Since the last post- I have been really struggling to trust God as He leads me in His way. Honesty is hard. There will be nothing eloquent about this post, just real-life stuff and growing pains. If you want to be “wowed” by some sweet writing, I suggest visiting the site of someone who gets paid to write their blog. My life is messy sometimes, so my writing will be too.
I spent last week in Atlanta with a community called Church on the Street. The two weeks before the mission trip I spent tied up in anxiety and worry. I was gripped by the fear of the weight of my choices and dreams. Am I doing the right thing? Am I ever going to live my dream of going back to Uganda? What does God require of me, right now? My mind was spinning out of control and dragging people I love down with it. I sat alone at my desk at 1 in the morning on the day I would be leaving for Atlanta. I cried out and prayed asking “Lord, what do you require of me?” I opened my Bible and a piece of paper fell out. It was a devotional that someone had given me. The first two sentences were unlined and read “Follow me one step at a time. That is all I require of you.” I laughed through my tears, “Fine, God. Okay. I hear you.” That was the beginning of God getting my attention last week. I spent the week with an amazing team. I experienced community in a way I never have before. No conditions, no expectations, just loving one another and seeking Christ’s face. I have many stories I could share. However, I think I will just give a list of realizations and if someone wants a back story, just ask :)
1. I realized that I haven’t wanted community. I have only wanted community on my terms which most often consists of people being an arm’s length away from my mess while I am knee-deep in theirs. I have only wanted to give of myself when it is the least inconvenient and flatters my strengths. Community is hard, and I haven’t wanted it. I want to want it.
2. I realized that I cannot love God without loving His Church and being part of the community He has placed me in on HIS terms. It is that simple. I cannot love God without loving His people on His terms.
3. I realized that Africa has a huge place in my heart, but may not be what God is immediately calling me to. He allowed me to live that dream this past May after 4 years of prayer. He was faithful. Now He wants me to trust Him with where He is leading me without arguing about where exactly that is.
4. I realized that I say I want to know God quite often. He told me this past week that if I really want to know Him, there is no reason I don’t. He gave me His word. He gave me His Spirit. What am I waiting for?
All of these things came from specific conversations and interactions. These realizations helped me to understand why I have been so anxious and worried. I have been gripping my life so tightly that I have been quenching the Spirit. I have been so concerned about MY dreams, MY future, MY well-being. My selfishness has been screaming inside of me with each realization made. My old self is not dying without a fight. At the end of the day I have one dream and one goal: I want my life to be a vibrant example of Christ no matter where I go or who I am with. I want to really know my God. This means whether I am in Uganda or Michigan or Ohio or wherever else, my heart can be at home in seeking Him always. My life is not turning out like I thought it would, it is much messier and doesn’t look like a one-way ticket to Africa just yet. But it also looks a bit like redemption, reconciliation, and sanctification. God is making me new and He is making my plans new. Surrendering myself is much more challenging than I had hoped, but I am finding joy in knowing my Lord better because of it. He is faithful.
::By His Grace & For His Glory::