1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him; because He cares for you”
I can’t tell you how many times in the past year I’ve had to rely on that very verse. This past year has been one full of emotions and experiences, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. In fact, if I could, I’d do it all again.
Right now though, I want to tell you about what I was doing on this exact day last year. If I look back over the past year and a bit, this was the one day when it became so clear that Colorado was where God wanted me. He’d guided me to YWAM, and he’d had me apply and be accepted, but without this day I never would have gotten to America.
July 13th 2016, the day of my visa interview.
The month leading up to July 13th, had entailed A LOT of stressing; finding funds to get there, finding funds for the interview, where would I stay, why is there no consulate in Queensland (seriously still wondering about this one), but mostly, what if my visa was denied. Ultimately all these questions were not something I could answer, but a chance for me to learn to take even the smallest of worries to God.
Learning this was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced, because God came through. After spending the last of my money on the interview, I began to panic about how I’d get to Sydney. Not long after however, I learnt that my mum had to travel to Sydney for work that same week, meaning I could stay with her. Not only that, but she also had a free return flight with her credit card company, that she gave to me, to fly to Sydney with. ‘Where God guides, He provides,’ was suddenly becoming more than just a saying in my mind, it was my reality.
Very soon it was the morning of my interview, and thankfully I had gone out the night before to find where the US consulate was, to ensure I knew how long it would take me to get there. I woke up, got dressed, and walked the two blocks down the streets of Sydney, making sure I was 15 minutes early, as I’d been instructed.
Entering the huge building was slightly intimidating, and the elevators didn’t even have buttons inside, you had to pre-select the floor you wanted before entering, something I’d never seen before. Upon getting to the 10th floor I began to panic, there was a line, and not just a line once you were in the room, but a line to get into the line that was in the consulate office. Thankfully I soon learnt that the interview time I’d been given was only a guide and provided I was there, on the morning I was scheduled for, I didn’t have to worry.
Feeling more confident, I waited. I checked my documents, triple checked I had my passport and recited my speech, explaining why I was going to the US, about 100 times, in my head. Finally, after around an hour of waiting, I made it to the security line and checked in my bag and phone. The security then escorted me to a seat, where I would wait to be escorted to the 29th floor for my interview.
Upon reaching the floor where I would be interviewed I began to feel the anxiety creeping in, and said a silent prayer to calm myself. I sat in yet another seat to wait until my number was called, and watched handfuls of people be given opportunities to see a country I’ve always dreamed of visiting.
‘160!’ (I actually have no clue what number I was)
Finally, I had been called. The lady behind the counter looked at me, evidently bored of asking the same thing over and over, and took my passport, entering my details into her system. “Reason for travel?” she enquired.
I took a deep breath, ready to explain what YWAM was, what I was doing, but was cut off after just the words, ‘I’m volunteering with a mission organisation.’
“Okay, great. If you head over there you can make your payment, we’ll have your passport and visa back to you within the next two week.”
I was shocked, I’d done it. I was going to America.
But that wasn’t the end of my eventful day. As I went to pay I realised I had no clue if my pay had gone through as it was due to go in at some point that morning. I went to pay and was told I could get a visa for one year, for free, or five years for $100. I went with five years but was internally freaking out about the funds on the card I was holding (or possible lack of).
Right as I went to pay I was informed that they don’t take pin, for security reasons, and since my card wasn’t signed, I’d need cash. I quickly informed that I’d be happy to just take one year, but was advised against it and told I could be given a release slip to go get cash from the lower level, but would have to go through security again before being able to pay. While lining up and waiting all over again sounded awful, the benefits of having my visa for 5 years outweighed any minor inconvenience.
As I was escorted back to the 10th level, and given my slip of paper alerting security that I would be back, my heart was pounding, what if I didn’t have the funds in my account? It was then that I began to pray, standing in an elevator by myself. I prayed the whole way to the ATM that there’d be money there, and this could just be over with. As I checked my account, I was hit with a wave of relief, I had money, and had even been payed more than I’d expected. God was providing again.
The rest of the trip went very smoothly and saw me walking out with a huge smile on my face because, not only was I sure this was where God wanted me to go, but I was sure that God would get me there, no matter what else was thrown at me.