All was planned
I had been in Northern Ireland for 6 months on my own and my wife and the kids were supposed to join me for good in January 2013. Before this they came for a taste of Belfast during the Christmas period. They enjoyed the city and my Methodist friends.
After new year’s eve, they were supposed to fly back to France on the 1st of January 2013 but we were 2 minutes late at the airport and they would not let us check in.
I was so angry! For 2 minutes! I was arguing with some members of the company but they would not let them go.
Then I was arguing with wife blaming her because they spent too much time to get ready. She was blaming me because I knew we were late and I did not take a taxi but instead I still waited for the bus. We were blaming each other but it was too late to change this.
You, go to France!
We went back home and I was so tired. I called Easyjet and they agreed to refund £30 to us but I still had to buy 3 tickets for them to go.
I was not sure that was the right thing to do so I told my wife, let’s go to bed, tomorrow morning I’ll pray to see what the Lord will say.
The following morning after praying I was reading the story of Amaziah in 2 Chronicles 25 and I felt strongly in my heart: “You, go to France”. I was supposed to go back to work this very morning after 10 days holidays and this feeling in my heart would not leave me.
So I woke my wife up and told her: “I believe the Lord wants me to go to France instead of you and the kids. It’s not what I wants but this impression would not leave me.”
She was not very happy about it and she was not sure that it was the Lord talking to me. I was not sure either but there was only one way to know.
An opened door
I was supposed to go back to work that morning after 10 days holidays so I was not sure how I was going to do that. I told the Lord if it’s you who wants me to go to France, open a door for me at work so they allow to take 3 more days off.
As I went to work my manager was off. I spoke to another manager who happened to be French. I told her, I know that I am coming back from holiday but I really need 3 days off to go to France to sort out some important things.
She told me to wait as she had to check if there was enough people in on the rota. Then she told me after 2 minutes. That’s fine, you can go!
I knew from that time that The Lord wanted me to go to France but I still did not know why.
No registration paper
During my 4 days trip in France, the Lord showed up 3 times in a miraculous way but in that post, I will develop only the 3rd one.
My wife was supposed to fly back to France with the kids so she can collect the car and come back to Belfast with it. I did not have a car in Belfast and we needed the car to take my daughter to school.
So I was preparing all the stuffs that we needed to bring the car back to Belfast but I could not find the car’s registration paper (‘carte grise’). In France, you need to have this paper on top of your insurance certificate and your driving licence to be able to drive.
If you fail to show it at a control, you get a fine.
I could not find this paper and I knew that I was not allowed to drive without it. I searched everywhere for 2 days, I just could not find it. So I went to police and told them. I told them that I needed to be in Belfast with the car before Monday as my daughter is starting school on Monday.
I remember the policeman told me I can give you a document so you can drive in France temporarily but your car cannot leave France with the car with this document. The customs will not allow it. The car will stay in France.
Between doubt and faith
I carried on searching harder everywhere in the house but no result. I was thinking the Lord can make me come back but at the same time I was thinking about what the policeman had told me and I was not sure what to do. I was in 2 minds.
I knew I could trust God but I also wanted to respect the law. What a dilemma it was! The clock was ticking and I had to make a decision. I called my wife and she basically told me, “I leave it with you”.
I arrived in France on Wednesday afternoon and I wanted to go back on Saturday as the tickets for the ferries were cheaper. I was on Friday and I still had not made a decision.
I thought that I would pack the car as if I am going back with it then I’ll see what I do on Saturday morning. I woke up early on Saturday morning. I was praying the Lord to show me what to do but no insight would come to me.
The Lord was waiting on me to make a decision so I decided that I will go with the car. I knew the Lord could do it for me but I did not know if he would do it but I was ready to give it a try.
Early on the morning I organized my trip, I booked, the ferry between Calais (France) and Dover (England), then I booked the ferry between Liverpool (England) and Belfast (Northern Ireland) then I booked the hotel in Liverpool so I could rest after 7 hours drive.
I paid around £250 for all this and I knew that if the customs were stopping my car I would have lost this money and I would need to pay more to get everything sorted.
Fear and faith
The car was ready, the tickets were booked, and fear was filling my heart. In spite on the fear, I was going forward knowing that the Lord could make it for me.
I left the house and on my way I stopped by a brother in Christ. We prayed together and I was encouraged but the fear was still there.
We prayed and worshiped a bit too much because I was late for the ferry I was supposed to take. I still went and guess what ? There was no customs at all!!!
Nobody checked my car, no policeman were there, no custom ask me anything, they were all away. Praise the Lord!
I had been to England by car in the past with my brother-in-law and the customs were there but that day the Lord delivered me from their hands.
Fear was telling me to not go but Faith was telling to trust the Lord. I am glad I did not listen to Fear.
I crossed the Channel by Faith in Lord my wife was able to drive my daughter to school.
I can say with Solomon
In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight
Proverbs 3 v 6
Keep this in mind
We usually don’t like stepping in faith because we have no control on the outcome. But faith is the only way we can please our Father. Faith means trust in God and our Father is pleased when he sees us trusting him. Let’s do it in all our ways.