Sabbatical year

Sabbatical Year and Money

in God we trustFrom the beginning, Emily has reminded me that this is supposed to be about trusting God’s provision. At the same time, I’ve been preparing and saving so that we would be able to self-fund this year. My plan from the beginning had been to use savings to fully self-fund our time in Spain.

Two things helped changed that mentality. First, a good friend gave us a check that she could only give us after months of saving. She said she planned to give us another check but needed more time to save. This came as a complete surprise. It came when I was still planning not to open any funding accounts or accept any financial support. We were overwhelmed and incredibly honored and blessed by our friend’s generosity. Her gift, and some others’ encouragement, showed us the real blessing it can be to receive these kinds of gifts from people.

Another friend actually called it “selfish” when I told him we didn’t plan to accept financial support. (He said it kindly, but strongly.) As I considered it more, I realized how much my original decision had to do with my own pride. This has been an area where God has already produced some great transformation in me through this process.

Second, less than a week after our friend gave us that check, we received the final cost estimate for our time serving in Spain. It was higher than we had initially planned. A lot higher.

Now we were in the position of needing to trust God with our provision when I didn’t honestly plan to before. I think Emily actually celebrated this a bit. She had never been happy with my certainty about self-funding. I didn’t celebrate — I lost some sleep. And yet, this may have been one of the best things that has happened in our early planning. I’ve had to learn in a number of ways to trust in the Lord and lean not on my own understanding/planning. None more so than financially.

We believe these plans are according to what God has called us to. And with that, we trust that God will provide — perhaps in ways we had not even considered before, and perhaps by showing us ways that we can live more simply and require less in the first place.

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