God Gives More Than You Ask or Imagine

The first seven years of my life were spent in Ethiopia. I remember life there being very challenging. Water was scarce. Food was scarce. I feared the weather, as it contributed to the scarcity of food and could also often lead to the lack of shelter. Nothing was easy or convenient as I look back on life in Ethiopia. There was no need to track our steps each day with a Fitbit, as survival required many, many daily steps. And death was a constant in our village. It seemed that someone near me was always grieving the loss of someone they loved. My family experienced this kind of loss as well when my older brother and dad died. My younger brother and I still grieve these losses each day.

But God... Throughout the harshest of circumstances that I experienced in Ethiopia, God was a constant source of hope and strength for me. I was blessed to have a mom who loved the Lord. I cherish the memories I have of her worshiping God with her whole being. I knew her circumstances weren’t easy, but I also knew she trusted God in the midst of those difficult circumstances. It was clear that she did not measure God’s faithfulness to her by the ease of her life. Instead, the tougher life got the more she leaned on him and trusted him.

Psalm 28:7 reminds me of my mom: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” If my mom’s understanding of God had been based on her life’s circumstances, she likely would have thought that God was unkind and unloving. However, she chose to understand that God is good and kind and loving regardless of life’s ever-changing circumstances. This gave her strength and joy no matter what we were facing.

This understanding of God became an anchor for me as well. After my dad and brother died, my mom made the very difficult decision to bring my younger brother and me to a local orphanage. Watching my mom walk away that day is a vivid memory for me. I felt abandoned and confused. Of all the challenges I had already faced, this was the most difficult.

But God... God did not abandon me. He stayed with me and my brother each step of the way. His grace and kindness were with us and went before us through all the ups and downs of that year spent in the orphanage. God also had not abandoned my mom. I later learned that her deepest prayer was that her children’s adoptive family would be one who loved the Lord and would continue to teach her children about Jesus. She had no control over who would adopt her children, but God heard and answered her prayer. When she met my parents and found out that they love and trust Jesus, she dropped to her knees in worship. I’m sure when she found out my dad is a pastor, it was an extra special blessing and evidence of how God gives us more than we even ask or imagine.

My mom’s example of faith has shaped where I find hope, joy, and strength. Often, we look for these things in places that only lead to disappointment. May we all learn a lesson from my mother and look to Jesus. As he heard my mother’s prayer, he will hear yours. Trust in him in all things and he will give you more than you ask or imagine.

Kamîlla Quade is a member of Bethesda Lutheran Brethren Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

1 Comment

Nicole Kuhnert - January 17th, 2023 at 7:28am

Beautiful words from a beautiful soul! Such a great reminder for me today. Thank you for sharing your story, Kami!! 💗