I'm not even sure how to start this post because I'm still so overwhelmed by what God has done lately, but I'll try to organize my thoughts so that it makes SOME kind of sense!
I have to start with what I had been praying for. For WHATEVER reason, for the first time in my life I seemed to be craving a reminder from God that I MATTERED. I know that seems ridiculous, and to even say it outloud feels silly because I KNOW I matter to Him. I KNOW He loves me (and each of us!) individually, intimately, personally, unconditionally, COMPLETELY. But... for the past few months questions had been popping into my head causing confusion for me and unrest. It's hard to explain the confusion because all the while the questions were popping in my head, I knew my heart knew the answer to them. But I prayed against the doubts trying to shake me (again, not doubt in God... I can't even verbalize what it was that I was beginning to wonder about) and asked God to please show me again how REAL and how PERSONAL He is. And how I, Becky Woods, matter to Him even though I know we ALL matter to Him. (I'm also a words of affirmation person, if you've ever read the book The Five Love Languages :), so I guess I was just feeling a little insecure and needing some affirmation). Anyway, that was where my heart was at. Knowing God's love to be real but longing to have the personal reminder as encouragement.
Aside from that, we had recently finished our month long road trip and had sort of given up on the idea of a van or traveling vehicle for our family happening at all or any time soon. We had prayed and hoped it would happen before we thought we needed it, but doors seemed to be shutting to the options we thought would work. So we simply prayed and told God we were happy with our toyota, and if that's what he wants us to travel in as a family, that's fine by us. And we stopped fighting and trying to find options for a van. We gave it to God. (we THOUGHT we did that to begin with but really we hadn't released full control to Him I don't think).
Last week Jonas' producer called us up and said he had unbelievable news for us. (and bear with me, I'll try to be as accurate as I can since I kind of heard it second hand from Jonas, but from my understanding this is how it all basically went down) :). A lady in Australia (who we do NOT know) called his producer up and asked if he was working with someone who's wife used to be ill...he said yes and told her about Jonas. She said God was telling her that she needs to get involved in our lives somehow and asked what we might be needing. The only thing he could think of was our needing a van, so she said she wanted to pray about it. She called him back and said 100% God was telling her to buy us a van! And so she planned it all out to be a surprise to us and ordered and bought us a BEAUTIFUL, 2012 Chevy Express Conversion van for us to travel in as a family!! It's BEYOND what we could have ever hoped for! It's literally like a limo van with ALL the extras (huge tv, wireless earphones for each seat, plush leather captains chairs, reclining chairs, back bench turns into a bed, lighting that changes color, amazing sound system, ETC!) included. So this week a gorgeous white conversion van pulled into our driveway and the keys were handed over to us!!!!! And she had mentioned that when God gives a gift he doesn't do it half way... he gives a complete gift so that we won't be left with stress or worry so she's covering the taxes and insurance on it for awhile!!!!! She made it very clear that this is NOT from her but from GOD and that she simply was being obedient to Him. She said that God wants us to know that this is to be considered a LOVE NOTE from Him and His smile of approval! (I was sobbing. Happy tears of course) And that he LAVISHLY loves us and we need to know that. She said other things that HUMBLED and AMAZED us with how God described us to her and how she was so in awe of the love she felt from Him to us. (as He loves all of us!!!! I don't say any of this to say we're loved more IN ANY WAY but it was SUCH an answer to prayer for Him to remind me personally of His amazing love!!!)
I've learned so many things from this. First of all, he hears the cries of our hearts and sees the desires of hearts and like a father he KNOWS how to give good gifts to His kids! (sorry, don't remember the Bible reference for that) And I think it's Ephesians 3:20 that says "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory..." Once we stopped trying to do it OUR way God was given complete control to do things HIS way and HIS way is ALWAYS better than ours. We think we know best for ourselves but we don't come close. And God loves to spoil his children...not with materialistic things (although I am GRATEFUL for this AMAZING van!) but with His love! What means more to me than the van is that the creator of the universe personally reminded me, just when my heart was needing it, of His individual love for me! And for Jonas! That He has His hand on our lives even when we don't see it or feel it... that He IS real and He proved that by talking to a stranger in AUSTRALIA about US and told her to provide the need we thought we had for traveling together as a family while at the same time giving her words to say from Him to us that brought HEALING to my insecurities spiritually and brought such assurance that there's no room for doubt. If the lady had just emailed us and said 'God told me about you guys and wanted you to know He loves you and has plans for you...' that would have been enough! But then God goes BEYOND our wildest dreams and shows just how He loves to bless us! (us meaning you too!) We have a GOOD God that sees us, that hears us, and not only hears us but he CARES about our hurts, no matter how silly they seem. He didn't scold me with the attitude of "you know better! You know I love you and I've reminded you time and again in the past, stop being selfish and asking me for more affirmations of my love... I have better things to do with my time than to waste it on one insecure girl in Pascoag, RI." No, he SMILES and LOVES the chance to once again wrap His arms around us and remind us of His love! I think of my sons and if one of them were to come to me and feel insecure and ask me to remind me of how much I love them, I'd LOVE the chance to scoop them up and start at the beginning and tell them about how when they were born what JOY they brought, and go through every aspect I love about them.... Our God is the same way. He created us! He made us and doesn't see us the way we see ourselves. That's something I realized too when this lady was sharing how God described us to her. Jonas and I looked at eachother confused thinking that couldn't be us she was describing! We know our flaws all too well yet God doesn't see us through our flaws and mistakes. He's aware of them, but he sees us with the potential He created us with. He sees our whole life....not just this moment. He sees us through the saving filter of Jesus, if that makes any sense. And although we're sinful, we're imperfect, we're stubborn..... He adores us! I can't grasp that. I've been struggling with that (not sure why) but not being able to understand how He can love us SO deeply and individually and fairly... and yet I'm not expected to understand HOW He loves. Just to ACCEPT His love.
So I hope that through this miraculous testimony of ours you're reminded that God IS real, He does care about YOU and your needs and your desires, and He longs to pour His love out on you. No one could love you more than He does and He longs to communicate with you. Give Him control and let Him amaze you with how He provides.
Another note, when we were on our road trip in August we were able to stop by a store Jonas had visited months before when I was still going through chemo. I forget the details of the story now but I think he had randomly run into someone who had found my name on a prayer wall in a boutique (Philanthropy) in Nashville area and had taken it to keep me in prayer. It was such a cool thing to see that someone had posted a prayer for me, and that someone else had taken it and that Jonas somehow ran into that person! So when we were there we stopped in at the boutique and I told one of the owners who I was and they remembered our story and were all teary eyed that I was a happy ending to one of their prayers on their wall. So here's a picture of that.