We want yall to stay updated through the good times and the hard...Though we would love to post a story of victory and success...these last couple of weeks have definitely been on the harder side. Arriving in Florida has seemed to bring with it one shut door after another...
We have planned on buying a national park pass since we left Texas. It would be 80 dollars to stay at any national park for a year and through it we could take showers and cook food on our grill. When we arrived in Naples, we found out that the only camping grounds for the everglades were located in homestead (though the entire tip of florida is practically the everglades). So, we picked up and moved to Homestead. When we arrived in Homestead, we tried to buy the national park pass only to learn that the pass only covers the entrance fee, not the 16 dollar a night camping fee. Since the park nearest to Homestead did not have showers, we could not afford it. So we continued to sleep in our van, waiting for the Lord to guide us.
We enjoyed a turkey dinner at Denny's and Jenna's mom so beautifully bought us a night's stay in a hotel for Thanksgiving night after 4 days of not showering. It was very much needed and so beautiful of her. The next morning we woke up to learn Memaw, Jenna's grandmother, had been in turmoil over us through the night. She woke up in the early hours of the morning and was reminded of Luke 10...when your peace does not rest but returns to you, move on from that place.
That afternoon during our Jesus time we stumbled upon Proverbs 15:22. It says "Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed." Proverbs 3:21-23 says "My son, do not lose sight of these-keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble." Throughout our lives the Lord uses people to tell us which way He desires us to walk. Scripture reveals over and over people who either followed the advise of the wise (in the Lord) or disobeyed it. Those who disobeyed it failed in their plans, just as the proverb says. The mixture of Memaw's advise, our lack of peace, and the discernment that the Lord has given us we knew it was time to move forward.
Next stop...Miami, Florida. We spent our first day in the city fasting, praying, and seeking God's guidance. Again, we were a bit overwhelmed with the lack of "success" until Monday night the Lord reminded us that He is the calm in the chaos and the peace in the storm. We began to take our eyes off of our circumstances and set our minds on whatever is true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Through the fruitful seasons and through the harsh seasons, we are called to "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice..." (Philippians 4:4). We have experienced God move in diverse and great ways since we have began this journey. Now, we are at a place where He is telling us to "Be still, and know that I am God.." Psalm 46:10.
Easier said than done. We are both do-ers, on the go, hands to the plow kind of people with such an urgency to spread the love of Christ. We took that mentality and made ourselves miserable. We walked the streets, drove around, and stretched ourselves to frustration. On top of the spiritual confusion, we were physically exhausted due to continuous sweating and lack of showering. Out of desperation to be clean, we washed our hair in the McDonald's sink (the handicap stalls have their own sink and mirrors). For more efficiency, we took our van to the self service car wash and killed two birds with one stone. Cleaning the van wasn't one of them. We washed our bodies as well as the clothes we were wearing...nothing like a high pressure shower :)
After a week of filthiness and aggravation, we were reminded of the words of Paul, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for i have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength" Philippians 4:11-13.