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To New Mexico and Back: My Journey of Miracles

I didn’t want to be one of those mothers. I didn’t want to fall apart when my children left home, one of those mothers that cling to their children.

As a single parent and facing the empty nest, I prayed. God, give me something new. Something to fill my time and heart. Something to ease the aloneness when my last child leaves.

And the idea of bike riding came to mind. It sounded great, but I did not have a bike, nor did I have money to buy one. Then days later an opportunity came up to get one. I was going to mow the neighbor’s yard when they were out of town in exchange for one of the bikes in her garage.

I mowed the yard, and got my bicycle, and rode when my daughter was at drama practice and all the other activities that fill the time of a senior in high school. My knees hurt; the bike was terrible. None of the gears worked. As I struggled around my neighborhood drenched in sweat, I asked God: “Is this supposed to be fun?” But as my strength grew I found myself enjoying it. And my natural competitive spirit loved the challenge. How far could I go? When I got up to 17 miles, I decided to give myself a real challenge. I had heard about a ride that a local ministry was doing. Every state would have riders pedal across their state to raise funds. Could I really do it? I asked myself. I would need a better bicycle, and I could not imagine how I would manage it.

I went online and found out that the ride for my home state of New Mexico was still open. It was only 8 weeks away and it covered about 220 miles total. I downloaded a training schedule and pondered it. Was it possible?

I decided to pray about it. I put out a test to the Lord. I said that I would do it if He could help me with three things: a new bike, the ride would still be open, and the money for the trip. All of those things were huge obstacles in my life.

The next morning I wrote to the ministry and asked if the ride was still open. They said yes. A few hours later my Mom called me at work, and I told her what I was thinking. She said that she had planned to get me a washing machine for my birthday, but would I rather have a bike instead? I wondered if I was being irresponsible to opt for the bike instead of the washing machine--but I did! I started to feel panicked, thinking that God had answered two of my three needs in half of a day. When I got home, I changed and got ready to go ride. I grabbed the mail on my way out and was halted by an envelope from the IRS. My heart pounded. Was my return wrong? Was I not going to get my expected refund? With trembling hands, I opened it, and to my great surprise it was a letter explaining that my check would be doubled because of a mistake in my favor! I now had the money for the trip.

When I came home and told my daughter that God had provided all three of my requests in one day, she was amazed, as was I. Why would God do such great miracles for a bike ride? I realized that God loves to give us the desires of our hearts. I had been through a very painful divorce and I knew it was God showing me His love.

I bought my new bike and began to train, but the bike was not good. The chain kept coming off. I called a local bike store and spoke to a woman about my dilemma. She ended up being the owner of the shop, and a single parent as well. She told me to come in and she would give me a good deal. I returned the bike and went to her store. When I walked in there was a beautiful bike—a dream bike. She ended up letting me get the bike for the exact amount of money that I had!

I began an intense training schedule, riding hundreds of miles a week. I was absolutely loving it! Soon it was time for the ride. My entire family was there and we set off on the ride. The first leg was 93 miles up and down New Mexico mountains. I had trained in Texas, so it was very difficult. I found myself speeding down mountains going 43 miles per hour. I was holding on for dear life, praying for God to keep my tires intact. What a thrill! I was riding straight up steep mountains with my teammates, reciting, “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength....” As I peddled I said over and over “my feet are like hinds’ feet…able to tread upon high places….” God gave me the strength I needed day by day. At each start my family sent me off and cheered me as I came in. My teammates chose me to lead the team in at the end. It was one of the most thrilling experiences I have ever had!

This experience was such a gift from God; it spurred me on to greater things. God’s support of me gave me the faith to believe for larger and larger things. The love of my family warmed my heart, erasing all the pain of the former time. God had met my needs many times in the past, but this time it was different. This time God gave me the desires of my heart. It was not about need, but totally about love.

(Barbara is a full time missionary now working in the U.S. She has founded an organization called Refuge City, dedicated to the establishment of safe houses for children being rescued out of sexual human trafficking.)

Article Link: http://ccmusa.org/read/read.aspx?id=chg20120204
To reuse online, please credit Challenger, Apr-Jun 2012. CCMUSA.