A couple days before I left Oregon, I listened to a recent podcast from Chris White at Nowhere to Run website. He played a clip of a testimony from a man named Jon Courson. I'd never heard of Jon Courson or heard his testimony before but it really affected me. In the clip Jon was saying how the Lord had given him the verse Jeremiah 29:11 right at the time that his wife was killed in a car crash and how much that verse was something he was able to hold onto as he dealt with this horrendous situation. You can listen to Jon's full testimony here. I cried the whole way through listening to the clip but I never had a chance to get to listen to the whole testimony.
The Wednesday before I left I was able to get together with my youngest sister for a 'girl's night out.' We were waiting in the Dutch Bros drive thru so my sister could get a strawberry infused Red Bull and I was telling her this story about this guy and how the Lord had given him that verse right before his wife died etc. (there is much more to the story but you should listen to his testimony, I can't do the story justice, it should come from the source.) I couldn't even tell my sister the story without crying some more. Just that the man had to go through such hardships but the the Lord in his tender mercy gave that man just the verse he needed to see him through.
Toward the end of this recent bus trip I began to get discouraged. I'm sure I have the patience of a rock now but I was starting to stress out after 35 hours. All sorts of stupid thoughts were going through my mind. What if my cousins were mean to me like they were when we were kids? What if my aunt thought that I was a heretic if I believe that all men will be saved, even the Queen and Tony Blair? What if the pressure is more than I can handle and I have a nervous breakdown or become catatonic? What if they discover that I am just a big dork after all?
It was 12:30am when I called my aunt to come pick me up at the bus station. I desperately wanted a shower but I was so tired that I didn't think that I could lift up my hands in order to wash my hair. She showed me my room, gave me a hug and told me we would talk in the morning. "I'm glad you are here." she said as she showed me the bathroom. Right on her wall was hanging the verse Jeremiah 29:11. It was worded different than I had heard it in the teaching, but it was really what I needed to see at that particular moment:
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11Thank you Lord for that.
The next morning I talked to my aunt and told her how much seeing that verse in her bathroom had meant to me. I also told her some of my concerns about the future. She said, "The Father has a plan for your life. You just need to be encouraged in the Lord because He knows the desires of your heart." Then she brought her portable CD player into my room and said I could use it anytime and that I could listen to any of her christian music CD's. It was amazing how comforting it was to listen to some music and remember all the good the Lord has done in my life and that He does have a future for me. And a hope.
(LOVE) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (1 Cor 13:7)
Blessings in Christ