The young seventeen year old girl placed her suitcases in the trunk of an old greenish pacer. The pacer would be recalled for it’s make and model just three years later. However, the wide body design would provide a much welcome space for this young girl to sit quietly, wrapped in a comforting blanket her grandmother had made her, and pray silently that God would stay close to her as she made the 48 hour trek across the middle of the United States to the Bible College she would be attending.
As her suitcases hit the floor of the trunk and the echo of the metal hitting metal as the trunk closed rung in her ears, she gulped as she realized she was now alone for the first time in her life. As the car pulled away from her grandparents driveway, her heart sank just a bit lower than it had as her car, only one week earlier, had pulled out of her driveway at the home she had grown up in from fifth grade through High School graduation.
This was real, it was happening! She was leaving her home and family and driving half way across the country to attend a Bible College where she knew NO ONE except the driver of the car she now found herself in. Looking out the window of that pacer she watched as the hot, cotton fields of Arizona gave way to the red dirt mountains of New Mexico. It was dark now, night had come, but the stars reflected the light that softly lit the carved mountains that began to look more like statues as the car passed one after the other until the first light of dawn appeared. The car stopped for gas and snacks at a truck stop and then continued on through the flat plains of Kansas and Oklahoma finally arriving at it’s destination…Ozark Bible College.
The girl wasn’t sure she could bring herself to open the car door. She sat there for what seemed like an eternity contemplating the truth that lie ahead of her. She was alone now. She had made this choice believing God was calling her to full-time Christian study. She had left her family that she adored and cherished. Her mom and her sisters, all three of them, had been her life for all of her seventeen years. She missed them so much already that her heart ached with a greater pain than she had ever experienced before! She left her Dad behind also with their relationship being anything but good. She left behind her beloved Northern California with all of it’s natural beauty, it rivers, lakes, streams, mountains, and remarkable trees! She was alone, truly alone in a foreign place. Fear gripped every inch of her being. Somehow, she reached for the door handle and pushed the door open to face her “new normal.”
She heard that familiar metal sound releasing the metal on metal and opening to reveal her suitcases lying there on the trunk floor. This was real, she was now in Missouri! She pulled her suitcases from the trunk and carried them down the cement walkway leading to ‘Beaver Dorm.’ This would be her “home away from home” now. She entered room 33 and was greeted by the cutest little texan gal with a strong southern drawl! “Hi there, my name is Lexi, what’s yours?” “Lisa,” I answered, “Hi.” She continued talking in that adorable southern accent, but her words began to blend together as my mind spun out of control.
What have I done? Me, the one voted, “Least likely to leave home,” in her High School yearbook! Me, the traditionalist that held family traditions right up there with the 10 commandments! Me, the one who prioritized God first and family next!
WHAT WAS I THINKING?
Was it too late to race back to that ugly, green pacer and put it in reverse and go HOME?Everything in me cried for comfort, normalcy and the known. I was faced with exactly the opposite, and I was ALONE!
Somewhere in my panicked state my cute little texan roommate had exited. I didn’t see her go or remember her leaving but my eyes were now drawn to her reentering our dorm room.
She stretched out her hand toward me and handed me a small 3 x 3 inch plaque. Through my blurry, confused eyes I made out the reference at the bottom, Philippians 4:13!
She then placed her two hands on my two shoulders and prayed, “Dear God, please let Lisa know that she can do anything in your strength. Amen!”
Then she left the room again. A quiet strength filled my body, from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes, I suddenly knew I was not alone. Not here in that dorm room hundreds of miles away from my family and home, and not any moment of any day since!
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 (NAS)
This became my Life’s verse. From that day forward I felt God’s presence filling me with His strength and His protection. That day I replaced the lie of the enemy that I was alone, that I had to be self-sufficient and “pull myself up by my own bootstraps.” NO, God was with me wherever I was. He was my strength and He would protect me.
Do you struggle with loneliness or fear? Do you struggle with inadequacy believing you have to do it on your own? Replace that LIE with God’s TRUTH my friend.
LIE #10 – I have to be self-sufficient and I am alone.
TRUTH #10 – God gives me His strength and protection, I am not alone!
“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” II Corinthians 12:9
When you are “not enough”, He is MORE THAN ENOUGH!
When you are weak, He is STRONG!
When you are lonely, He is your COMFORTER!
When you are afraid, He is SUFFICIENT!
His power is perfected in our weakness!
MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, FOR MY POWER IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS!
As I write these words and close this Blog post, I am confident that the God who spoke those words of TRUTH over me 41 years ago and has faithfully worked them in my life regardless of my circumstances, will do the very same for you!
You too, My Friend, “can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!” Amen!
Speak Truth Love