Monday, December 16, 2013

What I Learned Fundraising

Today officially marks the end of fundraising. For those who don't know, as of Saturday afternoon, the funds exceeded my goal. 

I found this out just as I was sitting down for a lunch date with Jesus. I can't tell you what filled me first, complete shock or teensy tears of joy. I was simply logging in to give an update, and boom, just like that it was done. 

In 2 and a half days, $975 were raised. That's crazy, folks. That's Jesus. 

I have no doubts that my journey with this mission trip is just beginning {hello, haven't even left yet}, but I have to admit that fundraising has been one giant journey of its own. And so tonight, I sit down to reflect on allll that I learned in this season. 


First and foremost, I learned that I have been blessed with some fan-flippin-tastic people in my life {that's you}. Even towards the very end, God brought some new people into my life who were critical in giving me the encouragement needed to keep pushing on. 

I learned that it's okay to ask for help, and it's okay for people to say no. It usually didn't happen in those exact words, but having to raise support really showed me how afraid I can be of those things. 

I learned that fundraising will look different for each person, and that's okay. I would get in moments of having to fight guilt that didn't need to be there, guilt about not sending out support letters, or not putting together a blog giveaway, guilt about not trying hard enough. But the fact of the matter is, nothing of eternal value comes from us trying at all. It all comes from Him. 

Fundraising for me felt a lot like witnessing in general. Everybody witnesses for Jesus differently. I have found that the most effective and loving ways for me to witness are when Jesus naturally flows into conversation {which is quite often}, and when He naturally flows into my blog posts {which is also quite often}. It seems like the more comfortable I get sharing in those situations, the more they pop up. The authenticity comes across to my friends, family and blog readers, and that's exactly how fundraising was for me. I had to be authentic, and there were just some things that didn't feel authentic for me. And that's okay. 

I tangibly saw that all things are possible with God. There were honestly moments that I didn't think this would happen, a lot of them. And in every moment of doubt, there was the gentle, loving voice of God. "Just watch me girlfriend. Watch me raise every. single. penny." {Okay, maybe I added the "girlfriend"}

I am so, so, so thankful for this process. I am thankful for the ways that it stretched me, and the ways that it made me appreciate all of the support I received. The financial support, the prayers, the words of encouragement, the advice, the "how is your fundraising going?" questions, everything. 

For those who don't know how this thing started, I can 100% say that I would not be going on this trip if it weren't for blogging. This is true for obvious reasons, and not-so-obvious reasons. Blogging led me to my friendship with Diana, who I will be meeting for the first time in real life on our plane to Uganda {there will be squealing & hugging involved}. 

But the not-so-obvious truth is that I would not be where I am in my walk with the Lord today if it weren't for blogging. I have no doubts that God put Sweet Home Santa Barbara in my life 5 months before I really committed my life to Him for a reason. Having blogging led me to women who became like mentors to me {like this one}. I saw them living radically, on fire for Christ, and I wanted that. 

And so, I end this post with one giant thank you. To everyone, really. This little space of internet world has had such a profound impact on me, and I hope and pray that it impacts those who come & share it with me. 

I love you guys. A whole, whole lot. 


Heather Leigh @ Like a Morning cup of coffee said...

YAAAAY!! SO awesome. :)

Hilda said...

Alright girl!! Anything is possible. Be prepared for a wonderful journey of teaching the people of uganda all about God. **thumb up

Danielle McNulty said...

So exciting! So happy for you!

And this post is so true.. for 3 years I fund raised as a missionary and I did it differently than others and I was looked down upon because it wasn't how it was 'supposed' to be done.

Leah said...

to say i'm amazed, it's an understatement. i know i can't tell you enough how excited and thrilled i am for you and what God is doing for you. in everything, I can see His hand all over it. Praise Him!

Finley S said...

That is so so fantastic!!! This is just the start for you of something awesome!!!

Angela said...

Congrats girl!! That is amazing!

Miss.AishaLC said...

Wow! What a blessing! Congrats girl!


Pamela said...

So awesome! So will you be flying to NC to meet her??

Sybil Brun said...

Awee yeahhh! I love this precious post SO much! Cannot believe how much I smiled, laughed out loud, and felt edified, all from reading this one short God glorifying post! Love you bunches!! PS - nothing of eternal value comes from us trying at all -- Yes! thank you for that essential reminder!!