“Just because you go to church doesn’t mean you’re a Christian. I can go sit in the garage all day and it doesn’t make me a car.” – Joyce Meyer
It’s finally here—the time when I get to put feet to my faith.
I think this is one of strangest days of a missionary’s life. D Day. The Day just before Departure. Imagine being filled with sadness, excitement, joy, anticipation, uncertainty, and bewilderment all at the same time. Now multiply that by a hatred for packing and a lack of sleep from anxiety. Now multiply that times 10. Perfect. Now you can understand how I feel.
It’s been about four months since I came home from South Africa, and the time has flown. I spent time catching up with old friends, hanging out with my awesome family, doing ministry in Canada, growing with the Lord, training for soccer, worshiping at my church, and strategizing for this coming year. It’s been a jam-packed season filled with laughter, stress, tears, and lots of Chipotle burrito bowls. I’m grateful for it all.
I don’t think there will ever be a time when I feel “perfectly equipped” or “ready” to serve God. Because let’s face it, I’m a hot mess. Thankfully, all of my equipping, preparing, molding, and shaping is being done by the Spirit of God who loves to make masterpieces out of mistakes and messy hearts. All I had to do was answer God’s call for me to go. Which sounded something like… “God, are you serious? Because I’m kind of freaking out a little bit over here. I really don’t think I’m qualified for this. I barely know how to do my own laundry. What about EBOLA? I’m only 24. But if You’re sure and if You promise to go with me… then I’ll go.”
It’s so easy to talk the talk. Believe me, I did it for years. It’s easy to sing worship songs played by a live band in a comfy air-conditioned building surrounded by familiar faces, praising God with one hand while you hold your Starbucks coffee in the other. It’s easy to attend bible studies, to write blog posts, and to pray for people on your “nice list.” It’s easy to say that you trust God for provision when you live in a safe neighborhood, when you have a steady income, and when there’s plenty of food in the fridge and a car in the driveway.
But I am going to get real with you guys, I don’t want easy. I want dirty. I want challenging, and on some days… I want dangerous. I want to see God show up (partly because my faith grows weak at times and I need Him to show up, and partly because I love being blown away by God’s awesomeness). I want to fail and fall so that I can grow and change. I want to give generously, to speak boldly, and to love recklessly—no matter what the cost. Because if Jesus could give up everything (including His life) to rescue and love someone like me, then I should be able to do the same for others.
And let me tell you this very second, I already know that there will be days when I regret writing the paragraph above this one. (And you guys will probably hear about it, so brace yourselves.) Yes, the Lord promises that those days of discouragement and trouble will come, but more importantly, the Lord promises that He will forever be faithful. Any trouble or trials that I may face have already been conquered by Christ and nailed to the cross.
So tomorrow I leave to embark on a new adventure, and I want to ask you for prayer. Prayers for open hearts and open doors. Prayers for strength and courage. Prayers for love and grace to flow out of my heart and into the lives of everyone I meet. Prayers for dependency on the God who never fails nor abandons me. Prayers for my family: that they will be comforted and at peace as I travel 7,000 miles away. And lastly, prayers for the people of South Africa: for young girls to be set free from insecurities, fears, lies, and oppression—and for them to be strengthened and built up as princess warriors who are loved by the King of Kings.
Love you all. Flight leaves tomorrow, Monday at 9:30 pm. Let’s do this.