Before coming on this trip I had a few expectations. I was expecting to see God in a new way, to make new friends, and to get some clarity on some things I was dealing with at home. Little did I know that the Lord knew my expectations and was ready to show off, big time.
As soon as I said goodbye to my family and my best friend at the airport and got through security it hit me, and I thought, “It’s just me and you now God.” During my long flight the Lord started to reveal things to me I wouldn’t even realize until the weeks to come. He lead me to scripture that has been so relevant to my time here and gave me words that have helped me tremendously during this trip.
One of those scriptures was 2 Corinthians 12:9. It says, “ But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Since giving my life back to Christ in January of this year I have had to overcome a lot. Shame, guilt, self-doubt, and comparison have been the most prevalent. It’s been really hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that we have a savior who not only died for me but wants to have a relationship with me. Grace has never been a concept I have been able to understand, and since rededicating my life to the Lord I have felt anything but deserving of it. But God knew what he was doing when He called me on this trip. Missions has always been on my heart but I had no idea the impact it could have on me in just 3 short weeks.
From the very beginning I knew that the Lord had hand-picked my team for this trip. We are all so very different and have come from different countries and different backgrounds but in the end we are all brought together by one common denominator; our love for Jesus. It is crazy to think that He knew the conversations we would have before we even met each other. And one of those conversations turned out to be a God moment for me. After talking with one of my teammates one night about all the shame and guilt I have been carrying around the Lord decided to free me from those lies. And in one quiet time with Him I felt my Father’s love stronger than I ever had before. His presence was so tangible I couldn’t help but weep under the awesome weight of His glory. In that moment He washed me clean and helped me to truly understand for the first time what His grace feels like.
After having a moment like that it’s easy not to let the little things hold you back anymore. I got over my fear of evangelism, made connections with the people here that are deeper than I ever imagined they could be, built a strong bond with my teammates and experienced what true spiritual growth feels like. And after all of that I started to ponder what my purpose in coming on this trip was.
Looking back on it now it seems so obvious, but at the time I felt like I was missing something. I prayed for the Lord to reveal it to me and in the end I realized it had been staring me in the face all along. I had expected my purpose in coming here to be something along the lines of bringing someone to Jesus, or finding out what the Lord has for my future. And as it turns out, it wasn’t either of those things but it was exactly what I needed. My purpose for this trip was to see and experience the Lord’s love and grace in a way I never could have back home.
Stepping away from the hectic lifestyle I live in the states allowed me to understand so many things.
I have come to realize that life is all about position and perspective. When you change your position you allow your perspective to change, and changed perspective leads to healing and growth. Changing my position allowed me to come to realize that money really isn’t everything, you don’t need material things to make you happy. It is possible to choose joy, if you just show up the Lord will use you immensely. Alone time with the Father is literally the most important thing on this planet. Healing can only take place when you face what you’ve been running from and consciously choose to let it go, for good. God can overcome any circumstance and bring even the most unlikely of people together. His grace really is sufficient enough for me and I will never as long as I live be able to understand the depth and the magnitude of my heavenly father’s love.
In just three weeks my heart has been turned inside out, been broken, put back together, and felt so full it could explode at any second. My daddy’s goodness is immeasurable and just getting to experience a sliver of that has transformed me. It has given me a new sense of hope and a hunger for more of everything that the Lord is. And even though my flesh has been let down and discouraged by things of this world, my spirit has been made perfect because it consists of and is sustained by something that is not of this world. My savior, my Father, my best friend. And even though the journey to get to where I’ve finally come to has been filled with tears and hurt, in the end the Lord has sanctified me. He has brought me through the fire and because of my relationship with Him I have come out shining like a diamond. Living proof that through Him even the deepest shame can be washed white as snow.