Saturday, June 13, 2015

Week 1

Orientation last week was so rich it’s difficult to put to words. I found myself encouraged and challenged at the people around me. It was amazing to be in one place with so many like-minded people. Conversations echoed of the Lord and His work. You’d sit down to a meal with someone you’d never met, ask what trip they were taking, talk about the work they would be doing, and talk about the Lord! Saying goodbye at the end of the week was like saying goodbye to friends. The body of Christ is so beautiful!

It was a stretching week for me personally. Through the teachings and team discussion time, the Lord taught me several things. I had a new revelation of the depths of my own sinfulness and utter inability to muster up any righteousness on my own. My righteousness is wholly dependent on Christ. It was as if the Lord was teaching me the gospel all over again before I left to take it to others.

The transit from orientation to the field was also a growing experience. Four young women travelling alone, switching airports in the UK, and going through the travel processes seemed to me a place of vulnerability. But I think it’s exactly where the Lord wanted me. Landing on the continent, going through customs, and collecting our bags, I prayed the whole time. We didn’t even know who was picking us up from the airport! It forced me to rely on the Lord in a completely new way. We found our contacts and even though we had just met, we trusted them. Being separated from my physical family has forced me to rely on my spiritual family, first on my Father and also on his children.

As I lay on my bed to go to sleep last night, my heart was filled with contentment. There was quiet peace and great thankfulness. I recalled two falls ago, wishing I could quit school to go on the field. Last fall I wrestled with where I would go. Last night, I was living the realization of those dreams! I felt remembered by the Lord. He had cherished the dreams of my heart and had not wasted any experiences to get here.

This morning we had an extended time of worship—all acapella—and read from the word and prayed. One of our friends shared about being the salt of the earth. I felt my view of God increase and me decrease.

Trusting the Lord is an adventure. And I have a feeling it’s one, that if lived fully, will never leave you with regret.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Another Chapter in the Adventure

I've been putting off writing on this blog because I haven't been sure what to say.

As my summer-long mission trip nears, my emotions have been strong and varied. I've been fearful about the unknown, stressed about the preparations, homesick for the time I'll be parted from my family, and excited about the adventure. I've broken down in tears on several occasions. Through it all, the Lord has been my quiet strength.

I don't want to make this trip more than what it is. I don't want to minimize it either, but accept it gratefully as another chapter in the story the Lord is writing--one that I graciously get to be a part of.
As followers of Christ, every season in which we find ourselves is meaningful. Those who are working, those who are traveling, those who are keeping home all are partaking in kingdom work. Wherever we are, the same is required of us: simple obedience. Whether I am in America or Africa, I want this: to rejoice in the Lord and to love Him whole-heartedly.

Coach, Musician
Pastor, mother,
Worker in the kitchen
Writer, teacher
Despise not the work you've been given
Each of us called 
 To do His bidding
Cherish the story
Complete the task
Love fully
Joy at last
In His presence 
Will be our reward
Forever and ever
With Jesus our Lord 

All of the emotions I mentioned at the beginning have been real and sometimes overwhelming. I find that the best way to work through them is not by focusing on them, but on putting my eyes back on the Lord. Worship has been the balm of my soul. It is not without reason that we are told to fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). That's when we run best.