“Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
and shall declare Your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works,
I will meditate.
Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, and I will tell of Your greatness.
They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
and will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.” -Psalm 145:3-7
The Lord never ceases to amaze me! I would like to tell you one story of His goodness in my life and how you can also be a part of it.
In 2013, the Lord led me to begin studying for my associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Liberty University Online. Years earlier, when I finished high school, I got my GED and chose not to pursue higher education until such time as the Lord clearly called me to do so. At the age of 31, I assumed that would never happen. When it did happen, I started my studies with a determination that I would absolutely travel to Lynchburg, VA when I finished to enjoy what will likely be my only opportunity to walk for graduation.
Six months ago, as I began to think about the fact that I would finish my studies in May 2016, I took a good look at the logistics of what a trip to Lynchburg would entail. Despite how much I wanted to be at my graduation, based on three major drawbacks, I decided to not make the trip.
1) Too expensive. While 2016 was a good time to make my next trip to the States, the cost of an additional flight to Virginia for a couple of days just didn’t seem worth it.
2) Bad timing. After my last trip to the States in 2014, I had determined that I would never travel while studying again. If I finished my studies in May, left for a trip to Virginia, then traveled to also visit Houston and Nashville to see family and friends, I would be gone for most of the summer – our busiest season in Ukraine.
3) Impractical. Thinking about it realistically, it seemed so frivolous to travel to Virginia in order to walk across a stage in front of thousands of strangers and not a single familiar face.
The day after I decided I wouldn’t go, I got a message from a friend. She had heard through the grapevine of the possibility that I might go to my graduation, and if things worked out, she let me know she might be able to drive with me from Nashville to Virginia and attend my graduation with me. Suddenly, I didn’t know what to do. I decided I should at least look into it more. When I did so, I realized my classes actually end in March and then the graduation is in May, meaning I could leave after classes end and travel to see family and friends first, returning to Ukraine immediately after graduation and in time for the start of summer. I talked to my family about my confusion and when I mentioned walking in front of strangers just for the sake of walking, they all chimed in incredulously. They assumed I would have understood that they would each do anything possible so they could attend my graduation.
In a matter of 24 hours, God had soundly countered every objection I had. It was still hard for me to accept, though. I continued to go back and forth for over a month, until one day, the lightbulb finally went off. This wasn’t a matter of what I deemed practical or impractical. This was a matter of my heavenly Father giving me a good gift! I was overcome that He would choose to bless me in this way – granting me the desire of my heart simply because He’s good. Somewhat apprehensively, I looked up what airfare might cost and almost fell off the chair when I saw a price the likes of which I don’t remember seeing in 20 years! Why? How? Why is God so good to me? In that moment, my mind was made up. I turned to my Father with open hands and accepted the gift He was offering with inexpressible gratitude.
I am so very excited about this trip and looking forward to the opportunity of spending time with so many people close to my heart, of sharing with many people all that God is doing in our ministry here in Ukraine, and of walking that stage to receive my diploma.
I don’t know exactly how things will work out with the trip. I don’t know if things will work out for me to drive from Nashville to Lynchburg or if I’ll have to fly. I don’t know if it will work out for any family or friends to be there or not. I don’t know how I will afford all of the other costs associated with the trip. But I know this is a door God has graciously opened for me and I trust He will provide for everything needed.
To that end, I would ask if you might help with some of the costs of this trip. My goal is to raise $2700, but I would also like to bless you in return for any donation you make. At this GoFundMe page, you can see some of the things I would like to bring to you from Ukraine. Thank you so much for any help you might give, and praise be to the God of abundant goodness!
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting!”