“Faith is trusting God no matter how impossible the odds are. Sometimes God invites us to defy the odds. Sometimes God allows the odds to be stacked against us so we can experience a miracle of divine proportions through what seems to be impossible.”
Happy Sunday! It’s Ashley again and I just wanted to bring you the last part of why I pray and fast.
As you guys know, our story is very… different. A lot of people could say, “well God has forsaken you”, “why would He take your husband from you” “he was so young to die”. Those are a lot of “normal” statements I’ve heard. Especially because, as humans, we weren’t made to deal with death. We were made to live in perfect harmony with God forever. Death wasn’t supposed to be this jarring thing. It didn’t exist before Adam and Eve sinned. So I get the statements and the questions all the time. Death is difficult for me to wrap my head around. Most days it feels like Luke is gone on a trip that he’s never coming back from. Such an odd thing to process.
Now how on earth does all of that relate to fasting and praying? I fasted and prayed before all of this. So that I could go through all of this. Franklins says that without fasting when life is good and happy, we’ll never be prepared to handle the storms that come at us.
“Spending time in fasting and prayer
—regardless of your circumstances—
is what will help you be rooted and grounded in your faith,
ready to weather any storm of the economy, your health, your family, or your job.”
That’s what has happened. To a tee. I fasted for God to work in my husband – that God would break down his pride, strengthen his heart, and give him patience. Do you know what Luke’s prayer was every day once we were in Guatemala? “That God would be glorified in our lives.” He’d never quite prayed that before. I watched things shift in Luke’s heart over the last year and a half and especially this year.
I also fasted for financial provision AND I gave extra. The Bible says in Luke 6:38; “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” I gave at times KNOWING that I was planting seeds for a time when I would NEED them way more than I needed them at the time. Our missionary support has gone up and God has provided everything I’ve ever needed before. Being a pregnant, single mom with health issues, and kids with health issues is not cheap. We’re an expensive family right now. But I’ve watched God part that sea before I ever had to think about where the funding was going to come from. That thought of where the funding will come from has still not crossed my mind and we still have precious people donating to our family.
I fasted and prayed for God’s will to be done, and it was. At some level, looking back, I knew that I would be a widow someday. In fact, I started my business a few years ago around a fear that came from a tiny thought that I would need an income outside of Luke one day. I just thought it would happen later in life, not at 27 and 28 with a baby on the way. But again, not my will but God’s will be done. His plan is always better.
We fasted and prayed for God to be glorified. And He has been! My husband died a horrific death so that hundreds of thousands of people (probably more) would be impacted. Yes, hundreds of thousands and that impact continues. Everyone in the country of Guatemala (and many surrounding countries) heard about the missionaries that were in the plane crash. The stories of lives changed flood back regularly. We had HUGE news networks pick it up in the US – New York Times and the Washington Post. Our hometowns heard of it, and I did a news special for ABC10 in San Diego. I have shared our story with friends and with strangers, via my social media, the funeral (which was streamed through social media), a Q&A with 150 people from Valley Center, CA, and I will share at a women’s conference on November 2nd. That is likely just the beginning of how God will be glorified in Luke’s death.
Why? Because there are people that needed a kick in the pants to get back to God, and even many who still do. People who needed to be challenged in the God-given callings that they’ve strayed away from. People who needed to see a woman so pregnant, who’d lost seemingly everything, live out a life full of faith because she can see God’s hand in it all. People who need to learn how to fast and pray in the good times to prepare them for the hard times.
Many would say it isn’t worth it. A mediocre faith will get you comfortable and mediocre results. Mediocre is the last thing I want – for myself or our girls. We were born and placed here for these moments, no matter how hard, and we are going to run this race well. Why? Because there’s honestly nothing better. Luke left his mark in a world where if he had lived to 80 or 90… he wouldn’t have touched nearly as many lives. The girls and I will have an even larger impact because of the springboard he left us with. God’s catapulting us forward so why would I want to stop? That’s where His favor and provision are. In my 27 years, I’ve learned that I can’t provide. I’m a VERY limited human being. I’ve learned though that leaning into God will bring all the provision needed, with copious amounts of favor stirred in. So why would I not accept His plan for our lives?
Franklin says that “Faith is trusting God no matter how impossible the odds are. Sometimes God invites us to defy the odds. Sometimes God allows the odds to be stacked against us so we can experience a miracle of divine proportions through what seems to be impossible.” I’ll take this life over everything else. That’s why I fast and pray. I choose to deny myself and press into God the first 3 days of every month, as Luke and I had done because that’s the only place I can flourish instead of just survive.
There’s a whole lot more to life than what we see. God is faithful and incredible. Join with us as we finish our fast tomorrow (Monday) and as our board meeting takes place. We pray God’s will to be done. We pray to God to be glorified. Whatever it takes. We invite you to that place too. To flourish, instead of just survive.
Pray for our staff all over Guatemala, Mexico, and the US. We pray favor from God in so many areas. We’re in the “impossible odds” phase where God is about to breakthrough. Pray also for Anya as she prepares for surgery tomorrow! Pray for full and complete healing.
Let’s finish our 30 days of prayer strong! We can’t wait to share how God has used this time, not only in the PBM board meeting tomorrow, but in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Because, as we have learned, our fasting goes far beyond the moment!