Michele Pivano - 12/04/2007
I want to share with you how the Lord recently led me out of my hometown in Long Island, NY and brought me all the way to Tucson, AZ. I guess you could say it's been a bit of a wilderness experience and please don't think I am boasting in any way but I feel led to share this story with you. Especially because He led me to UBM once I moved here, which has truly changed my whole walk with the Lord and my life; it helped me grow tremendously and taught me much more than I could have ever imagined. Thank you!
To start off I am 30 years old, and I have been walking with the Lord for about 3 and a half years now. For the last couple of years I really started to desire more of the Lord and I wanted nothing more than to spend time with Him, learn more about Him and to follow Him fully... At this point in my walk, the Lord allowed there to be extreme turmoil in my life -- the closest people to me were at odds, and I was basically torn right in the middle. Unfortunately they also had a huge impact on my walk with the Lord. I was torn terribly because I loved them but felt so helpless. I had no idea what to do and it seemed like I had no escape. In the process I was being taught many different teachings, most was from fleshly controlling perspectives, from people that I looked up to. Their teaching lined up with scriptures somewhat but I didn't know the Word well enough to know completely right from wrong and it seemed the Lord allowed it to stay this way no matter how much I prayed and the confusion was awful. It also started to seem like every area in my life was in turmoil and calamity kept coming everywhere I turned. The enemy took a stronghold over the closest people in my life, literally, and caused much destruction. Not to mention even my job became absolutely dreadful to be at... I had always liked my jobs for the most part but everything seemed to have changed and I developed an overwhelming desire to want to move away... I know most people might think that I was just running away from my problems and I am one to do that sometimes. However, I also saw how the Lord started putting this all together so I decided to go with it and began to pray about it and ask for His direction... I knew I needed to be at peace with everyone and I told the Lord that I did not want to be outside of His will so I asked Him to direct every one one of my steps...
I started looking at my options just to get the ball rolling. I looked at other states that were in one day's driving range so I could come back for visits conveniently. I also looked for places where the real estate was a lot cheaper... (I was still new in my faith and really didn't have much experience in trusting the Lord so I tried to use my head and let the Lord work out the mistakes.) Well the Lord did have other plans on where I was to go! Much bigger than I imagined... He started leading me way across the country to Tucson, AZ... I had never even heard of Tucson and I rarely ever even heard anything about AZ but I now know where the Grand Canyon is. Anyway, everywhere I turned I would see and hear things about Tucson and AZ. It happened so frequently that it was unmistakable that He was showing me this. It was a huge change and I felt the Lord letting me know it was ok to ask for more signs just to be sure since this was my 1st huge leap of faith and I previously had a bad experience with the enemy playing games trying to deceive some close people in my life. I just needed to be sure that this was the Lord's will so I asked for some clarifications and the Lord faithfully showed me each and every time I asked Him...
I didn't realize at the time but He started preparing me about a year prior to the move by showing me the number 29... I had no idea at the time why I kept seeing the number 29 but as time went on it became very evident that the Lord was using that to direct me... At first I started to think in the flesh and thought He was showing me other things but as time went on I learned to not go ahead of the Lord but just to observe and as I did it started to get more and more clear to me. For example, the year I was to move, I was 29 years old and the apartment that He was setting up for me in AZ was originally on Columbus street but they decided to change the apartment to a better one and that's when I found out that the apartment complex was on a corner, and the other street, the one my apartment was moved to, was on 29th street... Ok, still not convinced, the last check I received from my job for sick time and holiday pay that I accumulated was $2990.00. I forget the exact amount but it was two thousand nine hundred and something, which has 29 in it. If that isn't enough my rent (on a special rate for the year) is $299.00. Also it seemed like every billboard across the entire country had #29 on it... Even the gas prices across the country were frequently $2.99 at that time which stood out like a sore thumb in my eyes. Then when I got here and I registered my car at AZ DMV my new license plates were, yup, you guessed it, 029- something. This may sound a little loony but the Lord made it clear that the number was from Him and I took it as a sign of comfort knowing the Lord was in control... I am sure there is more to the number but that's all I got out of it at the time.
Ok, getting back. I was very excited but at the same time I was scared to death. Thinking it was the right thing to do, I shared with the people in my life that the Lord was showing me to move and to my surprise it became a very hateful, hurtful experience. I was rebuked and my faith on what the Lord was showing me became very challenged. Someone who had much influence on me, who did know the Lord, told me confidently and very aggressively that the Lord told them that I am not to leave NY but to remain there. This person was very insistent that I was not to leave NY, even to the point were she told me that there was a prophetic word in her church (which I did not attend), that said no one is to leave the Island. I became filled with doubt, thinking maybe I was making a mistake, even though I had a lot of clear signs from the Lord, I couldn't overcome my doubt... I kept getting fed lies from the enemy and I fell into extreme confusion. I knew confusion wasn't from the Lord but it was overwhelming... so I decided to just keep going back to the Lord for clarification.
In the process I decided in the flesh to do some research on the area, and to my surprise the crime rate at the time in Tucson, if I remember correctly, was one of the highest in the nation; the drugs, burglary and car theft along with immigration crime rate was sky high. It's very close to the Mexican border, not to mention I read in the AZ news online there was an older woman murdered in her home right down the road from were I was being led to go. Even people that I knew who knew people that lived in other parts of AZ told me first hand that it was not a good place to live and I have to admit I started to question the Lord... The people in my life were trying to convince me to go out to AZ for a visit to see if I liked it, then they would be ok with my leaving... I know they meant well, but I resisted that idea because I was sure the Lord put this in my heart but I also knew in my heart that if I came here and saw how bad it was that I would not be able to go and follow the Lord... However, with the help of the Lord I came to the place inside where I decided that the Lord is my protector and if He is guiding me some place that is totally dangerous then He would provide protection for me... I remembered reading about Abraham and how the Lord told him to get up and leave his homeland. He didn't go and test it out first; he just believed God and went! That was a necessary example for me! I prayed and got a few more confirmations and then I gave my job notice and told my family and friends it was official. Regardless of their reaction I obeyed the Lord...
The Lord is so amazing; He showed me exactly how to pack up my apartment. He showed me what to keep and what to give away. He even clearly showed me to use smaller boxes that were different sizes to do the Tetris effect in loading up my car, this way some of the boxes could be squeezed into small cracks and crevices in the car, making all that I needed fit... When I was concerned about what to do with my furniture the Lord clearly showed me to give it to the Salvation Army and they come and pick it all up right at my house, which eliminated a lot of work for me, praise God... He told me to buy an air mattress used for camping which folded up into a small box, and a compass. I didn't need the compass until I actually got here and thought that maybe I made a mistake and took extra fleshly precautions but I later learned that I needed it to find my way around town. He showed me to give away my 19" TV and purchase an 11", this way it would fit in the car. Not that I watch much TV but I later learned that without it I would not have been able to see David's program (on Access TV) which the Lord used to ultimately change my walk with Him. He set up an apartment over the Internet which turned out to be the nicest one in the area and more importantly it was legal... I prayed in NY for a legal apartment because the one I was in was an illegal basement apartment and once I truly came to the Lord it no longer felt right to be there, but I couldn't afford the legal ones, or so it seemed, at the time. Regardless, He even set me up with several thousand dollars that came from the most unexpected places for the move and also so I could spend a couple of months adjusting and, more importantly, getting my walk with the Lord strengthened. This allowed me to have some uninterrupted quality time with the Him that I knew I needed and desired desperately... He thought of everything.
In the midst of all the fear that I had I also had an indescribable peace that showed me I was in the Lord's care and not to be afraid. It was pretty challenging but one thing that the Lord did, which I find incredible, was He closed my mind and my ability to understand or even just to focus on the book of Hebrews. This may sound funny but as hard as I tried to read it over and over again before I moved, I would get a scripture here and there but it was like something had blocked my ability to receive much information from this book so I just gave up on trying to read it until I was on my way to AZ. I had stopped in Ohio to sleep the first night, and that's when the Lord had me open to Hebrews chapter 11 and as I read it was like my eyes were opened and I was able to receive it and, as I am sure you know, that is the chapter on faith. He allowed me to read that, I believe, because He was showing me that in spite of what others had told me and even in spite of my own doubtful thoughts that I was truly stepping out in faith and not going out on my own will. That's when it became really real to me that this really was the will of the Lord! I felt such peace from that; the Lord knew what I needed and I was able to press on and have complete confidence and assurance that the Lord was behind this from there on! Praise God for His loving mercy and compassion on us. He really does remember what we are made of...
I have to admit it was still a little challenging for me when I got here because I started to see car window glass shattered in the parking lot of my apartment complex. I occasionally would see women who appeared to have been beaten up who had black eyes and horrible bruises on their faces and many more homeless people than I ever expected. Even for the first couple of weeks I would get an occasional stranger knocking on my door asking for money, etc. And even one or two with their noses pressing up against the glass, looking into my windows, and I was very weirded out to say the least but I believe the Lord allowed all of that to happen for me to have no other choice but to trust Him. So I made a decision to not worry and I asked the Lord for complete protection and that's what He has done. After a few months all my fear has left me and I feel so much more confident in the Lord! He later brought me to the Gospel Rescue Mission which is what I kind of prayed for. Right before the move I told Him I wanted to work for Him and not for money and I preferred to be in a Christian atmosphere if He willed and that's what He gave me, praise the Lord! It's funny but the mission is on a road called Miracle Mile, and the number of that road opposite the mission is 2900, and even in the sidewalk inside the mission grounds, in the cement is carved Jeremiah 29:11; and if that's not enough, if I remember correctly, my first week I worked exactly 29 hours!
I did learn how to trust the Lord in all things and for all things... And to keep my eyes on the Lord and not worry what people say or think if it is contrary to what the Lord has already told my Spirit. I also learned how to feel that closeness between the Lord me and even though it's not ok to doubt, the Lord does remember what we are made of and is patient with us. In the beginning of my walk I had been so afraid to doubt that I foolishly jumped into things, thinking it was the Lord's will but too afraid to ask Him questions or to wait on His answers. Not to mention I didn't know how to hear His voice but I did learn that it's very important to be sure it's the will of the Lord before making life-altering decisions and to be patient and wait on Him. This way we are not outside of His will, which is a very dangerous place to be if you ask me! He taught me to pray in all things and taught me how to be content with the bare necessities (I still do not have any furniture) but I am satisfied with what I do have and that's only because of the Lord! I have His peace inside like I have never ever known before and I wouldn't trade that in for anything on this earth!
I am sure there are more reasons on why He led me here but one of them without a doubt was to hear David's teachings which have truly changed my life. Especially the Wilderness Living Now teachings; those teachings also helped my family tremendously! I received my first healing from listening to David's awesome testimonies and I would have driven to China or anywhere else that it took to learn the truth about God's Word and be able to see it with my own eyes.
Thank you so much for your ministry!