Well, this has been a trying week. On Monday, I went to Manta to see an attorney about my visa issue. The long-term solution is still a tangled, complicated mess. In the short term, it was an all day ordeal with 3 trips to the visa office to apply for my extension – and then they said they would call on Wednesday to let me know if it was approved! Nothing like the possibility that you will have to pack up and leave the country in a few days to make for a stressful situation (and my biggest concern at that thought was Charcoal)! I was amazed that morning as I rode in the back of a taxi by myself for an hour along winding roads, with my driver driving as crazy as all Ecuadorians do, at the peace I had. But I have to admit, by the time I made it home that evening (with more than just visa issues going wrong that day), my faith was a bit shaken. Not that I did not believe I am where I am supposed to be, but I was second guessing some recent events and if I was hearing from God correctly and responding as He would have me to. I am so grateful for my “mayday” sisters and prayer warriors Deanna & Rissa. They listened, prayed and spoke God’s truth to me to help restore my peace. As I said previously, I’ve been doing some serious “spiritual warfare” lately and am feeling the weariness of the battle.
I have honestly felt like I’ve been desperately clinging to God (I’ve been here many times before and it is a good place to be!) But in times like these, I remind myself of the truth (and standing watching the powerful ocean waves is a wonderful place to do that!) That the God I know and serve Who loves me more than any other, is mighty to save and He delights in coming through when things look most desperate. If you don’t believe that, just look at the children of Israel with Pharaoh’s army bearing down on them and their backs against the Red Sea and remember that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were IN the fire and Danial was IN the lions den when they were rescued. I once heard someone say in a sermon back in the U.S. that one of the reasons the western church sees so little of the power of God, is because we control our lives to keep them “safe” and rarely allow ourselves to be put in circumstances where, if God doesn’t show up, we are “toast”.
And, as my friend Deanna so wonderfully reminded me that night, even if the worst case scenario in my mind were to happen, God is still in it and still in control and He will see me through it. I can say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope/trust in Him.” (Job 13:15)
I am grateful to report that I received word yesterday that my 180 day visa extension was approved (although I still cannot go to make it official until Monday). With this hurdle behind me, I can now focus on how to deal with correcting the other issues to apply for my permanent visa. And I trust that no matter how difficult, costly and unpleasant the process, God will see me through it (as if I haven’t been through enough in my life to have learned that by now!)
Here is the music video to a song that has long given me strength in difficult times – “Hope Now” by Addison Road. Whenever I feel I’m in a desperate, “end of my rope” situation, this song always brings restoration to my soul – may it bless you as well:
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30)