinely appreciate and need to hear these types of stories. They encourage me to keep trusting and hoping. Thank you for sharing. I am looking forward to learning more about your journey and God's goodness!