Living in wonder…

portrait of beautiful young woman over white background

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Jesus you are all that I want, for out of you flows the wellspring of life. Lead me to you, show me your love. Show me how not to be selfish and self-focused. Show me your heart for other people. Show me what your purpose for my day is. My life. I trust you, even though I don’t always feel like it. Deep down I know you’re so trustworthy, because all good things come from you. Without love what do we have? You are love. You are truth. Open my eyes to see more of you. Lord I want to come to you with an open heart. An open mind to understand your scripture, your word. 
Thank you for being who you are, and making me who I am.
Thank you for my life and guiding me in it! 
I appreciate you, I love you and I want to follow you all my life. Show me how to be dedicated to you because some times I find it so hard to know what choices to make.
Thank you father for never giving up on me! You’re incredible X”

This is a prayer I wrote some time ago. I just found it in my notes and it encouraged me re-reading through it. It may be because I sometimes feel quite guilty about how much time I spend thinking about myself. Worrying about finances or relationships, what I’m wearing, where my life is going or how clean my house is. It brought to mind that lately I’ve been feeling convicted about how I see and pray to God.
My friend Sam asked me one day “What would it look like to live in awe of God?” It really stuck with me. After talking more about it, we both agreed that being in awe of God is how we want to live. But what does it look like to live in awe of God?

I’ve decided to ask you a few questions and tell you a story to prompt your imagination and knowledge because I’m still working these things out for myself too. We’re all at different stages in our journey. We all view life from a unique perspective. So let these questions sink in, and challenge yourself along with me to see how we might view God in a more wonderful way!

What do I believe about God?
What is God, energy, a person, a spirit, love, a feeling, hope?
Is He good?
Is He a ‘He’?

How does God see me?
What do His words say about me and His promises for my life?
What does God say about how we as people were created?
What does God want me to know?
Does God really know what I need?

Do I believe what people say over what God says?
Do I listen to the implications of the worlds media that if I haven’t reached a certain point in my career, family, hobbies, life, I’m a failure?
If I haven’t got what the adverts and shops say I need, can I be content?
Is sex naughty or good? Is it just for creating babies or is it for pleasure too?
Do I need a romantic relationship to be happy?
Am I unable just because I haven’t had training?
Is money really what’s important?
Is it really best to be independent?
Is life really all about me?

Would I like to feel more excitement and joy?
When was the last time I did something fun?
Do I put time aside to rest my brain and my body?
Do I share my authentic self with others, or do I hide parts of myself around certain people?
Do I focus on what’s in my head or what’s around me?
What’s the most awesome story I’ve ever heard?
Do I focus on sharing my woes or my joys with my friends?
Do I let myself feel the ups and downs in life or do I find ways to numb out?
What’s the possibility of miracles?
Do I dismiss or suppress the unexplainable things that happen to me because others might think I’m weird?

Do I challenge myself in my imagination?
What did God creating the heavens, universe, earth, animals, and us really look like?
What could heaven be like?
Could dragons really exist?
Can I see myself completing my dreams/ideas, what would it look like?
Do rocks really hold energy in them or have some sort of spiritual significance?
What is a spirit? Is anything spiritual real?
Can the technology we see in movies really be made?
Where am I when I’m the happiest?

What testimonies have I heard recently?
How often do I chat about the things that I find odd, amazing, curious, unbelievable or my own sometimes unexplainable experiences?

For me, I often notice that people don’t like to bring up these topics because we’re afraid of what people might think or say, or spread, or we’re afraid of offending someone or being shut down.
I know I often choose my words in conversation very carefully when it comes to who I’m sharing with, but I think fear shuts us in a box and stops us from experiencing the fullness of life.
I remember once having a group conversation with some friends and the question got asked, “Have you ever experienced something freaky, or had a spiritual encounter?”
I thought I was the only one who’d had these hyperrealistic dreams of things that occasionally came true or felt heavy presences in my bedroom. But the more people who decided to be open and share, the more I realized I wasn’t alone in my experiences. Nearly everyone had experienced something unusual.

Now here comes the story!
I’d like to share this recent testimony with you because I want to encourage you that God has been working amongst us! It’s not just some far off story you hear about from friends of friends, or from a pastor, or on a podcast. God can use any one of us for His kingdom and you don’t have to be perfect for Him to do so! I’m so excited because He’s answering so many of my prayers in this!

So to begin, I got given a car! For free! A lovely couple who are dear friends felt that God had told them their car would be useful to me, so they obeyed (ooh sorry, is that a scary word? haha) and gave it to me! They reminded me that God was behind this and asked that I would go on to bless others out of what God had given me.
This was interesting because I have a car, it’s old and it did have some issues, however, I was happy with it. I drove the new car a bit and had lent it to a lady in need, and Pete my fiancee was able to use it when his car broke down! Eventually, I decided I needed the money more than the car and proceeded to sell it. I’d been contacted by many interested people and some of them organized to meet up and didn’t show. I was discouraged. Eventually I was contacted by a guy called Tom who asked a few questions and then decided he wanted to buy the car without having seen it! He kept his word and showed up to buy the car. He asked if I was willing to give a further discount and I actually felt prompted to do so, but I reasoned that I needed the money and I said no. Afterwards I felt convicted and felt I’d done the wrong thing.
Later when Pete and I went to bank the money, we had deep discussion which resulted in me feeling more convicted. Pete gently brought to my attention that I was holding on to my money very tightly and not being very generous and loving with my finances. I 100% believe God has been preparing me to receive this well and not be offended as before this I had been praying that God would help me use my resources well. I had been feeling trapped by my low bank balance and holding back on giving and doing so many things. I was operating from a mindset of poverty, not having much and so held on to every little bit I could.
I rang mum after this conversation and after a while she asked me if God asked me to give all my money away, would I do it? My response was “Yeah, but I wouldn’t be happy about it. And I’d have to know it was definitely God.”

A few days later I was awoken at 4am feeling uncomfortable. I couldn’t get back to sleep and felt prompted to pray. This meant I migrated to the lounge where I could pray aloud without waking my housemates. I wasn’t happy as I was tired and cold. Stroppily I sat in my desk chair wrapped in a coat, scarf and blanket. I prayed about the things that popped into mind. After about 20 minutes a verse came into mind which was John 2:5, I had to look it up and it said ‘But Jesus’ mother told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Which is from the story where Jesus turns water into wine. I thought to myself That’s very direct! What haven’t I done that Jesus has asked me to do? And what is He asking me now? Straight away Tom came to mind and that I hadn’t given him the discount on the car. Then in my mind God showed me the number $3,500… I just knew God was going to ask me to give my money away!
I checked my bank balances because I wasn’t even sure I had that much and it added up to $3,080. I asked God, why is the amount you showed me different? And I suddenly remembered I had $500 in my bedroom as money I’d taken out to pay for my next dental treatment. So I grudgingly added the $500 to the rest and by this time I was feeling that God was asking me to give all my money away every cent. After all, I said I would if I definitely knew it was God. So including my coin jar, it added up to $3,638.08! I reasoned that it wasn’t matching the number God first gave me so maybe it was just a test to see if I was willing. Or maybe God was letting me keep the $138.08 at least. So I prayed and asked, but the answer came as “What does it matter the amount of money if I’ve asked you to give it all away?” I prayed again and went to sleep.
In the morning I messaged Pete and told him the story and asked him to pray as I wasn’t yet completely convinced. He responded with I have prayed and believe that God is asking you to give it all away, every cent. And that it’s not about you just giving this money to Tom now, it’s about your heart and mindest about money and God wants you to give your money to Him for the rest of your life! I was gobsmacked! And it confirmed what I believe God had told me.
Later I found out Pete was initially very resistant to agree that God was asking me to do this and was going to say back “No way, don’t give you money away” but he’d said he would pray so he knew he should, and God showed him what he told me.
All these fears flooded my mind about how I was going to survive. Would I have to move back to South Australia with my parents or would Pete have to look after me? And then God revealed the whole lesson He was teaching me. It was a massive lesson!

He showed me that ‘my’ money is not mine, it’s God’s to use as a tool to bless people. It’s a blessing and an extra that I’ve been given and that I can survive without it. Money is not a life source, Jesus is. Money is not my security, Jesus is. If I went back to my parents or to Pete, I would be putting my security in them, but God wanted me to see that it is He that is my provider, my source of life. It is He that makes a way for me to live and that everything I own is an extra, an added blessing, a tool for His kingdom to aid in showing me and others we are loved. WOW what a wake-up call!

I cried… I felt as if I was losing someone I cared about. It was as if I was mourning at a funeral for my money. How wrongly I had been holding onto money as a source of life!

When I messaged Tom to share what God had asked me to do, he was blown away. Pete and I had agreed that I needed to write to him in such a way that pointed to God’s goodness and that the money was coming from God’s goodness and not my own. I shared with Tom that God knows who he is and sees his struggles. God cares about him and that he is worth it and that he can ask God anything!
Tom shared that he’s been having a tough time in Australia since he’d moved here and that my message about what God was giving him gave him hope!

Later after sending through the money, I sent Tom Psalm 23 and asked if He’d read it before. He said he’s never read the bible before in his life but he wanted to share something interesting with me… He proceeded to tell me that on the night I told him what the Lord wanted me to do for him, he dreamed that Jesus came to him with a bright light on his hand and said “You don’t have to worry about anything. The best is yet to come.” How cool is that?!!!!!
Tom told me he and his family believed in Hindu god’s and that the Hindu gods had never come to him in his dreams before! He thanked me from the bottom of his heart. and told me he would never forget this.
I invited him to church and he said he really wanted to come! So on that Sunday, he came, and the Sunday after, and after!!

What an amazing story hey?! What an important lesson for me to learn! I am in awe of God! This series of events just ignited my excitement for life and the future, knowing God is helping me and using me to help others. Which is an answer to my prayers!
Things aren’t always as they seem, at first I was horrified at the task and now I’m so glad it happened! Even if it was just because Tom got to experience the goodness of God. but not only did that happen; since that day people have been blessing me randomly with cash, belongings, paying for my meals, helping out with their time and love and I feel so blessed!! I haven’t lost anything and have gained so much!

God is SO GOOD!

Thanks for reading this fellow quirky souls.
Let’s stay excited and lets share our stories!
Jace