If I’m being honest, there are days when I wish I could un-pray the simple words I uttered last summer. At times, I’d gladly forget about the HUGE words I can no longer unsay. It gives me a whole new appreciation for the saying “be careful what you wish for.” Last summer, I sought the Lord and asked Him to increase my faith and my trust in Him. Simple words, right? Wrong. Those simple words, uttered from a heart longing for more of Him, brought upon such change in my life. God took those words to heart and stripped me of so much comfortability in my life. It was then that I remembered His promise to me. He promised me that I would never be comfortable in this world, because I was, in fact, not made for it. Scripture says that I am to be in the world but not of it. For that reason, He had to strip me of something so important to me, something that had actually become an idol in my life: my plan. You see, my plan meant SO much to me. My plan was to do ministry, to live a life continually reflecting Him. Little did I know, that I could exalt my plan and my timing above God Himself under the assumption that it was all for Him after all. That did not, however, justify the fact that I trusted MY plan and MY timing over His. It was almost as if I couldn’t bear to take my hands off of it, like it would be stripped from me if I didn’t handle all the details myself. Yes, I knew in my head that His plans are always better, but in my heart, there was fear, fear that I wouldn’t like His plan as much as my already carefully crafted one. So from that prayer on, things begin to change.
I was first made uncomfortable on my last missions trip to Belize in December of 2013, where I was to serve as the worship leader. No biggie. I had served in the same capacity the year before. I was comfortable in this role. I could lead in worship and then fade to the background. I had no idea then that God would want to use my talent for speaking on a different level. What you must first know is that children and VBS in particular is NOT my comfort zone. I can speak to adults all day long about the grace of God, but put me in front of children, and I’m terrified. Now imagine my surprise when I, waiting at the Belize airport for hours before I could grab a taxi, felt the Lord speak to me and tell me that plans were going to change. He spoke to my heart and told me that I would not only be leading worship but would also be taking over as VBS leader, because our actual leader was stuck at the airport in Costa Rica and would no longer be able to attend our trip. I was in complete denial and continually told the Lord that there must be some mistake. I even tried to convince myself that I was hearing things and that I SURELY would not have to worry about it. Not even an hour later, the leader of our trip confronted me and said she had something to ask me. I groaned and admitted that I had a feeling that I knew what she would ask. Sure enough, to her shock and my dismay, the Lord had spoken clearly. He had informed her separately that I was the one to ask. With that being said, you can imagine how much of an emotional roller coaster of fear, trust, and insane preparation I underwent on the rest of the trip. And you know what? By the grace of God, it was incredible! The Lord gave me words to speak, an incredible team, and a profound trust that He would truly, practically supply all of my needs. He did SO many miraculous things on that adventure to secure my trust in Him.
So you’d think trust came easily once I arrived home, right? Wrong again… Let’s examine my return to “real” life. While this trip to Belize did wonders for my trust and faith, and I began to truly see what it was like to be comfortable in the uncomfortable, my fickle heart began to fear again when I realized that graduation from college was near. For the first time, I didn’t have a carefully articulated plan for my future, and I was terrified. To be honest, sometimes I still am. Basically, I’m two months away from graduation, knowing only this, that my biggest dream is for my career to simply be making His name known. With that in mind, I guess I should learn to make His name known in His way and in His timing. Now it’s not that I’ve grasped this thing entirely or that I always do it right, but I am finally beginning to understand that by the grace of God, I’ll get there one day.