In the beginning of Journey I wrestled deeply with finding my identity in Christ. I compared myself and my gifting to others, and I struggled with feeling on the outside & different from the rest of the community.
Well, I was wrong. God showed me that while I am different, I do matter. EVERYONE is different and has their own talents and own power. As we left the first community, God was breaking me down big time. He began to reveal things to me that I struggled with but just needed to confess to people and to Him. He showed me that I don't need to worry about the approval of others because I have His approval. I don't need to make sense to others because I make sense to Him. I don't need to worry about how I walk with Him or hide Him in a box and pull Him out when I need Him. I need let him be alive in me and let Him shine through me.
As God freed me from that, there was still something that was keeping me from fully surrendering and following Him freely and intimately, and that was self control over my life. I didn't want God to control my life or to sacrifice something that I was putting as an idol. But all He wanted me to do was to give it all to him, to sacrifice my life, and to let him control it. If that meant giving up the most important things in life, that was fine with me! At that point I felt totally free and intimate with God.
A great example of Gods faithfulness is one day at camp, things were seemingly strangely difficult. The kids were disobedient, and it was hard to help them take debrief seriously. However, for me, it was one of the best days because through all of the trials and tribulations, I took the opportunity to be present with God. I took the opportunity to just interact with the kids, to set aside how I looked and the rules of the game, and to be in God's presence and glorify Him, despite the circumstances. Through that, I realized that we are not promised everyday! I repeat: EVERYDAY IS NOT PROMISED! Sometimes in life we get caught up with thinking how we can make things better or how we have the next day, but in reality "TOMORROW IS NOT PROMISED" says the Lord! We have to live in the moment and fully live in each day. Every second is valuable because we don't know when we take our last breath. We don't know when God is going to come back for his people. So why boast about tomorrow when the word says clearly "WE SHALL NOT BOAST ABOUT TOMORROW FOR IT IS NOT PROMISED TO US!!" Therefore, every day that we all live we should cherish every moment and every breath we take on this earth!
"Be Sick means to come broken-hearted, come with secrets, come with loss of faith/trust, and don't try to fix anything. Be Loved means to know that God loves you through all your insecurities, all your flaws, all your doubts and most of all, he fixes what you can't fix. So, trust in God that even through your brokenness, he will mold you back together, even though you may feel empty inside, he will fill you up to where your cup runs over. For He is a good good father and He is willing to meet you where you're at and He'll never leave you nor forsake you! Lean in, trust Him, don't be afraid of stepping in the deeper waters, for you will not drown but God will be with you!"
So as the summer dies down and I begin to leave behind the intimate relationships I've made, there's a place in my heart for Africa!! I will be back. I don't know when or how I will come back, but just knowing God is calling me back to Africa is okay with my soul. I can't wait to be home, and continue dwelling in the center of the Lord's will. To tell everyone about the goodness of Jesus and all He's done for me, and to truly walk with Him and let Him shine in me as I shine unto others!!