Stories of Faith: When God Wrecked My Plans
Meet... Tyler and Virginia Boles!
This couple is one of my faves!!!!! Virginia is one of my newest and dearest friends... boy am I glad that the Lord allowed our paths to cross.
She is wise beyond her years and a constant source of encouragement. She has an extreme love for the Lord that and a compassion to see the lost be saved... if you sit down with her for even just a minute you will discover this about her. PLUS!!! The Watson Duo (Reese Bug and Avery Ryan) LOVE her to pieces!!! Seriously... she's amazing. I know I have bragged on her on social media but I am going to take the opportunity to share how much I love her here as well!
And Tyler... you're pretty cool too I guess!!!! I mean seriously who else could we find to pray over our youth and all the "crap" in their life... Bahahah! (one of those you had to be there moments) You are such a sweet husband and friend! Your love for the next generation is written all over your face and it is so contagious! Thanks for letting me steal your lady a few nights a week. :)
Here is a little glimpse into the Boles and their Story of Faith. As you read, I hope you find yourself encouraged....I know I have!
Have you ever looked back on times in your life and noticed the bigger picture now that time has passed? You see how God has weaved together moments and events that led you to follow His will. One of the coolest things to do is to look back on my life and see how God was right there orchestrating every single event that happened. I didn’t notice it until looking back. God specifically placed people and events in my life and my husband, Tyler’s, life to lead us to pack up and move to Australia for an undecided amount of time. Through our story, I hope to share with you just how faithful our God is.
We had plans for our life. I was going to finish my graduate degree and get a job as a dietitian. Tyler was serving in youth ministry. God, however, works everything together for good to those who love Him (Rom 8:28). Although I had these plans for my life, God was slowly but surely making the desires of my heart change. He was placing ideas in my head and people in my way to make me want what HE wanted.
In February of 2015, God sent an Australian pastor to come speak to our church. That pastor told us about an opportunity to move to Aus for an extended period of time and teach students about Jesus. Had God not been working on our hearts already, we probably would have just ignored this opportunity. Tyler and I were getting married in June, I still had one more year of graduate school left, and I also had a job waiting for me. I couldn’t believe myself when we said YES to Australia! At first, I thought it was a joke, but next thing I know we are making plans with the missions’ board at the Baptist Convention. We had to forego all the plans we had made for ourselves. We had to leave our family, our house, our church, our friends, and our DOG!! AND Tyler was a youth pastor, so we had to say goodbye to the youth group! God had totally wrecked our plans!
God’s plans cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2). We were absolutely going to Australia to teach kids about Jesus! Looking back, I see how FAITHFUL my God was at every twist and turn. We didn’t have money, but through our church family, God provided. Another huge barrier is that I have Type 1 Diabetes and need insulin and medical supplies to survive. It was to the point that I prayed that God would heal me of that condition just so I could easily make it to Aus. But just because things were difficult, doesn’t mean God wasn’t right there fulfilling His plans for me. I was turned down for health insurance by the company that insures missionaries, I had to get an expensive health exam in Atlanta to secure my Visa, and on the literal last day in America my pharmacy was not wanting to give me all my medicine I needed for the year. Y’all. Let me tell you how big my God is. He took care of all of that AND some. We left the States with my year’s worth of medicine on my back, Visa in hand, and we had some money in the bank. I haven’t even gotten to the part where we taught kids about Jesus yet!
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7
Everything we did in Australia was the work of God getting ready to grow seeds He had placed us there to plant and water. Our purpose for going to Australia was to teach scripture in the public schools. The public schools in the state we were in (New South Wales) allow religion to be taught, but the churches of that religion have to supply volunteer teachers. This means any religion could be taught if there was a volunteer and a church to back them. The material that was used had to be approved to use in the schools. We were teaching a lot of un-churched kids from grades kindy to high school. Tyler and I mainly had junior high kids, year 7 and 8. Naturally, we were mocked by the students on a regular basis for what we believed and were teaching them. Also, the kids had many difficult questions that overtime we had to learn to be comfortable with answering. We dealt with serious discipline issues – as most casual teachers do. We may have never seen one make the solid decision to follow Jesus, but we saw many light bulbs go off when they began to understand more about Him. From there, God is the only one who can give growth!
We also served in a church, Life Anglican Church, where we gained the most amazing church family! We served in youth group, life groups, youth bible studies, kid’s church, and wherever they needed us. That is what made leaving Australia so hard. We absolutely love all of our new friends from Aus, so being 9000 miles away from them now that we are home has been hard!
We lived in Australia from January to December of 2016. I am so thankful that God wrecked our plans so that we would follow His! Just because things aren’t easy doesn’t mean that God isn’t faithful. God never fails—no matter what obstacle we faced, He overcame. I have always known that our God is a faithful God, but to experience it on that level stirs my soul with gratefulness!
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV
- Virginia Boles