Money is funny, isn't it?
// Put your money where your mouth is // My treat // You buyin'? // Time is money // How much? // Can't afford it // Turning a profit // Cash money // Donate // Too expensive // Making it rain // Saving my pennies // I'm not made of money //
// Bottom line //
The bottom line is...we LOVE money and it makes us act funny.
I've never fundraised before in my life. The thought of asking folks for money was SUCH a foreign concept to me, I truly had no idea where to start. When I began the funding process this past November, I resorted to relying on my A-type personality. Sending letters out in groups of 10, follow-up phone calls, coffee dates to bare my soul. Guys, there were even multiple spreadsheets involved.
In my ignorance, I thought I had to beat people over the head with my good, gospel sharing, Jesus loving intentions. As if it was some sort of carnival game — hit them hard enough with the Christ Club using just the right words with just the right inflections and *ding, ding, ding* — people would see my heart's sincerity and funds would roll in.
Ya'll, I could not have been more WRONG.
The more I toiled, the slower the funds came. I liken it to treading water when you’re meant to finish an olympic race...wasting energy and not getting anywhere. Now friends, hear me clearly. It is not wrong to be organized and to execute well but it was the state of my HEART that mattered.
My fear of not being provided for manifested into control and as a result, my heart was NOT relying on God's provision. And what is faith if not reliance?
Are you tracking with me? Being consumed by fear, I called on works and control as a means to provide for myself and therefore my faith, by way of waning reliance, was diminished! I knew God’s call for the World Race was clear, but I wasn’t giving him the pleasure of getting me to the starting line. It was as if I said, “Okay God, I hear you and I’ll meet you there” rather than grasping His hand in trust as we walked along together.
But thanks be to God — He loves us too much to not teach us through our own wayward steps and forever woos us close by His Spirit.
Time for the testimony
I traveled to D.C. for work back in March and at that point, only had $7,875 in my fundraising account. Now, anyone reading would have undoubtedly scolded me, "Be more grateful, Leah. That's a huge chunk of money!" To which I would respond, "You're completely right but I am burnt out, overwhelmed, EXHAUSTED and can't see how I'll ever raise $10k more." Why? Because I wasn't relying...I was worrying and toiling.
On Sunday, March 5, I wandered about our nation's capital and out of no where, the faintest of melodies drifted through the air. My ear caught a single note and something deep in my soul not only knew the song but demanded I find its source. I glanced to my right and about 200 yards away, I stumbled upon David’s Tent located smack dab in the middle of the National Mall. That's right...I just happened to come across a 24/7 worship tent. Thanks Abba!
Long story short(er), after telling about my World Race participation, I was introduced to a middle aged, redhead woman who made up for her missing teeth with an exorbitant amount of joy. "She has the gift of prophecy!" I was told.
I’d never been exposed to prophecy before but was open to the Lord working through her. Her prayer started out 'normal' and then about halfway through there was a shift. "Thank you, Lord, for Leah's ability to dance...and thank you for her creative way with words. And Lord we just praise you for taking Leah’s fundraising out of her control. Thank you for your promise that you'll make sure she is fully funded.” We said amen and I just stared at her, tears threatening to wash my cheeks..."How do you know I dance?" I asked. "The Lord told me." she said with a smile.
What the what?!
I reasoned that if the Lord told the woman I danced, I should probably listen to the rest of His words spoken through her. I now regularly thank God for dancing and communication, neither of which I’d ever thanked Him for before. From that point on, I also stopped actively working at my fundraising — stepping out into faith and resting on the solid ground of God’s promise. I leaned in, presuming the best of the Lord and gave Him full control.
If you haven’t noticed a theme throughout my blogs...let me highlight it for you: I like control. This misplaced fondness often creates barriers to me diving into a full relationship with our Father. It accentuates my fear and increases the chasm of my heart’s deprivation. But please hear me sweet friends, there is good news! That is, there is the gospel: the Lord’s love for you and me is unfathomably richer, deeper and more captivating than anything we’d even dare to hope for and we are in more desperate need of it than we’d ever dare admit. He employs our weakness to feature His strength. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to meet us where we’re at and save us from what we would otherwise be. What better reason to let go of the reigns, throw up your hands and enjoy the ride, trusting the track He’s laid is better than anything you’d dream up on your own. He declares He has plans to prosper us! He has no intent to harm us...only to give us hope and a future [Jer 29:11].
Friends! The Lord IS faithful to fulfill His promises!
That’s right! As of July 25th, I am fully funded! Hallelujah and thanks be to God! This means I’m able to go on the Race, spreading the gospel and loving on people without the worry of finances. But far beyond the practicality, I am reminded of a beautiful truth: we are ALL a part of the body of Christ and in true partnership with each other through the Holy Spirit for HIS glory. We are not isolated followers, left alone to tackle the great commission as a solo act. Not at all! We are interwoven, a tapestry brilliantly intertwined, crafted by the all powerful hands of a personal, creator God and we are in this TOGETHER. As I do the ‘going’, I am more aware than ever it wouldn’t be possible without the Lord working in each of your lives. Thank you for tuning your heart to His and partnering as we all bring the Kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven. I love each and every one of you and am immeasurably grateful!
With all that said, the time is upon me...and us by way of partnership. After nine months of pruning and preparation, launch is here! I leave on August 3rd to meet my squad in Atlanta, where we will meet for three days in final preparation and then take off to our first country: Bogota, Columbia. I am feeling a range of emotions, from excitement to overwhelming awe.
Our partnership is NOT OVER! Please continue praying daily. Specifically prayer for:
-Strength and unity as a team
-Spiritual fervor and boldness that moves mountains
-Holy Spirit's wisdom and counsel that far exceeds worldly knowledge and understanding
-Jesus’ blessing and transformation through love, grace, mercy and justice
The rollercoaster has chugged up a mighty hill. It’s at the crest and the moment is building. Here is to letting go, letting God and living a life in HIS control.
Thanks be to God.