Written By: Heather Paton
It wasn’t a morning unlike any other. It was a typical morning. I had walked out of my room and down the hallway, waking the children one by one for school. I spun in circles making breakfast, packing lunches, braiding hair, cleaning glasses, making sure teeth were brushed, socks were on, and homework was in their bags.
I laid hands on the children and asked God to bless them, to keep them safe, and that He’d use them for His glory and be a light wherever they go. Then I proceeded to close the prayer at the top of my lungs and yelled what most amazing mothers do….”BUSSSSSS!!! RUNN!!!”
Each morning after the children get on the bus, I head to the kitchen, make a steaming oversized mug of tea, and go and retreat in my room and curl up on my oversized powder blue chair. It’s where I read the Word and have my quiet time each morning. That morning I had a lot on my mind. We were preparing to go back to Rwanda in six weeks and the financial stress was on my mind.
We needed to pay for flights and accommodations, and we knew the need at the sewing school we had been a part of starting two years before. They had women who wanted to learn to sew in order to break the cycle of poverty, but the funds had run out. I’m not sure what your prayer life is like, at times mine is powerful, but other times my thoughts intrude and try to overpower my prayers.
This morning my thoughts were invaded with the realness of how expensive missions can be. God I will go where you want me to go, and I will do what you ask me to do. I asked the Lord to make a way, and just as soon as those words came out of my mouth, I found myself calculating and thinking… Well, I guess we could move this around, and maybe put our flights on the line of credit…. yada yada yada. I chose to combat it with, Seek first the Kingdom of God, but went on to think another thought, But really, that’s a lot of money, how will the Lord do that it’s only six weeks away?.… I’m sure you know how it goes.
We believe God can do it. We’ve seen God do it time and time again and yet when faced with a new obstacle, we try to help Him instead of allowing Him to help us. As I sat in His presence that morning, all of a sudden I had this thought and felt prompted to make some “Wooden Ruler Growth Charts”. I had seen one before, but me? Make them? Wood, stain, paint? Really, how do I start?
How do I make one?
How do I promote?
Instantly I knew I was in way over my head, but I also knew I had been commissioned. I had just been given a God idea, but I had no idea how miraculous and divine this thought was going to be. I went to the Depot, looked up and down the aisles (I clearly looked like I was out of my element), but kept thanking the workers for offering their help but I kept shooing them away.
I needed to look, to envision, to close my eyes and see what this was going to look like. I spent time comparing wood, looking for stain, and searching for wood conditioner, paint and stencils. I got the vision of what I was to do, and even though I wasn’t qualified and I was WAY out of my element, I went home and did a trial board.
Praise the Lord. The first board I made was for my mom & dad, I painted my maiden name on the board and was thrilled with the result. I then connected with my mom’s friend who is a graphic designer and she was so gracious and eager to jump on board. We were about to launch Rulers for Rwanda!
From there, I launched it online and the unimaginable happened. Orders started piling in. Emails, texts, and phone calls were coming through. Some from friends, some from strangers. Some from the neighborhood and city, and some from rural town. This was a GOD IDEA! And He was confirming it over and over again.
My house and our church immediately turned into a work shop. I loaded 30-40 boards at a time in my vehicle and sanded and stained in mass. I painted and prayed, and painted and prayed. I worked well into the wee hours of the night sometimes just to keep up with the orders that were flying in.
When I would feel weary, I would declare, ‘Do not grow weary in well doing, for in due time you will receive the harvest if you faint not.’ I was operating in the power of the Spirit to do what He had called me to do. He had given me the idea, He would also give me the strength. Within 14 days, we had received 100% of our first goal. Overseas flights are expensive, and God had just provided a way for both our flights and accommodations to be paid for in FULL!!!
Now it was time to do what we really desired to do – set another goal for the sewing school. Again, God knew the need. We needed wages for the instructor, the overseer, night-watchmen, new machines, machine repairs, materials, and more. God you are MORE than able. Again, within two weeks our second goal was completely met! God you are Good. Not only was I seeing the fruit of this, but hundreds of people were witness to what God was doing.
Within a month, we had met our first two goals and had raised additional funds for medical care for some of the people in the church where we minister. By the time we left for Rwanda, we had raised over $10,000 for Rwanda. We did not need to worry, we only needed to trust. We didn’t need to go into debt, we only needed to wait for the key and for His leading.
I am a woman of Faith, but sometimes it’s easier to rally around others and believe for their miracle. Some things are harder for us to believe God for, some days are harder to believe God for the miraculous. We know He can do it, but do we believe He’ll do it for us? We’ve seen His hand at work; do we believe He’ll work on our behalf? Do I believe He’ll move my mountain? Do I believe He’ll do the impossible in my life? Do I believe He will use me? These are questions I find so many asking. Yes, He will use me. Yes, He will use you, if you let Him.
I didn’t just choose to wait on the Lord that day, I try to choose to wait on Him daily. I desire to hear His voice more clearly and desire to see Him moving like I’ve never seen Him move before. This caused me to step well outside of my element. I didn’t know how to do this, I didn’t know how to promote this. Was this something people would even buy? Was this something that could really help us out?
I had friends who were way better carpenters than I. What if they laughed at me because I didn’t pick the right stain, or didn’t condition the wood properly? What if someone wasn’t happy with their purchase? What, what, what?? STOP!!! What if they were good enough! What if people did love them? What If I could do it, because the Lord had made me well able?? WHAT IF!!! It’s time to stop the “What if I Cant’s” and start declaring “What if I CAN!!”
God is willing to do the miraculous, because in that He’s glorified. These rulers allowed us to share the message of Christ and what He was doing in and through us with co-workers, neighbors, strangers, and friends. God is able to do the miraculous if we let Him.
About Heather Paton:
Heather Paton is a passionate woman who loves The Lord and desires nothing more than to see His name made famous and for the captives to be set free. She is married to a one of kind running mate and together they have been blessed with five awesome & diverse children. Her favorite time of day is dinner time, her family is a loud and funny crew and they make many great memories from being in each other’s company around the table in that short time. Heather and Her Husband Jamie, pastored for 13 years and planted an inner city church, The Sanctuary in London Ontario 5 years ago. Heather has a heart for youth, Rwanda, the Arctic. Her heart passionately beats for the lost and outcasts of society. She loves to teach, preach and disciple women who desire to see God radically change their lives. Heather is intense yet gentle….. And desires women everywhere to be ALL God has created them to BE!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!