How often do we talk about Biblical concepts in the abstract? You know what I mean. We use words like: should, could, would, ought to, strive for, try, attempt…
But today I want to tell you a story that reflects what true abiding in Christ looks like.
It all starts in the fall of 2014 (probably before then) when I went with my son, Mark to visit Letourneau University in Longview, TX. As we turned in to the campus I was overcome with emotion, because in that moment God told me that this is the school where my brilliant son would be spending the next few years his life. Little did we know what life changing things God had in store for Mark.
As I watched my then17 year old son trust God to provide for all his needs, my heart swelled with pride.
Every single semester, Mark’s tuition and other expenses were more than covered. Only God!
Mark changed his major from Biomedical Engineering to Computer Engineering which resulted in extra semesters. This did not make him happy at the time but as things unfolded, God’s plan became more and more evident.
When Spring Break Mission trip opportunities were announced, Mark’s heart was drawn to go to Utah and minister to LDS (Mormon) students at Ephraim College. He also knew that neither he nor his parents had the means for him to make the trip. But a friend stepped up and provided the funds. Only God!
Mark continued to make the trip to Utah each and every Spring Break that followed. They worked hand in hand with Tri-Grace Ministries to build relationships and win souls for the kingdom. At a time when it did not make sense, academically or financially, Mark spent a full semester in Utah volunteering with Tri-Grace. In those months of true servanthood, Mark’s every financial need was provided for at exactly the right time! Only God!
It was on one of these trips that Mark met the beautiful young lady that will become his wife this summer. Let me give you a little context. A boy from Illinois goes to college in Texas. He goes on a Mission trip to Utah where he meets a girl from California who is finishing up her internship. But God extended Jade’s internship so that she and Mark could get to know each other better. They were not allowed to date while working for the ministry, but God used that time to do a work in their hearts.
At the end of his internship/mission trip Mark retuned to Texas to finish school and Jade returned home to California.
Flash forward to the autumn of 2019, Mark and Jade got engaged. The wedding was planned for October 2020. They were still ling in separate states but with video calls they were able to keep their relationship moving forward. Graduation was scheduled for May 2020 and the future looked bright.
BUT then the world changed as Covid-19 changed all of our lives forever.
The world shut down.
There was no graduation ceremony.
Job offers dried up.
The wedding was postponed.
LeTourneau created an interim job for Mark. Only God!
The original wedding date came and went and we were all very sad.
December 2020, Mark stopped to visit his Grandma in Arizona on the way to California to spend Christmas with Jade and her family. While he was there an unspeakable tragedy happened and we “lost” two members of our family. If Mark had gotten married in the fall like they had originally planned, he would not have been in Arizona to support her through what is arguably the worst time of her life. Only God!
This past week, Mark was finally able to make the move to California. He has a good job lined up and the wedding will be in July! Only God!
I have learned an extraordinary amount about faith from observing how Mark approaches his trials. Only God!
I am in awe that God chose such a flawed woman as me to be the mother of such a godly man. Only God!
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV
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