I read this in my time with God this morning:
"At the end of four hundred and thirty years, on that very day, all the companies of the Lord went out of the land of Egypt." -Ex 12:41
It was fitting that I would read this today, because today-December 13th ( also, Billie Kinnaird's birthday...Happy Birthday Billie! ) 2004 I left New Zealand.
As many of you know, I had lived in New Zealand for almost three years while I attended the University of Otago. It had truly been one of the most wonderful, life changing times in my life. I had met amazing friends, lived in the most beautiful country in the world, and my relationship with God had grown like it never had before.
But, then, even with several opportunities to stay in NZ after graduating-God straight-up told me to leave. To this day I cannot remember exactly how He told me to leave, ( which is odd), but I do remember it being non-negotiable. I was suppose to go back to Texas. I was suppose to be there for my family. Period. Do it. Go.
I did ask God, though, if I could just stay in Texas for two and a half years. If maybe I wouldn't have to stay there forever. I asked if maybe after two and a half years-and I had done my "duty" I could leave?!
( I think secretly in my mind I thought I could come back to New Zealand after that amount of time..hehe)
And so I left and I cried and cried on that plane ride back to Texas....and you know what?! I got there...and...
it was awful. HAHA! You thought I was going to say that it was awesome, didn't you?!? Because that's USUALLY how these God-stories go ( all perfectly tied up in a bow all "testimony ready") ...but that's not the case.
You can ask my sister, and the rest of my family...but she and I crawled through THE hardest year of my life thus far-and that's counting the year that Brett was deployed!!
Every single day was difficult. And there were lots of times I just wanted to get on a plane and head back to New Zealand where it was "nice".
But, I stayed and we all fought it out. And during those hard times I learned a lot about God. In Exodus ( Exodus 10 verse 2) it talks about the plagues that God brings upon the Egyptians so that the Israelites will be able to tell their children and their grandchildren what God has done..." so that you may know that I am the Lord." The year of 2005 was a year of Faith Testing. And because of all the testing I was left knowing that, even when things are awful, and terribly sad, God is still God. And I knew then, without a shadow of a doubt that He was the Lord. I plan on telling Ransom this-and many other stories like it- in the hopes that, he too, will know that He is Lord.
So, time passed and I met Brett and we got engaged and we were planning our wedding for July 14th 2007. And then one day, I was doing my quiet time I was reminded in the tiniest of whispers-of the time I asked God if I could just stay in Texas for two and a half years. And the whisper told me to figure up how long two and a half years was...( lets all remember I was an ENGLISH MAJOR...math takes some effort! hehe!) And there it was...Brett and I were getting married and I was leaving Texas for good exactly 2 years, six months and ONE DAY after coming back.
Whether its 400 years or two years, or six months or one week...Time is nothing to God. As it said in Exodus, "on that very day"...not a day too early or a day too late-God called His people out of a time of slavery and despair.
I am greatly comforted by this lesson again today. Because there are a lot of things I'm praying for that have yet to be answered. And I may feel like we're unfairly suffering for 400 years like the Israelites. But I should know- we should ALL know that, when the time is right, ON THAT VERY DAY...God will act and He will show Himself Lord.