Wednesday, September 26, 2012

He calls you. He's faithful. He'll do it.

It's crazy. Life. It just is. It's an up and down roller coaster of good and bad, mistakes and grace, constantly learning and teaching and never giving up. It's crazy.

I've realized one journey has ended this past May as I graduated college, and life has never felt more crazy. For a while I got home and just laid around my house thinking, now what? At times I felt like that person in the footprints poem. Like I was walking all alone, when God told me that He would always be by my side.

A month and half ago I remember sitting with someone and talking about my journey to Tanzania. Crying and doubting and thinking that it wasn't what I was suppose to. I didn't feel God near me, I couldn't hear Him. I was so frustrated, why at this critical point would He decide to be silent. It wasn't until someone said "Don't do it. Don't go. It doesn't seem right anyway." That I realized I had been drowning God's voice out with everyone else opinions, with everyone else's thoughts.

So I left that conversation, with no funds raised and with no idea what to do and I sat down in my room at home and just talked. "Okay God if this is what you want, let's do it. No doubting. No fear. I will wholeheartedly, without holding anything back enter into this journey, if it is what You want for my life. If this is my calling, then You'll provide, You'll guide, and I'll get to where you want me, despite what others may believe, doubt, or think." And that was that. And here I sit, with almost all my funds raised, a support and prayer team like no other, and 12 days until I board a plane to this new journey of my life.

It's unbelievable, and surreal to think that i have less than two weeks until I leave home, and yet in my heart I know that I am not meant to do anything else. That this is what He has called me to do. Even through the thoughts and doubt the enemy put into my head, God came through, like He always does, He came though carrying me.

Through it, He closed many doors, with a relationship that I really wanted to happen, and with friends I thought were a big part of my life, and jobs that wanted to keep me here at home. But He opened doors with an amazing ministry partner that I will get to spend the next 9 months with, showed me that a relationship is not in this journey, showed me my real friends who are willing to call, to write, to text, to drive as much as possible to see me. and most of all He showed me that He is faithful.

I think that is what scares us to go. Because really the doors that have to close in order for us to move on to where God wants us are typically things that we desperately cling and chase after. Yet they are not what God wants for us, so instead of pushing us closer to Him, they pull us further away. We think that the moment those doors close we will never recieve the desires of our heart. We'll never get that dream job, that certain group of friends, or the significant other. But the truth is, having those doors closed is the most rewarding and perfect thing that could ever happen to us.

When we allow God to carry us, when we allow those doors to close, we allow God to move in our hearts. and that is how heroes are made. They are made because they are moved, not in their heads but in their hearts. They are moved to action, to faith, and to love and service. When those doors close, better ones open, even if it doesn't seem like it. When we allow ourselves to walk through those open doors, our desires and our goal become more like Christ, and our lives improve beyond measure. Allowing our lives to reflect Christ is not a loss, but a gain.

It's scary, but God knows the desires of our heart, and when we trust in Him, when we lean on Him, when we let Him carry us, His desires and our desires will become one. Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart." Allow those doors to close, because if it's not helping you grow closer to God, then it needs to go. He is calling you to a new life, a better life, a life with Him. Don't let that go for something that is a fleeting moment. Because people and things come and go, but Jesus comes and stays, for all eternity.

Step out. Feel lead to do ministry. Go. feel called to go overseas. Go. feel lead to change your major. Go. feel called to move, anywhere, anyplace. Go. He's calling us, seek Him, Find Him and Go.

Right now those doors in my life have shut and for a long time I have stood and stared at this open door, scared out of my mind. But I've taken a good look at myself in the mirror because I know the moment that I get on that place, the moment that I walk through that door, I will never be the same.

And that is something I can live with. Because He has called me, and He has been faithful, and He'll provide for this journey and the many more to come.

Walking through that open door,

HIS and yours,


"the One who calls you is faithful and He will do it." -1 Thessalonians 5:24

Thursday, September 20, 2012

As the Leaves Change, so do I

This entire summer has been a whirlwind, I have no idea where the time has gone and words cannot even begin to describe the emotional roller coaster I have been on, but through it all. Through happiness, sadness, frustration, laughter, tears, God has been faithful and continues to be.

A lot of change has taken place these past four months. Not only in the beauty of the fall leaves gracing the trees, but in the beauty of God's love and faithfulness gracing my heart.

I can say I didn't realize the amount of change until I made my way back to Northwestern. A trip I had been looking forward to for a long time, to see my friends, the people I love dearly, and who hold a piece of my heart. But upon arriving I felt scattered and out of place. I felt like I was in everyone's way, people trying to do homework, or hang out with their friends that were still in school. I felt like I was just a burden. And I realized that life keeps moving even when I'm not around. Leaves continue to fall even when I do not want them to. Tears were normal, unexpected news and heartache were themes of the weekend. And I left that place feeling more changed than when I arrived.

Seeing my old friends was tough, especially realizing that it may be the last time I ever see them again. I was so upset with myself, because I went there with a mindset of everything I wanted to tell every single person that I saw. What they meant to me, how they have impacted me. But I failed. I never told anyone, anything and I regret that. I regret not sharing my heart and I do not know if I will ever get the opportunity again.

And yet a big part of me was relieved that I didn't share my heart. Because deep down I know that there are certain things I had to tell certain people that would have change the course of our friendship, and in leaving for Tanzania in 9 months, I didn't want to ruin a friendship, so I left it alone. But in doing so God taught me more about change. More about who I am.

I kept looking at these people I love; My roommate in South Dakota, my friends at Northwestern, The girls I spent Labor Day weekend with, my family, all those who have taken the time to call me, to talk to me, to visit me, to pray with me. I looked at them and then to God and said "I am leaving all to follow you, I am leaving ALL to follow you, God." Everything I know, everyone I love, I am leaving behind. And then I read this; "I tell you the truth, no one who had left home or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and in the age to come of eternal life" -Luke 18:29-30.

Then it hit me. I have to leave all. I have to go forward. I must move on. Not forget, but move on. Because the leaves cannot change again, without first leaving the branch. And I have realized that I must leave this branch of my life, my home and family and friends. Because with it as I fall, I will rise with Christ and just like the spring, breath new life.

It's been a struggle to say goodbye and to realize that I may return home with fewer friends, but it's been a blessing to know that I will leave and return with the same God, always and forever, because He is my eternal vine. In two short weeks I will leave Iowa to embark on the journey of my life. I don't know where it will take me exactly and what is to come, but I know I am safe in the arms of God. I know that whatever happens, with me and with friends and with family. That God has provided this far, that He has made a way for me to go to Tanzania for 9 months, and that if this wasn't where my life was headed, he would have shut the door. But the door is still there, standing wide open and I must walk through. This door is not for anyone else but me. More and more I am becoming okay with that. More and more I know that the only way to live my life is to leave all and follow Him.

So I may have left many things unsaid, I may be frustrated with the things I didn't do. But right now all I can do is move forward. Move on and remember and continue to love those I am leaving. It's hard and painful, but it is my calling, it is my life. And if I were to abandon this call, if I were to abandon my God, than my life would have no meaning, because the only meaning there is, is to leave all and follow HIM.

Na Mungu Pendo (With God's Love),

HIS and yours,