[x_blockquote type=”left”]And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6[/x_blockquote]
Becca grew up in Jacksonville, Florida as the youngest of five kids. After her father left when she was just two years old, the kids moved in with their grandmother for a few years. “I grew up fast. I had a lot of responsibility as a kid. I had to help raise my siblings at a young age because my mom was working a lot.” When her mom got a job at a Catholic school, Becca was able to attend for free. “I came to the Catholic faith and was very confused about God after that. I didn’t understand why I had to go to a priest to have my sins forgiven, or why I had to pray these certain prayers and do the Holy Communion and all this ceremonial stuff. I knew the Lord, but it just didn’t make sense to me.”
The girl who had nothing
“We grew up very, very poor, to the point where sometimes I would go to the store and the [cashier] knew my face. One time I had to steal something because it was just so hard, we didn’t have any food. We’d go weeks on end without any food, but God still put people in our lives that gave us things. We didn’t have a car and walking back and forth every day was an embarrassment. It was hard going to a private school [and being known as] “the girl who had nothing”, who didn’t do sports just because she couldn’t afford it. I remember praying and just testing it out- I prayed ‘Alright Lord, if you’re real, I just pray for a car.’ And He answered a few months later. Then, during my eighth-grade year, my life completely changed.”
That year, Becca’s mom reconnected with an old friend that she hadn’t spoken to in 15 years. This friend began inviting the family to a different church across town where they ultimately ended up moving a few months later. At church, Becca was invited to go to a Word of Life youth camp in Florida. “As soon as I was there, I knew Word of Life was for me. I had all these doubts, like I can’t leave my mom with everything, and I didn’t have money or anyone to support me, but I applied anyway. I worked two jobs and saved enough money for the deposit and I put the deposit down at the very last minute. I applied for a lot of scholarships and most went through, to the point where I almost went for free, other than my loans.”
[x_blockquote type=”left”]“As soon as I was there, I knew Word of Life was for me. I had all these doubts, like I can’t leave my mom with everything, and I didn’t have money or anyone to support me, but I applied anyway.”[/x_blockquote]
Once Becca got to the Bible Institute, even though she had seen the Lord provide in big ways, there were still looming expenses throughout the year, like books, laundry, and school supplies. But every single time, for every single need, the Lord provided. Throughout the year, Becca learned to continually rely on the Lord as He was directing her life. “I had to learn that I can’t plan on my own plans. I always thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to do this or that.’ I can say these things but the Lord ultimately puts me into HIS plans.” Counseling at the very camp where her life had been changed was easily the highlight of the year. “That was the first time I really saw lives change, and not because of me, but because of what the Lord was doing. You could just see the Lord’s hand all over it. One of my campers had the same story as me and it was so encouraging to me that I could encourage her.”
Taking the next step
When Becca began praying about attending her sophomore year of the Bible Institute in New York, there seemed to be too many factors fighting against her. Yet again, the Lord met each need and reminded her of His power to provide. “I knew if it was the Lord’s will, it was the Lord’s bill. I really had to step out in faith, but I prayed, ‘If you provide, I’ll go.’ I checked my account and had just enough for a plane ticket to New York. It was the night before I had to be back on campus, and I was still unsure if I was going because so much was up in the air.” That night, the devotional passage that she read made it extremely clear that it was time to take another step of faith.
[x_blockquote type=”left”]I really had to step out in faith, but I prayed, ‘If you provide, I’ll go.'[/x_blockquote]
“He doesn’t bless a perfect plan, He blesses obedience and trust. Go with what you know today and trust Him with what you don’t know about tomorrow…do not be shy to go where God says to go, even when it doesn’t make sense.” -Wisdom Hunters online devotion, September 5.
That night, Becca bought her plane ticket to New York and chose to trust the Lord with the next step of her journey. Since being at the Bible Institute, she has grown in more ways than she ever imagined. “Everything has increased- my prayer life, my faith. Even looking at God and who He is. I used to look at God like He was in a box, I’ll put it Him in my pocket and take Him out when I’m ready.” She continues to see the Lord teach her more about who He is and how He loves to provide for His children. Although she has no idea where He will lead her next, she is confident that her time at the Bible Institute has set her up well for the future.
“I thought I knew the Bible [until I studied it]. This gives a great foundation for your whole life. Your life is not your own, and until you come to realize that, you won’t experience the full and abundant life that the Lord promises us.”
[x_blockquote type=”left”]Your life is not your own, and until you come to realize that, you won’t experience the full and abundant life that the Lord promises us.[/x_blockquote]