Drowning in the Storm

Matthew 14:29b-30 Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (NIV)

In faith, my husband, Jason, and I walked into the storm.

The year 2005 brought change to our lives. With persistence, God tugged both of our hearts to move to Africa even though that was one place I never desired to go. We took a short-term trip to Kenya and Tanzania to understand how it would be to live and teach in Africa. Although the students were wonderful, the glimpse of what we saw included mob justice, street children and poverty. By the end of the trip, I was depleted and ready to come back home never to return.

But with His still small voice, God kept urging.

I gave many legitimate excuses as to why I shouldn’t go. One of my biggest arguments was that we were already making an impact for God right where we were. Our ministry was going well. We had a wonderful community where people loved us. I even used my boys as an excuse. After all, they shouldn’t be subjected to such dangers. All of it sounded good, but the fact remained that God wanted us to go.

After much struggling, I finally surrendered.

We sold or gave away just about everything we owned, which equaled to a humbling one thousand dollars in a garage sale, and set out to say our good-byes in Georgia before moving long-term to Tanzania. It was then, when we jumped headlong out of the boat, the full brunt of the storm hit us. I was almost knocked out.

Shortly before moving, the door to Tanzania closed. That left us with nothing: no house, no job, and no income. I remember, at one point, pulling over to the side of the road unable to drive due to my tears. I was angry with God for allowing us to drown when we had stepped out in faith. I was ready to give up, but, thankfully, God wasn’t willing to let me go.

Over the following months, God had a different plan we could’ve never constructed through our own might. God used these circumstances to allow me to see His faithfulness and to use me in ways I would’ve never seen. Although this season wasn’t fun, when I cried for God to save us, He caught us and drew us closer to Him.

It may feel safer inside the boat, but when God nudges you into action, you must obey. He doesn’t promise for the storm to subside; in fact, it may grow worse. But God is shaping you into what He wants you to be for His glory. That is what matters most.

Dear God, help me to step out in faith no matter the storm. Thank you that you’re in control and shaping me into who You want me to be. Please give me the grace to surrender each day to You.

6 Responses to Drowning in the Storm
  1. Kendra
    June 2, 2011 | 5:11 am

    What a beautiful story about God’s presence in the toughest situation. Thank you for sharing this.


  2. Kimberly
    June 2, 2011 | 6:28 am

    Thank you for sharing so honestly! This is such a beautiful testimony of His faithfulness in the midst of your storm. Powerful and so encouraging. 🙂

    I am so glad you have joined us over here at 5M4F. 🙂

  3. Desiree Rutter
    June 2, 2011 | 8:14 am

    Amazing story. I would love to know more details about how He used you and how it worked out. It is always humbling how He uses those really hard times, that are difficult to ever express in words, for His glory. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Deb
    June 2, 2011 | 9:37 am

    Heather, welcome to 5M4F. So glad to have you join us. I want to join the others in thanking you for sharing your story. We too have walked a very difficult road, although our circumstances differ the truth of His faithfulness and love are what carried us through and drew us close. Wonderful post!

  5. Barbie
    June 2, 2011 | 11:49 am

    I often struggle to get out of the boat, to step out of my comfort zone. I forget so easily that when I do, God takes my hand and doesn’t let go. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  6. Carol
    June 6, 2011 | 8:17 am

    Awesome, Heather!! Beautifully written. I love hearing you tell your story. 🙂