Summer Blog Series: Finding God in Unexpected Ways and Unexpected Places

by Jen Akin

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5&6

I received an unexpected phone call in the summer of 1992 from the Director of Housing at UW-Milwaukee. I would be transferring there as a junior that fall, and he had a question. “Your friend has requested to room with you, but you have not requested to room with her. What would you like to do?” To be perfectly honest, I had left the space for roommate request blank on purpose. I was fully undecided, for a myriad of reasons, as to whether it would be a good idea to room together and so had left it to someone else to decide. Clearly, that plan hadn’t worked. Caught off guard, I remember standing there debating, knowing that the question was being asked directly and I couldn’t escape the responsibility of deciding any more. I took a deep breath, decided to trust the Lord for the outcome, and said, yes, I would room with her.

That decision, while not entirely easy, was certainly not life or death. Our friendship survived the close quarters, even with a handful of hard days. What I could not have known on that summer day when I took the phone call was that my “yes” would actually lead to a much bigger “yes” down the line. That fall I wasn’t just placed with my friend from high school, I was also placed into a two-floor dorm situation where a goofy, kind, faithful young man named Steve was the Resident Assistant.

Twenty-seven years later, I look back on that phone call and recognize that my answer put me in the right place at the right time to meet my best friend and husband. That unexpected phone call had seemed difficult at the moment, it took courage to make a choice and say ‘yes’ not knowing the outcome. I can’t image, however, how much more paralyzing it would have been had I known the defining moment it would be for my adult life! In God’s graciousness, He often offers unexpected opportunities to trust Him that lead to grand defining moments that grow and shape us in ways we would never dream.

Moses’ life story holds one example after another of how God shows up in unexpected ways and in unexpected places. We get to see that his willingness to trust the Lord ultimately led to an entire people group being led out of captivity. As Pastor Bryan is exploring this story this summer, it seems only fitting that the writing team should look at the same things in our own lives. We will be sharing personal stories and experiences where we have seen God’s hand at work in ways that are ordinary and miraculous all in the same breath. We hope they are an encouragement to you.