“For God, the Faithful One, is not unfair. How can he forget the beautiful work you have done for him? He remembers the love you demonstrate as you continually serve his beloved ones for the glory of his name...so don’t allow your hearts to grow dull or lose your enthusiasm, but follow the example of those who fully received what God has promised because of their strong faith and patient endurance.”
Hebrews 6:10-12 TPT
Sometimes God calls us to something that is unknown and unexpected. Other times, God makes it so clear to us what he is calling us to do, but in order to be used for the extraordinary purposes He has planned, we have to step out of what is safe and comfortable into a raging sea of storms. Jeremiah and I were both very involved and a part of a very influential church in Toronto called Vantage Church (a Hillsong Church plant). Although we were involved and busy in this church, we felt a stirring in our heart that could not be put into words, but gave us a sense that a change was coming. Through many confirmations and promptings from the Holy Spirit, we decided that God was definitely calling us to Siren, WI to bring the hope of Jesus to people, awaken them to His Kingdom and encourage them in their purpose and calling. In 2012 the storms started to set in, the moment we stepped out and took those first steps of faith. Adventure Church at that time was in need of a youth pastor and worship pastor. We knew that the immigration process for me would be unpredictable, but we were hoping after reading and researching that 6 months later I would be able to move to America and join my husband. What we didn’t know, is that we both would be separated for the first two years of our marriage due to immigration. I had recently graduated with my honors degree in Leadership with a focus on International Development. We both did not have a dollar to our name and were so focused on serving Jesus, we just trusted that he would provide for us along the way. I worked at a children’s hospital and kept up a waitressing job and moved in with my parents for what was supposed to be a couple months.
Month after month started passing by and we were still just at the beginning phase of the immigration process. Jeremiah and I could not financially afford for me to live in America without a green card and so I kept being faithful with what was in my hand and even though I lived far from him, I would pray for great things over the Siren community and the people of our church that I had only met a handful of times. With each passing month, my heart grew more discouraged in my flesh, yet in my spirit, I felt that God had something great in store on the other side of my pain. I was very depressed as so many transitions and unexpected events happened along the way. One of which led to both of us being threatened by someone randomly in Wisconsin and resulted in Jeremiah’s family losing their entire home and everything they had owned. This led to dealing with intense fear, but in my Spirit, a greater determination that God was going to do something miraculous and that all these trials would be seeds to revival in our community in Wisconsin. During all these events I was still living in Canada. Life just seemed miserable and that everything around me seemed to be falling apart. I continued to hold onto hope in the midst of my discouragement that God had a purpose and a plan. As I would seek Him, I could see that He wanted to use me to reach children and youth when I would eventually move there. I began preparing and dreaming for what that could be. Sometimes, when we cannot see the plan, we have to trust the purpose, and that God uses everything for His will.
After traveling to Montreal, an 8 hour trek one way, I was approved for my green card. We were only weeks away from being united forever, and we still had no where to move into. We had been searching for one year for a house. Many times, we thought we found the ‘perfect’ place, but something would fall through and the door always closed. The day before I moved to the United States which was June 14, 2014, God led my father-in-law to our now house which was for sale, while he was on his way to church. Our house was better than any of the ‘perfect’ options we found earlier. It was move in ready, was beautifully remodeled, and was entry level, the only option we could afford with the financial support of my family. This house was one sign and miracle that God had a place for us here and this was part of his plan. He also provided an amazing job at the Grantsburg School District where I serve as the Community Education Director and work with children and youth.
Sometimes our dreams don’t always turn out as planned. When our dreams are surrendered to Jesus, and we give everything to follow Him, he leads us along our path for His Kingdom purposes. Even though we question the plan in which He is using us, we must be assured of his purposes for us. His purpose for us is to be in relationship with Him and to live our lives as a blessing for others. He showed us this love - at all costs - by way of the cross - the least I can do is lay down my life for His cause.
Be blessed by this song, and know that on the other side of your suffering and sacrifice is God's perfect plan for your life, your miracle and your breakthrough. New Wine - by Hillsong Worship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ozGKlOzEVc
“But you, Israel, are my servant.
You’re Jacob, my first choice,
descendants of my good friend Abraham.
I pulled you in from all over the world,
called you in from every dark corner of the earth,
Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side.
I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’
Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
Isaiah 41:8-10 MSG
Written by Bek Stavne