This duplex, the one Bryn, a friend, and I moved into last October, represents a lot of things. When we first moved in, it represented God growing and stretching my faith to deeper levels. He did everything He warned me about. He told me specifically,
“I want to stretch your faith more than if you just lived in the girl’s dorms on campus at YWAM.”
Like normal people do. But God has never done things normal for me and this situation, though painful, is not a surprise to Him.
To keep it brief, let me put it this way–a lot of pain and tears were sown in this house. A lot of moments with Jesus where He was peeling away the useless and dark burdens my heart had accepted, could never have happened if He hadn’t challenged me to TRUST. He proved Himself so faithful, so reliable, so fatherly in the way He continuously provided for me.
A few months into living in this house, the crackling thunder grew louder in the distance of my heart. “Bryn, we know we have to do the right thing. We have to be strong.” I would tell her this and myself as signs of turbulence stretched before our eyes.
Now, we’re roommate-less, friendless, and penniless. Our roommate left us high & dry, refusing phone calls/texts of reconciliation and refusing to pay her agreed upon half of rent until the remainder of October in the event we couldn’t find a roommate. We were forced to move back into our parent’s house, which THANKFULLY, was an option. Our parents are the most selfless people ever.
Our lease isn’t up until the end of October, but we were told by the landlord, if we moved out & continued paying rent until a renter came, we’d only have to pay the reletting fee. Sounds reasonable. Except for the part that we our ex-roommate/friend stopped paying after May, leaving Bryn and I scrambling financially to pay an additional amount of money.
As this process has unfolded, there’s been through many angry tears, hopelessness, and discouragement. Bryn and I have been fighting this battle together with no end in sight and not entirely sure if we’re even doing the right thing. Our tails tucked between our legs, God has repeated over & over & over & over again,
Never have I wrestled with this word so much in my entire life. Never have I wanted justice so badly in a never-ending situation. Never have I looked to God with such hopelessness and desperation for answers, for peace, for joy, for anything.
I know this sounds dramatic, but it’s how it feels. And through it all, God is calling me to remember. REMEMBER how good He is. REMEMBER how He provided for months on end. REMEMBER how He sees into every heart & situation. But my humanity screams back at Him, “REMEMBER me? I’m the one suffering. Bryn’s the one struggling.”
I’ve been waking up every morning with “Jesus, I trust You.” on my lips as my act of worship. Because some days, the battle tears you up and you can’t see the end of the millions of soldiers with flinging swords and angry eyes. But with that phrase, I can see His eyes, full of JOY, full of PATIENCE, full of EXPECTANCY, and HOPE.
Who knows why God allows heartbreak, but the answer must be important enough because God allows His heart to break, too. –Ann Voskamp
So, I ask you to pray. Pray for a renter. Pray for peace in our hearts & trust that God will help us stand against the enemy. Because we know this is the enemy–not a person.
All that being said, me and Bryn’s moving back home will lessen the financial burden & we’ll find out the end of the month, what the landlord’s next steps will be for us. Last month, we took on our roommate’s portion of rent and drained our finances. Lesson learned: never rent a place you can’t afford if one of you leave. I’m TRUSTing God has answers, resolutions, and HOPE.
If you feel pressed upon your heart to financially support me at this time as I get financially back on my feet, please send any amount to: YWAM Tyler PO 3000 Lindale, Texas 75771. My name can go ONLY on the envelope and NO WHERE on the check if that’s how you choose to give. Any amount is a huge help right now. Otherwise, you can Cash App me: $HayleyWestbrook or PayPal: Hayley Westbrook.
Bryn and I covet your prayers.
The rest of it–my work at YWAM, the calling God placed on my heart, the reason I’m in the season–it’s all on purpose. I’m as fiery as ever to see His kingdom come in the lives of the broken, despairing, and destitute.
I’ll be working with the upcoming DTS students’ children. Yes! God opened a door of opportunity for the Arts Department to teach, train, and encourage the children of the DTS school into missions. Their parents will attend the usual DTS course, but we’ll have them all day a few times a month where they’ll have their own “mini DTS”, learning alongside their parents, but also recognizing their own calling in their families as missionary children. We’re expecting God to work in a lot of hearts, including ours!
“Take Courage” My anthem for 2017.