Sunday, April 22, 2012
Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself, because if I don't I wouldn't know how to get through my days and because I think and do some really stupid things sometimes. I constantly find myself getting lost in the world rather than getting lost in Jesus. It's been tough these last couple of months of college and as the days get shorter and the time goes faster, I feel myself scrambling for more time with people and with this place. Though God has confirmed my call and is sending me to Africa, though I don't know where yet, I'll be there with Him, which means I must stop getting lost in the worries and the cares of this world and instead I need to find myself lost in the cares and worries of my God.
Lately it has been a mix of excitement and tough reality in my life. Excitement for seeing God's plan moving me forward in my life. Tough reality realizing that the people that have come alongside of me in this life so far cannot come with me. And I've realized that God has a plan for my life and so does the enemy. I need constantly be ready for both but to be wise enough to know which one to battle and which one to embrace. It gets hard sometimes. Especially when I find myself surrounded by ideas that tell me to go against my calling. to stay here, find a man, get married, and a 9 to 5 job. (sorry but that sounds extremely boring). And it wasn't until last night that I learned I am not made for a generic man, a generic job, a generic lifestyle. But that I am made for a radical man, Jesus Christ, that I am made for radical job, serving Him in all I do, and that I am made for a radical life, one where I have to constantly lose.
It's been a struggle, especially since getting lost in thoughts of what it would be like to be one of those girls with a boyfriend. Yeah I know I still think about it. Surprise. And I found myself trying to sneak that one over on God and forcing it in His plan, when in reality, at least right now, it's not part of His plan for my life. It's tough and painful, more than anything I want to have a family, to be a mother and a wife, but the truth is God is going to give me that chance later in life, but right now He is calling me to go and be His hands and feet. He is calling to me, saying: "I can conquer anything if you let Me. The choice is yours- the works is Mine. Let go My child. Trust Me. I am greater than every situation of life." and for me the choice out weighs the cost. The choice to follow Him is worth so much more than living a mundane life that I planned out myself. With God planning, I never know what is going to happen. It's pretty exciting but takes a lot of trust. (Big Surprise).
There are things in life that are tough to realize. We all have expectations, whether about our lives or others, but reality will always be what hits us in the face. I get lost constantly in my thoughts of what I want my life to look like. I'm human it's hard to keep myself from thinking about those things, but it takes a lot of work to lose those thoughts and think about what my Heavenly Father is calling me to do. Right now I am lost. I am lost in where i am headed and what has been happening these past couple of months. I know that God is moving, but I also know that the enemy is moving and I cannot pretend like everything will go smoothly. Which comes with having to lose some things. To lose the community I have lived in these past four years with so many people that I have come to love so much, and I mean that with all my heart. To lost them and travel across the ocean to a new community, to a new place, to a foreign place. But one thing that will always be the same, always be constant is Jesus leading and guiding me and more importantly carrying me through the good times, the bad times, the joyful moments, and the times I don't feel worthy of this calling.
The truth is to live this life for Him it takes a lot, that's why it's called the narrow way. We must give what we want to keep to gain something so much more than what we are trying to hold on to. At the time it may not seem like a good idea, it may seem foolish. But the foolish thing would be to hold on to these trivial things that the world calls good, to give up something far more important that the world tends to see as useless. Trust Him in all that you do. Don't be afraid to step out in faith. It will lead you to unknown places, unknown faces, and a heart full of love and joy. We may get lost, we may be lost, and we will have to lose many things to find His way. But His way leads to a life everylasting and who doesn't want to dance on golden streets with Jesus?
Let your light shine, let God use you in whatever you do. Be Jesus to those around you, let His love breakthrough and overflow from you to others. It's worth it. he's worth it.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" -Jim Elliot.
Losing myself to gain HIM,
HIS and yours,
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Guess who has two thumbs and is waiting on her assignment on where she'll be placed in Africa....
Yeah that's right... This girl.
Oh man my heart just sighed. "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-- whatever we ask-- we know that we have what we asked of Him." - 1 John 5:14-15.
Words and the huge smile on my face and the laughter bursting from the seams of my heart are not enough to explain the amount of joy that is overflowing from my soul. God is so good, so faithful, so wonderful. And in all honesty I'd never thought that this would happen. I mean I talked about it and thought about it and prayed about it. But I never thought that I would be in real life returning to Africa for a second time... and for a whole year.
So now that I've waited and waited and waited. I was unofficially accepted into the program this evening after my interview. And now I just wait for the call to let me know where I am headed and who my ministry partner may be. I'm praying that it will be Uganda, but I know the Lord will take me where He wants me and if that is not Uganda than I am totally okay with that, as long as my life is serving the Lord it doesn't matter where I go. Though I did get to look at some orphanages for my year in Uganda, so I'm pretty pumped about that.
Sorry. I feel like I am rambling. I guess right now I'm just in another waiting period, in another step of faith. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." I may not be able to see where I am headed as this journey is beginning but I know wherever I go I will follow the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength.
I'm still scared. A big part of me is going to miss the beautiful people here at college and from back home. But nothing compares to the glorious chance of serving my One and Only Savior on this road. "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water." -Hebrews 10:22.
I have a lot to learn and grow and do before I leave on this journey but the truth is I am so ready to see what God has. I've listened to the voices that have told me I can't do it for so long. The voices that the enemy has placed in my head saying I'm not good enough, not smart enough, strong enough, not worthy enough. And tonight they were silenced. They were silenced by my strength to stand up and say "In Jesus's name I am worthy."
And so are you. You are worthy. Whatever God is calling you to do. Wherever your life may be headed, silence those voices that tell you you're not worth it. Move away from those people that discourage you. And move towards the One that is calling you. the One that loves you. That holds you in the palm of His hands. Because you are all together beautiful and worth it. Even if right now you feel like everything in the world is telling you no. is saying you're worthless. Shut them out and open your eyes, your ears, and more importantly your heart. To the God of all the Universe. "be strong in the grace that is Jesus Christ."
Realize that you can't do this alone, but you also can't do it with people who constantly pull you down. Whatever it is. But also Remember that who you need to be filled with is the One who made you, not the one standing in front of you. Whether it be a significant other, friends, or family. Realize who is going to support you, who is going to be there for you and hang on to those people. But more importantly cling on to Him, the One who is guiding you.
"So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner; But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life-- not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace." -2 Timothy 1:8-9.
In this life these roads are tough to follow, to walk on, but I can't even begin to express the joy we receive from following after the Lord. At times in this world it may not make sense and sometime I feel lost, but it doesn't mean we give up hope and throw in the towel. We continue to step out in faith and know that God will lead us. And you never know He made lead you to a job, a person, or as for me the other side of the world.
It is all worth it in the end. He is worth it all.
Overflowing with Joy,
HIS and yours,
Sunday, April 15, 2012
"I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it." -Rosalia de Castro.
I have to say it's been a crazy, stressful, draining week. The weird thing about this week, I found myself thinking about my junior year high school English class. Random I know. I was quite the English nerd in high school, I'd like to think I still am on occasion, but I found myself thinking of writers that inspired me while I was in high school, Frost, Thoreau, Whitman. Their words sparked a passion in my heart not only to write but to live. And as I'm about to embark on some crazy journey that God is guiding me on, their words seem to surface to the forefront of my brain while I lay in bed at night thinking.
"If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagines, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours" -Henry David Thoreau.
Well I officially have 2 weeks left of classes, a dead week, and then the week of finals, and then I graduate college. Wow. It's crazy how much has happen, how things have changed. My dreams, goals, ambitions, friends, and me. I have changed. I have learned to go after the things I desire. To stop sitting around and waiting for things to happen, but going out in prayer and in trust in God and making things happen. Whether jobs, friendships, speaking, traveling. It doesn't matter, but that God has continued to guide me and change me, my passions and my dreams to shape the future He has for me a future that many will not travel.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference" -Robert Frost.
It's true the road that God has mapped out for all of us is a narrow one, is one that many people choose to turn away from, to not follow. But choosing that road it does make all the difference. It changes you, it makes you a better person than you could ever be on your own. It gives you courage, passion, love, and a God who knows you better than you know yourself. He is constantly calling us to this road, to follow after Him in His steps. I constantly find excuses to ignore Him, trying to give my heart away to other things rather than to the Lord of all. But I have learned that the safest place for my heart and for my whole life is in the hands of God. One I can't afford to give my heart away because my heart is meant for Him and Him alone. Two, He has placed my heart somewhere else. And in four short days I will have an interview that will determine if that is where I will be heading this next season of my life.
"Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere- on water and land" -Walt Whitman.
God is calling all of us to different places. I continually think it's not fair. It's not fair that I have to leave this place that I've spent the past 4 years of my life at. Leaving my friends and my family behind. And I think is there not someone better than me to go God? But no, He has called me, the calling has been placed on my life, not anyone else. He doesn't need me to go, but He is asking me to go. And who would I be to ignore Him, the one who has given me life and blessed me with these friends and the family I will leave behind. The truth is, I'm scared out of my mind, I cry nightly, and laugh and scream, and worry. But doing all those things only means that I need to put more trust in God to guide me through all of it, no matter what happens, no matter where I end up.
And maybe if you're reading this you're feeling the same thing too. I don't know if people actually read these, if people actually care, But I know God can use anyone and anything to touch people's hearts. And even if no one sees these, God has used my ability to write to speak to my own heart. But for some strange reason you've found yourself here, reading the inner workings and rambling of my brain and heart. I just have to say. thank you but more importantly thank God. and I urge you to listen, listen to Him whispering your name, calling you to Him, calling you elsewhere. To a life of LIVING. to a life of fullness, of joy, of love. He has is it all. Trust Him. There is no better way.
It's tough. I'm not going to pretend it's not, there are times i just want to give up throw in the towel and say forget it. But if I were to give up I'd never be graduating college in 4 weeks. I'd never have the friends I have today. I would never have the faith I have now. I wouldn't be here on this earth. And for all of the blessing and the love and the road I am traveling on I thank God. Because He is all together lovely. He is my all in all, my Everything. and In this life no matter who I am with, where I am. He is always with me and He is all I need.
Walking the Road Less Traveled,
HIS and yours,
“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
― Walt Whitman
― Walt Whitman
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-- yes even his own life-- he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." -Luke 14:26-27.
It is down to the wire. 4 weeks of my college career left... and then what? ha. I've been asking myself that question over and over for the past 7 months and friends and family have been asking me that question for even longer than that... " what are you going to do with your life?" Well instead of trying to plan it, I stopped planning and let God take the reigns, though at times I want to pull them from His hands, He has yet to lead me or given me something I cannot handle. And in a week and half, on April 19th, I will have my "entrance" interview to become a part of Africa Inland mission to be a missionary for a year over in Uganda. Wow... my heart just sighed. :)
There are so many feelings and words going through my mind and heart right now, even more so when I dropped that application in the mail and even more when I got the e-mail asking for an interview. God's hands are moving the clay of my life and I'm just trying to mold myself into the person He is calling me to be. But most times I feel like a screw up and I don't feel qualified for this journey, for this position at all. And the phrase "God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called." comes to mind. And in amazing ways this is so true, I mean look at all those God called in the Bible...
Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murder, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Sarah was impatient, Moses was a stutter, Zacheus was short, and Abraham was old... and me. I'm a Peter, a Noah, a Jonah, a Gideon, a Miriam, a Martha, a Sarah, a Moses, and more. And yet He is calling me to this life and I am so scared.
There is this aching heaviness feeling in my heart. In so many ways the feeling is good and bad. Good because I want so bad to return to Uganda, to be with the people, the kids, learn the culture, and the language, and just serve God. and yet I don't want to leave my family and my friends. I mean I'm already graduating and leaving behind all those I've spent my college years with as well as the new friends I have made and fell in love with. but then God wants me to leave my family as well. What the what? and then I read Luke, it's been a passage on my heart lately and my friend Jeremy decided to read it tonight for our Youth Ministry devotions and it punched me in the face. I have to leave. I have to move on. I have to go. Because this is my life for God, no one else but Him.
I can't live my life trying to make sure no one is disappointed in me, I'll just end up disappointing myself and more importantly God. I sometimes get upset because no one has sat down and asked me how I am feeling about everything, I listen to everyone else complain and how they feel but it seems no one really wants to listen. I just want to cry and scream and laugh and dance... but the amazing thing I have realized is that I can do all those things with God. So what if no one wants to listen, so what if everyone thinks I'm crazy. so what if everyone thinks I am dumb leaving my loans and going to another country. SO What. God will provide... He always does. He has provided for my family and my life when we have had literally nothing and He does it in miraculous ways. And if this is where He wants me this next season of my life, than He will get me there despite what everyone else says. yeah I am scared, I'm scared out of my mind, but if I weren't scared than how could I put more faith in God and trust in Him. I realize I cannot settle. I cannot settle for an 8 to 5 job, because that's not who God made me to be. I can't settle for a man who isn't going to love Jesus more than he would love me. I can't settle for a normal life, because God has called me to live a radical one. And if I don't follow His call I may be existing but I'm not really living. and that is what I want to do. I want to LIVE.
I don't hate my family or my friends, but I want my love for God to be so much more, that in comparison it looks like i hate my family and friends. ... Oh that sounds so weird... But God is so much more than just someone to shout at when something goes bad or pray to when someone is sick. he is the maker and the creator of the universe. the Ultimate friend, lover, father. He is my one and only. So yes my heart is aching with heaviness for the people I will be leaving behind in 4 weeks as well as the people I may be leaving behind in the months to come.
But it's also aching with heaviness for the people I will be going to serve. To see those beautiful faces and realize that this is what I was made to do. To serve God the rest of my life. Whether alone, with friends, with family, with a husband. It doesn't matter as long as I'm serving God... all those other things will come into place. I won't settle. I won't rush it. I will wait on Him and He will take care of me. Always.
Waiting and Praying and Loving on Him,
HIS and yours,
Monday, April 2, 2012
"The heart of a man is restless until it finds rest in God." -St. Augustine.
Last night's Praise and Worship on campus was one of those that God used to show me His love for His people and it just continues to blow me away. It wasn't the worship or the speaker, thought both were wonderful, but the chance I got to sit on the edge of stage, and as I waited to pray with people, I got to look out into the crowd of my fellow students and friends on campus and see how evident the light of Christ is.
Now at the time I was asked to pray for people after the message was given I was thinking Why me, why not someone else? and last night the speaker said that he had specifically prayed a long time about the people he should ask and that the ten of us up there were hand picked by God, and I kept thinking, really God, me, you wanted me?
And I tend to ask that question a lot When God calls me to do something. But He always answers me in some awesome way, cause He is one awesome God! Last night He showed me through the worship of my classmates and friends, through the blessing and the privilege to pray with people I truly love and care about. And He whispered in my ear, "Daughter, trust me and only me. I call you because I see your heart, I see your potential, and I make you worthy." And in that little phrase I found rest and peace for my restless soul.
John 6:35 says "I am the bread of life. he who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." In this Jesus tell us, we must come, and we must believe. Further down in the verses He says that whoever comes to Him He will never drive away, but we must come and when we come we must believe.
We must come to God believing in His love, in His life, in His work, and in His plan for our lives. Because without Him we can do nothing, but with Him we can do anything He brings us to. Not it's not easy, and sometimes coming and believing is a lot scarier than it sounds, but even in the darkest moments the light shines through, shines brighter.
We cannot have the benefits of the Son of God without abandoning all of ourselves to Him. and if this is our story than we will never be satisfied in Him. You see faith IS this life and without faith in Him there is no way to move forward, no trust get us no where with Jesus.
"Come... and believe..."
When we follow Him by faith with nothing else to rely on, He provides. And we are filled.
So don't be afraid even if right now it seem hopeless, put hope in Him. Even if right there's restlessness, find rest in Him. What ever the feeling, what ever is happening He already knows, so just come to him. Come and believe.
HIS and yours,