An excerpt from Anna’s journal

Our fundraising and fasting season in December was a crazy time for us.  Not only did God provide above and beyond what we needed for our budget, He did a deep, internal work in us as well.  Here is an excerpt from Anna’s journal with her reflections on what the Lord did for the Suns in this season.  Enjoy!

January 6, 2012
I don’t know exactly how it happened but God somehow just put this number in my mind to pray for.  That number was $35,000.  
In December 2009, we raised $23,473 and in December 2010, we raised $27,814.  So I think it was before Thanksgiving where I started praying that God would provide $35,000 to come in for the month of December 2011.  I kind of knew it was a crazy number (Alan had thought so too) but part of me was thinking, if God brought in $4000 more last December than the year before, why couldn’t He bring in more this year?  So I just started praying for $35,000 for December.  I honestly don’t know where the faith came from because I had NEVER prayed for a particular number before.  The month of December ended up being very challenging for us; when we got to the Bay Area, we were hit with all these frustrations and thoughts that we weren’t doing enough, we were doing too much, we weren’t going to make it, etc, etc.   I just read my journal entry after our first week there and man, I was in a bad place.  I was so tired and exhausted and overwhelmed.  We actually had a major breakdown moment in the parking lot of Target after we got some of our fundraising reports in our emails.  The numbers weren’t as much we’d hoped them to be at that point and we just felt so discouraged and like we had failed.  Alan was frustrated, I felt like I was at the end of myself, so we called our supervisor, Ryan, who prayed for us and gave us hope.

Alan and I realized that we had been going, going, going without very much prayer or worship so we just went to my parents’ house that night and just prayed and worshiped in my old room.  Later that week, we also did a bible study together at Whole Foods on Stevens Creek.  The word that stuck out to me was from Daniel 1, where God’s power is not limited or defined by the circumstances. And when Daniel and his friends were given new Babylonian names that were essentially telling them “you are properties of the god of Babylon now.”  But Daniel and his friends fasted to stay true to their identity as the children of Yahweh.  I think God gave us just the words we needed from His word to keep moving forward.

We left for a vacation with Alan’s family for a week so we couldn’t do any work during that time.  So then we come back and finalize all our numbers on Tues. January 3rd.  Our total came out to be 97%.  So that was the number that we turned in since the FD reports were due the next day.   So there was still about $4000 left to raise at that point.  We turned in our FD report and sent out an email to our donors letting them know, thanking them, and asking them to keep praying for us.

On Friday, January 6th we went out on a date night using gift cards we’d received so the whole night was free!  We had dinner at Cheesecake with a birthday gift card and saw a movie with tickets from Alan’s cousins for Christmas.  We were just enjoying the night (especially since everything was gifted!).  We were done with dinner and both of us went to the bathroom before going to the movie.  I got out of the bathroom and I saw Alan waiting for me in the hall way.  He was looking at his phone and he looked really happy and gave me what I thought was a random kiss.  Then he showed me his phone and our fundraising report that we had just gotten in our email.  The report said that we had gotten over $33,000 in our account!  We were like wHAT?!?!?! The last time we had checked there was only $27K or so that had come in.  So we looked at the gifts that had come in and they pretty much added up to the $4000 we needed to make it to 100%!!  So we were super excited and AMAZED.  We walked over to the mall and went inside the Apple store and I just logged into my gmail and updated all our numbers into our Google Doc.  And that’s when we knew we had hit 101%!!!  We were so amazed.  I think the timing of us finding out was so funny too.  That we found out during a date night where we were enjoying the gifts of the dinner and movie from our friends and family and already feeling so blessed by God’s care and provision.  So I think God was just trying to show us how that he really cares about us and wants to enjoy simple things like a free dinner and movie but also that He cares about our whole lives and provides for us abundantly.  That was just amazing because that is what I wanted when we were going through our hard financial season last Fall.  Regardless of how much money we were making, I really just wanted God to transform our heart postures towards Him when it came to our finances and to just trust completely in Him.  And I also wanted to be free to not be afraid to ask for things that we need and ask for him to provide!!  I think my mentality was in a lot of ways, “well if I want something that I’ll get it.”  Or “if I want something then I need to figure out a way myself to get it.”  But now it’s slowly becoming to, “well, if we really need something then I’m going to ask God to provide.”  He really showed us in such simple ways that he provides over this month, like Monterey Bay aquarium passes, the gifted dinner and movie on our date night.  Though these may have seemed trivial and small, I think they just showed me that God is going to take care of not just the things we need but the things to just enjoy in life.  Alan and I really had to wrestle with the fact that we can’t have the same luxuries as some other people can.  Like picking up our bags and going on a vacation somewhere, or buying all these things to fix up our house, or new clothes/gadgets.  But that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want us to enjoy life!!  And when he does give us those things, I feel like the way we enjoy them is different.  I feel like I seriously just enjoy it and embrace the gift of it even more because I know for a fact that it wasn’t from me and my “hard work.”  It was really a blessing from God through the generosity of the people we love.  And honestly, those moments are awesome.  Lord, I thank you for what you did and who you are.  You really used this past month to prune both Alan and I.  Even though it was really hard, I’m grateful for it.  And so we enjoy and celebrate YOU LORD!!  We still need your protection from things that are trying to steal our joy.  But we rebuke those things in your name Jesus and claim the power of your victory!!  Lord, you really did pull a Daniel 1 moment on us.  The circumstances and our situation did make it appear that you were NOT in power.  But Lord, you were just using those things to set up the scene to make your power shine through even more.  Lord, we are not a property of the “god of Babylon” or the gods of this world… we are your children!!!

UPDATE:  In December 2011, the Lord provided $38,000.  The Lord is faithful and true to His promises.  🙂

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2 thoughts on “An excerpt from Anna’s journal

  1. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    I’m always encouraged when reading about Daniel’s three friends in their statement of faith in 3:18.
    Will be praying for preaching at UCSD, I know all too well how much emotion and energy goes into that kind of event.

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