The Greater the Growl

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image1Hi! My name is Petty. I’m from Indonesia and my husband (Adam) is from the US. Our family moved to Tennessee a year ago after living 10 years in Asia. We have been blessed with 3 wonderful children. These are my recent spiritual blessings from GOD through Fasting, and the study of Scripture that are still fresh in my mind. Although, I have millions of stories in my life that have shown how wonderful and faithful our Father is in the past and He has not changed. I have seen how Jesus loves and saved my family.

 

Fasting, I have seen so many life events miraculously changed by God through fasting and prayer. I have seen how my fasting restored my heart and saved my marriage, has healed sickness, broken relationships, and a broken heart. Through fasting and prayer, I have seen how God changes acrisis into blessings toward my family and others. And so many times I have seen with fasting and prayer, God has changed my desperation, frustration, struggles into new hope filled with love and joy. Joel 2:12 says :

“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning”.

 

Fasting brings us closer to Him and changes our hearts! It can build our faith and strengthen intimacy with God.

A few weeks after we moved here I got text from my mom, she wanted to have surgery after bearing patiently with pain for 3 years. She said it’s gotten so bad that every morning she had a hard time even brushing her teeth; she often had migraines and it was very painful. It was hard for her to do normal activities. My heart was heavy to hear that news. I wished that Ilived closer to her as I have a super close relationship with her so that I could take care of her. Although, my mind went straight to the cost that we would need to pay. I have been supporting my Indonesian family financially since I had my first job. I had so many thoughts at that moment: the pain that she had to bear for this long, how urgent was the surgery and I wondered if there’s something other than surgery that will solve her problem. Also, how much will it cost us? Will my husband handle it well after all the problems that he has at the moment? We had a lot going on that time! I really thought that it was not the right time. They have insurance that was provided by my dad’s company before his retirement, but the amount is all relative. After so many back and forth discussions and procedures including doctor visits we decided to do the surgery. Meanwhile, my dad did research and found out that the insurance will pay max 40% of it so the rest will be our cost. On top of that, the doctor said that she will need medication and treatment for a while after the surgery,depending on her body. So who knows how much it will cost? My heart was so anxious having two places to take care of (Indonesia-America) and I’m not talking about financial anxiety only, but our transition was pretty tough with many unpleasant situations: my visa process, my husband’s company struggles, kid’s adjustments struggles, new place-new culture, etc. So I decided to fast and pray and let God’s will be done in my situation.

The surgery went well and about 1-2 weeks later after surgery the payment came due. They sent us the bills and brought good news; the amount had dropped to 20-30% from the first prediction and the best part was insurance willing to pay 90% of total cost! The treatment after surgery was not as complicated as I thought. God had heard my prayer and accepted my fasting. Praise The Lord!  My burdens became blessings for us and my heart was full of peace.

Being stuck in beautiful America is not fun!  Since I was waiting on my visa process, I cannot get a driving license and could not drive. Maybe if it was for a few weeks, I could live with it, but for almost a year being stuck in the house Monday-Friday was too much! I couldn’t go out get groceries, I couldn’t go out to the park that’s only 5mins away until my husband got home from work at 6.30pm. And sometimes when he had to travel out of town for work, I just could not go anywhere. I couldn’t go meet people or make new friends except people in our neighborhood. Sometimes just nobody stayed home as I did in the neighborhood. I felt lonely, and like an useless person. I felt high boredom, depressed and missed the life that I had before. I felt anger toward the process. It felt hopeless to wake up every morning with the same situation for months, and endure my world just around the house. Sometimes, I asked myself “What’s the difference between me and the people in prison?” The only difference is they did crimes. I have no excitement with the life we have at that moment. I became sensitive, and an angry person. It was hard to see beautiful things in here. I blamed my husband about my situation often, because I can’t help my kids to have normal activities as other kids or moms. I had to asked people that I don’t really know to help me take care of my kids for transportation. It was embarrassing. My husband is a diabetic type 1 and somehow we had a hard time to managing it too at that time. Stress from work, and the company’s struggles might have added to it. As this happened, it made his temper on and off and it wore me out. There were so many days I thought of taking the kids with me back to Indonesia. I found the devil intensively using my circumstances to make me angry against God. Anger crippling in my heart and for a while, it grew to become bitterness. When you let the evil take over your heart, you feel miserable about your life.  You think it’s worse than what it is. I tried to go out and be social, I longed for friends and fellowship but all I got just shallow relationships, and sugar-coating statements. I only heard about how great their life was, how excited their days were, yesterday-today and tomorrow, and how busy they are. What millions of things others can do and I don’t have all that! I was stuck! Many times I thought, “I don’t belong in this place!”

Through fasting and prayer GOD has shown me what my stage of life is at this point and how HE has saved my marriage, our financial struggles, saved our lives, healed sickness, provided things that we can’t do ourselves. He reminded me how HE was walking with me in every one of my battles from the past until today. GOD has shown me and spoken to me that what HE promise HE will do, again and again! I have seen how fasting and prayers have brought blessings and answered prayers all at the same time. How God sends His people to help us into our way, in a miraculously way. He creates moments that brings laughter and tears of joy during the hard times. Strangers can become good friends that we are supporting and loving our family. Confidence and comfort replaced my restless heart and I’m starting to love our new “home”.

This summer it was 90-95F outside. I had been 2 days outside, pulling weed and picking up dead leaves in around 2000 sq ft yard. I had collected bags of leaves, dead grass, and lots of weeds. I swept and washed the garage and the drive way over and over. Somehow, I wasn’t really thinking, I was just trying to be busy. I had worked for 2 hours straight and I decided to take a break. I sat on the grass and looked at the sky, and I had a little conversation with GOD. I had been fasting all day. After that I felt a breeze come so fresh over me and the heat started cooling down. My 4-year-old boy was taking nap and everything was so quiet. The sky was clear and blue, my yard looked so beautiful with all the colors from the flowers and the grass, and it was so peaceful! I heard my heart sing “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”(Psalm 118 : 24).

I have seen through fasting and prayer how the Father loves me for who I am, with all my ugly stuff and my weaknesses. He gives me strength and wisdom for every battle I have. As He said in 2 Corinthians 12:9:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my powers is made perfect in weakness”

 

My anxiety has gone! He fills me with His love, peace and contentment. I have seen God answer our family’s prayers in His best timing and way. I have seen that He changes the hearts of people I love. He gives me a new heart every day filled with His strength.

Note to myself:

“The Most Amazing blessing is NOT in receiving the perfect life of our imaginations. It is NOT getting everything we think will make us happy. Instead, it is knowing HIM and experiencing His love, this trumps every trouble”.

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