The promise of faithfulness is not just a season, it doesn’t dance out of our lives as the autumn leaves fall, it is a promise to stay through it all. It is a commitment of love and sacrifice that looks past the boundaries we set up in an attempt to keep our fragile hearts from breaking yet again. Faithfulness is a promise that is dedicated to our freedom. A vow to never leave our sides and to be the fresh flowers and spring rain when we find our hearts slowing to match the beat of a mediocre culture that is content with settling.
Even in seasons of drought, when depression finds itself taking root, Gods faithfulness is a promise that every crack in your heart isn’t void of meaning, but a vision and promise of the beauty to come. For where the world sees cracks of brokenness, God sees the potential of healing as He washes away your past sins and plants seeds of kindness and hope.
Before you know it, the lies that you are not worthy of love have become the platform for you to stand up and speak the truth of a faithfulness that is never silent and always pursues us.
This past year has consisted of over 20 flights, three new continents, new states, new friendships, language barriers and learning to embrace uncertainty as I discovered just how faithful Jesus is. As I sit here reflecting on Gods faithfulness, I am in awe. From a young age I have always been such a homebody, one of my first nicknames was Velcro because my mom realized my desire to hold onto those close to me and to stay in familiar environments. Yet that is why the past year of my life is a simple testimony of Gods faithfulness and love towards His children and the way He loves us where we are at but always calls us deeper. Here is my attempt at a simple summary of my last years travels. (If you want to hear more specific stories or about my trips, just let me know and we can grab coffee or talk on the phone, I would LOVE that.)
A little over a year ago, my first stop was Perth Australia. This is where my journey with missions work began. I was there for a program known as a discipleship training school (DTS), which is twelve weeks of teaching/lectures intended to reveal Gods love and heart for me as well as His heart for missions and the nations. For the first time in my life I was away from every person who knew me and that alone was so impactful. I began to go through lies I had believed for so long and found freedom in the simplicity of the love of Jesus. I discovered a love that isn’t about religion or rules, but a God who is after my heart. It was three of the harder yet most rewarding months of my life, because no matter how much you crave freedom, it is never easy to let go and to dig deep. Yet God faithfully met me every single time. I cried more then I knew was possible and made friends who I know will be in my life for years to come.
The next three months were spent doing outreach in Thailand and Myanmar, I set off from Australia with eight amazing women of God. In Asia, among many other things, we worked with at risk children, led bible studies, taught at youth groups, helped at churches, served in the community, taught English camps, performed dramas and spent time raising awareness for human trafficking. Asia was extremely challenging for me because of culture shock, language barriers (lets be honest I cant go more then a few minutes without talking), average temperatures of 98 degrees with a matching humidity level, long days and some homesickness. Yet it was a beautiful time of learning to get Gods heart for people and places and seeing lives transformed by a love that pursues every heart so intentionally. I constantly found myself being pushed out of my comfort zone, learned to be open and transparent as God taught me that Joy isn’t based on circumstances, but on His unchanging character. There were days I wanted to up and leave because fear would take root and I felt inadequate and I felt like I was loosing sight of all the freedom that had been won. Yet that is when God reminded me that learning to walk in the freedom of His simple love is a process and He is patiently picking us up when we fall. There were days I felt Gods love so strongly and saw the way He was moving and so I knew it was exactly where I was supposed to be.
After my time in Asia I came home for three months, which was amazing and challenging in its own way. A little bit of reverse culture shock mixed in with the fact that I had changed but yet felt like home was the same. I found that I wanted to isolate myself instead of dealing with things, but once again God showed Himself faithful. He taught me to continually seek Him even when I don’t feel like it and that He is with me no matter what I feel or what season I am in in life. I struggled with being restless, my heart was being pulled to so many places and people, yet I continually was reminded that God doesn’t give His heart in pieces and His love is for me.
In April, God opened the door for my close friend Grace and I to go to South Africa to do an internship an organization known as PACT( people against child trafficking). It had been on my heart for so long to go to Africa, and it was amazing to see God answer those prayers and provide for me in every possible way. In South Africa, I found God bringing me back to the simplicity of His love and reminding me that it was never about the growth and change but simply the way He is after my heart. It isn’t about what you are willing to give up or where you’re willing to go. It is a bout pursuing a friendship with Jesus, seeking intimacy and allowing Him to truly love you. Loving Jesus isn’t mean to be complicated for it is the simplest of loves that reminds us of our value and gives us a reason to wake up every day.
My year of traveling concluded with a short week and a half long trip to California where I attended a Missions Conference! I learned so much on this trip about the simplicity of seeking Jesus and the way that our life is a form of missions. Man, God is faithful in His pursuit of our freedom and teaching us how to love! Now I am planning to stay at home, nanny, get involved in my church and wait to see what the next adventure is. Thank you so much for your prayers, support and for helping me to pursue what God puts on my heart as well as taking the time to read this!
If I could summarize this by encouraging you with one thing, it would be the reminder that freedom doesn’t need to be fought for, your debt has already been paid. His simple love is what sets our heart on fire and allows us to walk with Joy and freedom.