While college feels like a million years ago, I actually only graduated 3 years ago, and the fall of my senior year was an absolute transforming time in terms of my faith in Jesus and trusting him with my future. At the beginning of the year, I felt completely lost. Totally unprepared to enter the “real world” and somehow make a living that would pay for my $20,000 in student loans as well as make me enough money to eat and sleep somewhere. I desperately needed God’s guidance for my future. And by desperately, I mean absolutely, utterly, completely DESPERATELY. I was lost as to what to do next.
So, I prayed. And I fasted. This wasn’t just your normal “God, show me what to do and where to go” prayer. And it wasn’t just your normal, “I’m skipping dinner and giving up TV tonight” fast. I entered into a season of continual fasting and prayer. I don’t write this to make anyone impressed, I write simply so that you can truly grasp the magnitude of the answer when it came. As I sought God, God showed up, in a big way. If I could give you all the details, I truly would, because it would only serve to increase your amazement at God’s complete providence, but this would end up being a book instead of a short blog post.
The last day of this season of prayer/fasting was scheduled to be November 21, 2008. What I didn’t know when I entered this was that Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ-I was really involved when I was in college) had scheduled an evening for Juniors and Seniors about how to know the will of God for your life. (This is what I wrote about here.) And that evening just happened to be November 21, 2008. Not only is that just completely awesome, but this guy (James, an intern with Cru) had asked me to have coffee with him after the event to talk about “something.” (We weren’t dating at the time, and honestly were hardly speaking after a series of unfortunate events and miscommunications). He had no idea that November 21 was the last day of my prayer and fasting.
The evening with Cru unfolded to be incredibly helpful and totally ordained to finalize this season in my life and left me with a sense of confidence in God’s ability to provide, even if I still had no idea what was going to happen in a few months when I graduated.
Later that same night I sat across the table from James Pruch at a coffee shop in Lincoln Nebraska, where God, quite literally, laid out His plans for my life as James talked. It seems James shared in my affection for him, and explained that he had taken notice of things in my character that he wanted in a wife, and asked me if I would consider being in a relationship with him.
Now, you have to understand that I had been praying about this specific man for over a year at this point. My heart was continually drawn to him, and while I was very cautious, I always had a sense that God had something more in store for me with this man. So as James expressed his feelings for me, I had chills, because I knew that I would marry this man, and that God had not only given me confidence in His future providence for my life, He was showing me exactly what that future would be.
We dated for 5 tumultuous (in my heart) weeks, and were engaged the day after Christmas. Two weeks later, James left for an 11 month STINT with Cru in South Africa. We were married January 16, 2010, and had our first baby girl on August 23, 2011.
This is what God laid out for me on November 21, 2008. This life. My husband is a pastoral intern at our church and is going through Seminary online. Our hearts are to be in ministry full-time until the day we die and to glorify God in our life, marriage, and family.
Did my fasting change God’s plan for my life to get me to this point? No. Did my begging and pleading with God change His mind in what He was going to give me? I don’t think so. I believe that even if I hadn’t fasted and prayed as I did, I would have still ended up here. But my heart would not be as in awe of God and His utter love for me and way of providing. I would not be as humbled and struck with amazement at His glory. Instead of me changing God, God changed me. That is why we fast and pray.