Testimony Tuesday: Giovanna V.

May 5, 2020 | Faith, Testimony Tuesdays

Can I trust God? I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t asked myself that question over a million times. Walking by faith and not by sight is no easy task, and even though I grew up in a Christian home, it’s something I still struggle with. I’ve always believed that “God will carry you through the storm” (Isaiah 43:2) and I’ve heard countless testimonies that confirm that He will make good on His promises, but I lacked that one-on-one experience with God, which made it so hard to trust His word, to trust Him.

The time between 2015-2017 was filled with some of the best and hardest times in my life. I graduated college, moved from Iowa to California, and got married. In the midst of those big life-changing events, I was having a really hard time finding a job. In college I discovered a passion for journalism and TV production. I worked hard to gain experience while in school that would hopefully propel me to an amazing work opportunity following graduation. Internships and assurance from professors and mentors that I would be just fine, made me feel confident that I wouldn’t have an issue finding a job. Boy was that not the case.

When I first got to California, my now husband and I moved to his hometown, and after a month of us living in the same city, he decided to move an hour away to live with his dad. So there I was, in a small town by myself, living with strangers I met through a Craigslist ad, and struggling to find a job. After months of rejection e-mails, I was blessed to have gotten a job working at a popular fast-food chain in the West Coast (Jack in the Box).  At the time, it didn’t feel like a blessing. I felt embarrassed. Embarrassed that my first job right after college was frying chicken nuggets and mopping bathroom floors. My friends were off achieving big things, and I was dealing with rude customers and getting paid minimum wage. It was an extremely humbling and confusing time for me. Humbling because I felt entitled to bigger and better things, and confusing because I thought God had a purpose and a plan for my life. None of it made sense to me. I felt abandoned, ignored, and hopeless. Suddenly, I found myself questioning God.

My mom has always been all-in on Jesus, but I can’t say the same for me. I had relied on my mother’s prayers and closeness to God for my own benefit for many years, and I reached a point where I knew that was not going to work on its own anymore. I had to turn to God because this was my journey, not hers. Quite honestly, I felt like that was my only choice. I was ready to walk by faith, and I was hungry to hear God’s voice. I was ready to have my own experience with God and witness His power and His love on my own.

I remember texting Emily a lot at that time. Em knew my background and knew I had strayed from God. She would send me suggestions of churches she found online that were walking distance to where I lived at the time (I didn’t have a car back then). I think she knew it was time for me to get serious about my spiritual growth, and so did I. I found a church, committed to working on my spiritual life, and prayed this simple prayer everyday, “God, I want your will to be done in my life, whatever that is”.

After getting married in 2016, my husband and I moved in together and started a new chapter in our lives. I moved to where he was living and got two part-time jobs at the local mall. We joined an incredible church and slowly but surely I felt a change in my path. Spiritually, I never felt as close to God as I felt then. But with all the incredible changes that were happening within me, there was still resounding doubt and fear in my heart. At that point it had been almost three years since I had graduated, and still, no offers for a job in journalism. That was hard to grapple. “God, I am doing everything I feel like I should be doing. I’m applying for jobs, and I’m pouring myself into you. What is left for me to do so that you keep your promises?” All I got from those pleads was silence. Stillness. Absolutely nothing.

In the many months where I felt so close but so far away from God, I rediscovered the story of Abraham and Sarah. Sarah laughed when God promised her a baby, for which God said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at that appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (Genesis 18:13-15). That right there reignited my faith.  With tears in my eyes, I prayed, “God, do to my life as you did to Sarah’s – what seems to be the impossible.”

On December 13, 2017, I was on my lunch break at one of my part-time jobs and while checking my inbox, I came across an e-mail from a recruiter at a big TV network. The e-mail read, “I sourced your resume off our job website and I would like to move your profile to the next step in the interview process. I am scheduling 30 minute phone screens for this position next week on Monday. Can you please send me a reply with the time that you are available to chat?” I was floored. All the hours and tears I put into applying to over 500 jobs over the course of 2-3 years, and I was being invited to interview for a position that I didn’t even apply for? I knew that was all God’s doing. On February 16, 2018 I got offered the job.

Even a non-believer would agree that that was a miracle, something with no logic behind it, something that did not make sense. A girl whose first job out of school was working in a fast-food restaurant and most recent work-experiences included folding clothes and selling body lotion – that girl getting offered an extremely competitive job at a big company? What CAN’T God do? And the way He did it really showed to me how perfect He is. He prepared an opportunity for me better than any other job I had applied for. He set it all up so that I didn’t have to lift a finger. He carefully and lovingly wrapped this gift and gave it to me when the He felt I was ready to receive it.

I haven’t lived much, but I have witnessed the miracle-maker God that loves us unconditionally, moves mountains and parts waters.  The hardest part about being a Christ-follower for me is realizing that God operates on His time, and no matter how impatient we get or how hard things become, that won’t ever change. Every single thing He does has a purpose, rhyme and reason. It may not make sense to US as to why we’re in a middle of a desert with no end in sight, but it does to GOD. I believe God wanted to teach me to have the faith and patience of Sarah. I believe I was being crushed so that I could be created.

I’m reading a book by T.D. Jakes, and this stood out to me, “Could it be possible that your current predicament is the winepress God uses to transform your grapes into His wine? Could being crushed be a necessary part of the process to fulfill God’s plan for your life? Could you be on the verge of victory despite walking through the valley of broken vines?”

God never promised the journey would be easy, but if there’s one thing that is certain about the journey we’re in, is that we can trust God because He’s a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God. His love never fails and neither does His promises. If He performed a miracle in my life, I know He can and will perform one in yours.

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