This is my journey...

Here is a post from Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven LifeIn each point, see if I am responding according to the will of God or if this is all just made up by my earthly desires...

The Six Phases of Faith

Phase 1—Dream: Do I have a dream planted in me by God? If you don't have a dream, start praying, "God give me your dream." If you can't write down the dream God has given you, you need to be praying. If you don't have a dream, you're not living, you're just existing. God placed you on this earth for a purpose. 

My response then:  I dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina.  Since I was 9, that's all I ever dreamed of.  It's an earthly desire to have self satisfaction...

My response now:  I am dreaming of girls in tutus, dancing to glorify our Lord, girls encouraging each other to be their best, girls who are in love with God's word and sharing them to their audience thru dance.  I dream to be with these girls and grow as a Christian with them.

With this dream, I believe it was planted by God, it is His dream too, and since I was 9, or even from birth, He already had it blueprinted... it was no accident that I took ballet lessons and loved it, there was a purpose.  And this dream, He will make it happen.

Phase 2—Decision: Do I need to make a faith-decision that will help that dream become a reality? Some of you have a dream from God, but you haven't made a decision to follow it. You're still on the fence. God's word for you is "Go for it!" Some of you may need to make the decision to give your life to Christ. Some of you may need to make the decision to join a church. Some of you may need to make the decision to get involved in ministry.

My response then:  It took a lot of faith when we had to leave a comfortable life in the Philippines, but sometimes our faith is tested, and we fail... We did not have enough money to support a family of five (plus a dog) and that situation, sadly, crumbled our faith, even though God would always show us His miracles in the form of shelter, transportation, food and clothing.  We jumped off decisions without consulting the Lord, and of course, those decisions did not turn out as planned.

My response now:  I am focusing on the dream that He planted in me.  I will go for it!  Here's a clear picture... I lost the job I wasn't made for, and He showed me His church...and a glimpse of the reality to the dream through my new job, back to teaching ballet... Readers, I ask you to pray for me, that I may not lose track again and jump ahead.

Phase 3—Delay: What has caused my dream to be delayed? If your prayer hasn't been answered, that's okay. It just means you're in God's waiting room. Now is not the time to detour. When things don't happen on our timetable, we tend to run ahead of God and create detours to make it happen. You may end up making the wrong decision.  Wait, wait, and wait for God to work his hand. 

My response then:  When I had the wrong dreams, I take actions to get it.  When my wallet was almost empty, I call on my relatives and friends to help me.  I can't even remember if I prayed.

My response now: My wallet is empty... wait on the Lord, let Him perform a miracle.  And He does!  And my dream? I'm sure He will deliver so for now, I am in the waiting room after doing what was only necessary.

Phase 4—Difficulty: What difficulties have I faced waiting for the dream to be fulfilled? You are being tested, but it's not going to be the last time. You'll go through many, many tests in life. God says, "I know exactly what you're going through. I see it.  I'm watching. Don't think I've forgotten you—I haven't."

My response then:  I have lost track so many times by listening to others - "you should do this, do that, don't do this, don't do that..."  they may mean well, but back then, I did not know who I was dealing with...

My response now:  I believe that God is watching and hasn't forgotten.  The dream was conceived, it will be born.

Phase 5—Dead End: Have I come to a dead end yet? Some of you are there ready to give up. But the truth is—you're right where God wants you. You're getting prepared for deliverance. God's word for you is "Hang on! Keep on believing! Don't give up!" 

My response then:  No, it can't be the dead end, there must be a way.  And I dig holes which just made me deeper into it.  And then I came to a point of almost giving up.   I almost gave up things that are so important in my life!  And this was when I did not have Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Mt response now:  Looking at my present dream, it may look like a dead end as there's really nothing more I can do but wait.  I won't dare dig deeper holes because I learned... deeper holes means its darker, and that's where I lose track.  So believe me, I'm hangin' in there!

Phase 6—Deliverance: Do I expect and trust God to deliver me? "According to your faith will it be done to you." (Matthew 9:29 NIV) God is faithful. What he tells us to do, he will do. But it doesn't happen overnight. You go through the faith-phases of Dream, Decision, Delay, Difficulty, and Dead End . . . and then comes Deliverance.

... looks like I've been through the process!  Oh I can't wait... ooops, I have to wait!  My faith just grew a muscle, yeah!!!

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Introduction: This will be a series of blogs since the whole story might take so much of your time if I do it all in one sitting. I hope you guys follow the series, and hoping that our God touches your hearts as you read on.

How It All Began...

I never dreamt of going abroad. Being raised in a close knit family, the thought of leaving home gives me cold feet. Having an American Citizen husband did not change that at all. He just had to stay with me for twelve years in the Philippines even when it was so easy to petition me. He just can't convince me to go.

Then kids came, three of them. They started going to school... growing up... English was their first language, and the only language they spoke before school. I did not expect it to be a disadvantage, but contrary to my belief, the kids had to adjust quickly, due to Filipino subjects, and more, Filipino speaking classmates and teachers, which became the struggle for at least one of my kids...

Knowing that she can't adapt, she requested if she could study in the States. She, being only 7 years old at that time, opened my eyes to the needs of others, and made me forget about my own comfort zones. This is how God showed me His plan.

Our First Step

We registered the three children to the US Embassy in 2006, and they were recognized US Citizens. They were given a Certificate of Birth Abroad and a US Passport. Of course there were fees to pay, so the petition (for me) did not happen soon after the children's paperwork...

In the next few days, you will see God's work becoming a reality in my life. Stay tuned... and thanks for reading to the end...

This is the second part of the series, How God Changed My Heart...

We just couldn't start on the petition process because the budget just won't allow. Until my husband's aunt sent an email telling my husband to go ahead and send the petition papers to her and she will take care of the fees. We sent it in July 2007when the fee was $157. By August of the same year they adjusted the fee to $355!This is what you call "God's timing is always perfect".

There were other fees after filing the petition, and thanks to my brother for taking care of the $400 visa application fee, and my husband's sister for the $70 Affidavit of Support Fee. Although we have to pay them back, it was still a blessing that my husband and I never had to be stressed thinking of all these fees when we had to make ends meet each month... feeding, clothing, educating three children??? That's how God provides for us, never short, never too much, and still always at the right time.

This is the last part of the series, How God Changed My Heart...

August, 2009
We finally arrived US soil - with very little pocket money, and a lot of faith.  We temporarily stayed in relatives' homes until a job was offered and we were able to move in our own apartment.  Everything we needed from the day we arrived came at the right time (talking about God's perfect time!).  A home, a car (on my birthday - a friend gave us a VAN!!!) a job, even my dog's meal was provided! Yes, I brought my shih tzu from the Philippines.

But things happen for a reason.  The job I had, as a medical receptionist, did not last.  I worked for four months, and was about to get my medical benefits... I was in a tough situation... where will I get the money for rent, gas, food?  But in my situation, my faith just grew stronger.  Never did I worry where to find money for all our needs.  I have experienced God before, He always provided, so why worry when I have a GREAT GOD!  No questions why I lost the source of income... my job isn't really the source - you guessed it... God provides, so if my stint as medical receptionist ended, He must be showing me HIS BLUEPRINT.

Okay, Lord, I see it.  Let's build it together.

(You wanna know what He's up to?  Come back soon and see what He showed me.)

Things happen for a reason

Surprisingly, when my boss told me the bad news, it did not seem like bad news to me at all.  Before he started talking to me, he has prepared a box of tissue and water.  And he called in another supervisor to back him up with his decision.  He terminated me!  In my thoughts, whatever it was that led him to that decision, it wasn't fair.  But before he broke the news I had already prayed to Jesus to back me up, lead me to what I'm to say, and strengthen me (as I already had the feeling he will do it).  No, that box of tissue just sat there - sorry.  I accepted the man's decision with an open mind, and a lot of faith.  This happened on February 1, 2010.  That's the end of my stint in the medical field which many believe is the best opportunity nowadays.

In the natural realm, it may be so.  But I am called for something.  Not there.  This gift of dance has to mean something.  Why did God give this to me?  An answer came thru a nearby dance center.  The owner gladly took me to teach some of her students.  And I got good reviews from the parents, too.  That was just a confirmation that I am for this world, the ballet world. 

But it doesn't end there.  What's the bigger picture? So yeah, I am teaching again, so how can God use this for His glory?