Joy in trails. #Urbana12 #roadtrip #Impact195 #adventure at its fullest!!! (at Hot Springs Benton AR)
Joy in trails. #Urbana12 #roadtrip #Impact195 #adventure at its fullest!!! (at Hot Springs Benton AR)
On the way to #Urbana12 ! Pray for safe travels. (at Impact 195)
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20 NIV)
I was very unhappy with myself, I felt a huge sense of self-pity and loathing because there were traits about myself that I hated. Anxiety, pride, unthankfulness.
I went to Balboa Park, sat on the grass next to the fountain on a beautiful day. Normally, this would lift my spirit with thankfulness and ease, but that was not the case. As I sat there, unthankful and sad, I prayed—what is wrong with me? Why do I feel this way? How can I get out of this? Then I realized the repetition of my prayer: “I” and “me”. Wow! When did that happen?
So I continued to pray—thanking Him that He would take the time to show me that there are things that still needs to be worked on, thanking Him that I was in Balboa Park, on a beautiful day, laying on the grass, listening to the light drops of water on the fountain. I was thankful that I had the opportunity to drive here, no reason except to escape and eventually realize that somewhere along the way I lost sight of my first love. I was thankful and at ease which brought my thoughts on God’s attribute of patience.
I was so happy with the revelation of my faults, reasons and God’s love for me that I thought it couldn’t get any better than this. But God always pulls through and provided: a violinist started playing. It was beautiful. God is awesome!
I went into Nehemiah with a heartache, well it’s a soft kind of heartache. I also went into it with the expectation that there will be conflict within our community. I leave with a great sense of peace. There were times when I got mad, sad, felt lonely, irritated, annoyed but it was short lived and was quickly replaced with joy. God is soo great.
I am devoting the next few months to be completely emotionally dependent on God. I felt sad, lonely and reflective. I felt dumb for wanting to cry when all of the people on this trip were in so much pain for things that were so deep into their lives. I didn’t want people to take their time to comfort me when there were other people more hurt then I. I finally spoke to a friend and she let me cry it all out but I immediately made myself stop when class reconvened. Later that day, we had solitude time and I turned to God for comfort. I spoke the truth out loud and ask Him to lead me into a story in the bible that would comfort me. I flipped over and landed on 1 Samuel 1:18-2:10. I cried so hard, but this time, openly so the other women, my sisters, came and gave me hugs and I explained that these were tears of joy. Because of this I was prepared for the conflict that my group had during our exercises.
To make a long story short, there were many leaders in our team. I did my best to not be the captain but I held firm to trying my best to assist the leader in his growth. He was so focused on winning the games that he sacrificed the relationships in the group. We lost every game and we felt defeated in every game—it was not fun. The team hashed it out but the group conversation left me feeling defeated—it wasn’t completely set right. At this point, our trip was almost over, I felt disconnected in my community. I remember thinking “really God, you really want me to depend solely on you? I thought I would at least have my family through the next few months!… I thought I could seek Jesus from the love of my community?…okay, I can do this… You’re present.”
Apparently I spoke with so much love that I was beating around the bush, my brother did not realize that I was just trying to help him grow. Finally he sought me out to apologize. I am so proud that he apologized and even called himself a jerk—not because he apologized or he realized that he was “wrong” but because he humbled himself to do it. He also ask that I rebuked him a little bit harder because that’s what big sisters should do with their younger brothers.
Praise the Lord for conflict! He is sovereign, He is love and He is so faithful!
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trails, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4
But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. (Proverbs 4:18, 25, 26 NKJV) (Taken with Instagram)
I have been blessed with a burden for my friends that are coming to impact tonight. Praying that they come in with softened hearts because SW & GC rocks. They are gonna get hit in the face with a hammer (cuz I did). I pray that this plants a seed for them to seek God. Nehemiah 1:4-6
My very first blog I wrote:
And now here I am, First Term Student at Impact 195. All the hard work, training, and certification from Restaurant Managing is out the door, all of the things that I was proud of, was out the door—meaning my identity is out the door.
One of the things I struggled with during 1st term was knowing my identity—it was scary to not have a plan. I was quickly comforted by my connect group that I was walking by faith and not by sight. I was comforted that my path is in God’s hands and it is okay that I do not have a plan nor do I know what exactly I am doing.
Then came design week (I posted a picture of what it looks like). Naturally I have the abilities of a strategic planner with idealistic background, this was most suitable for a restaurant manager. It was great to learn about spiritual gifts (Ephesians 4) and how I could fit in the Body of Christ. Yet I still did not know what it meant and what I’m supposed to do with it. Thankfully I am comforted that my path is in God’s hands and it is okay that I do not have a plan nor do I know what exactly I am doing.
Next was Africa. I was blessed to work in an eye glass clinic for 5 days, approximately 8 hours each day with an interpreter, Jerry. See the last post titled “He has a great plan for us!” One day Jerry asked if we can save people and my reply was “OF COURSE WE CAN”. But I immediately pointed out the type of people that we were seeing—pastors, counselors, pastors wives etc. We saw people that were saved and were seeking prayer for stronger faith, strength, healing and guidance. We immediately began a conversation of the different parts of the body of Christ. The next day using the parallel view of my ipad, we read Ephesians 4 together—half the screen was in Swahili and the other half was English. The following days I shared the devotions that the impact team had that morning or the night prior.
I am so thankful that God allowed me to meet Jerry. I was ready to start from scratch but yet, in my point of view, God showed me that I have natural abilities that can be used to edify the body of Christ. God started equipping me for ministry way before Impact and Impact is being used to get me farther along. I am so excited for the next term!
In the beginning of college I realized that I had anxiety issues. To clarify: I, myself, am fearless but I worry for the people around me. I worry for my family and friends. It was bad. If you did not call me when you got home, I would think you got in a car accident and died. I sought help and I eventually trained my mind to not think like that—things like that didn’t happen. That training of my mind helped me work in a high-stressed environment of a restaurant. I was calm, collected and cool during moments of chaos, floods, black outs, 911 calls.
While I was in Africa, there was a large storm passing through the Philippines. I watched on the news how it was flooded and the areas that were affected were areas that my family lived. I spoke to my mom, who lives in the US, and she let me know that my family was safe but was stuck on the 2nd floor of their house with food that would last the 3 days. Also that there was a family from next door that sought refuge in my family’s house since their house only had one level. Next thing you know I see in the news that the Philippines was expecting more severe weather that would last over the weekend. Then the internet stopped working in the hotel I was staying in Tanzania.
Anxiety came back in full force. I was unaware that it was still there. Thankfully I had the support and prayers of the missionaries that were with me. I thought and prayed for my family every morning and every night. However it was more that I adapted my mind to not think about my family while I was at the clinic. I focused my mind on GOD but I was not completely free. I would experienced anxiety on the way home from the clinics then frustration when I tried and failed to log onto the internet. Finally I just realized that “I was just trippen” (reminds me of my high school days) and I just needed to stop it, let it go and just trust that God would provide them with food. Next thing you know the internet started working again and my family is safe.
I am thankful that God allowed me to see the areas that I am weak. I am thankful that we have scripture that gives us guidance on to strengthen us in time of weakness (Philippians 4: 6-7).
One thing that God has shown me today, the first day of clinics in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, is that He has a plan for us. It’s just simply amazing to see how He chooses a group of 7 individuals to compose a body of Christ, each of us having different abilities, strengths and weaknesses. For example, it was like every person that we encountered today was divinely appointed to be with a specific member of our team. If the person was Muslim, they were with the Evangelist of the group. If the person was saved but needed strength/more faith, they were with the Idealist or Apostle of the group.
What a great day! Praise God for giving us a great purpose in life and affirming our identity in Christ.