My family calls our home Still Waters Ranch, and there’s definitely no place like home. Miracles happen here.
God showed up poolside the day after my CPA prayed with me for financial breakthrough.
I had grabbed my Bible and journal out of the basket alongside the recliner where I usually spend time with God, and settled into an Adirondack chair in the fresh air of early morning. Perhaps the change of scenery played a role in the remarkable events that began to unfold—events connected to my prayed-for breakthrough.
Sitting in my backyard by the water under a grove of towering redwood trees reminded me of the dream I wrote about in my previous blog, Which comes first, the gifting or the gift? Gazing up at the evergreen boughs, I pondered God’s promise that Steve and I have nothing to fear during this season of drought.
As I do each time I sit with God, I closed my eyes and whispered these words: Speak Lord, for your servant is listening. In that moment, I was drawn to the 4 x 6 card I’d picked up from the bottom of the basket on a whim and tucked into my Bible before heading outside that morning. I pulled out the card to see what it said—especially curious when I recognized my own handwriting.
I recalled writing those words a few months earlier in response to receiving an overdue answer to a prayer I’d lifted up in December 2022. At the end of every year, I ask God what to focus on in the coming year. I often write His answer in order to keep it before me as a prayer request or action step. But back in December, I didn’t write it down because I didn’t understand the two words that had formed in my mind in answer to my annual prayer.
Throughout the first half of 2023, I tried to figure out what God was asking me to do. I’m a rule follower who does her best to obey God, but I had no idea what specific steps I should to take to “begin again”.
Then several months ago, I got a partial answer.
While praying and pressing into God’s directive to begin again, a scene from a really old movie flashed in my mind’s eye. I saw the darling little boy in Angel’s in the Outfield trying to comfort the despondent older boy who lived with him in foster care and who desperately wanted his family together again. The little boy, eyes full of wonder, said with more hope than a kid in that situation should have, “It could happen.”
I kept hearing those words over and over in my head. “It could happen.”
I asked God why that wide-eyed little boy haunted me, and got my partial answer when these words dropped into my spirit.
It could happen. Begin again.
That’s when I wrote on the card What if…
God let me sit with my partial answer for a while. After all, I’d grown more cynical than the movie’s older boy in foster care.
But didn’t Angels in the Outfield have a happy ending?
Hadn’t the little boy been right?
Couldn’t I begin again with all the expectations of my own youth?
It could happen. Begin again.
God had certainly orchestrated the timing of bringing that card to my attention as I sat under the mature trees in my backyard that morning. I sensed his command to begin again was tied to our financial drought. I confessed that I’d been trying to reinvent our business, but Steve and I weren’t seeing eye to eye on which direction to go.
What specific action steps did God want us to take?
I set the 4 x 6 card aside and picked up my journal to see where I’d left off in my Bible. My next set of verses to study would begin with Colossians 2:6. I read as far as verse 7 and stared at the page in awe.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (NIV)
Apparently, God wasn’t finished with tree metaphors. I knew my deep roots drank in God’s promises,
but did they also cause me to overflow with thankfulness? I clutched my pen and wrote in my journal.
How can I express my thankfulness to you when discouragement hounds me? I will surround myself with praise music all day today. I will trust you have a good plan and not blame you for allowing circumstances that cause pain. I will say, “Blessed be your name” through the deep pain of grief and loss. No matter what this day holds, you hold me and my future so I don’t have to be afraid. My mouth will declare what my heart doesn’t feel. My heart will believe what my eyes don’t see. My eyes will shine with hope in the darkness of my circumstances so that others will see you in me—your peace, your joy, your love—and so that my peace will radiate hope and all the blessings found in your presence.
I set down my pen with tears stinging my eyes and hope rushing into my heart. In that moment, I heard God whisper an action step into my soul. After nine months of asking what he meant by “begin again”, God revealed his plan.
Start a YouTube channel and call it @BeginAgainGod.
Oh my! It’s a good thing I was outside of my husband’s earshot because I said out loud, “Lord, I can’t tell Steve that. You are going to have to tell him.”
Four days passed and I didn’t say a word. But I knew in my spirit that God had given me marching orders. I began to believe that Steve and I were destined to launch a YouTube channel. I kept praying, “Lord, if you want this, if this is your will, then you will be the one to tell Steve.”
Then a miracle happened.
(And I’m not talking about the miracle of me keeping my mouth shut for four days!) I’d been at my daughter’s house all day with my darling granddaughters and came home to find Steve excited to show me something.
“Sit right here,” he said, gesturing to the sofa in front of our television. He turned on a YouTube video of a man who testified to how he had monetized his YouTube channel and was earning a respectable income doing what he had always been doing—teaching Bible study.
“How did you find this?” I asked, tears gathering in the corners of my eyes.
“I don’t know. I was just browsing and it caught my eye.” He looked from the TV screen to where I sat, now openly weeping. “Why are you crying?”
I wasn’t ready to answer. “What are you saying by showing me this? Are you thinking we should do YouTube videos with my Bible teaching?”
“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m thinking,” he said. “I never knew you could earn a living with YouTube. God has been telling us to build the Kingdom, but we need to make money. I think this is a way we could do both.”
“I think you’re right.” I told Steve what God had revealed to me four days earlier, and we began to draw up a plan that included writing a vision statement, which I printed on a card like the one I’d read under the trees.
Both cards sit side-by-side on my desk.
Will YouTube provide us with more annual income than our company ever did? I don’t know. Will our biblically based content attract viewers like it did for the pastor who inspired us with his testimony? I don’t know. Will anyone find my channel in the ocean of content creators on YouTube? I don’t know.
But here’s what I do know.
It could happen.
No matter what tomorrow holds, I plan to look at the future with all the wisdom of my years and all the expectations of my youth.
I invite you to visit my YouTube channel @BeginAgainGod and subscribe. I pray the messages keep you rooted and built up in Christ Jesus, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.