Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Big Ask

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I have been home from Missionary Orientation for just over a week, and I have spent my spare time getting prepared for the next steps in this journey. Today I spent my afternoon completing my timeline, making a list of contacts and working on some marketing pieces.

I briefly talked to a friend and told her about my day and she’s asked how I was feeling about everything. My honest answer was “I’m a little overwhelmed.” She was incredibly encouraging telling me it was all going to be worth it and that “I’ve got this”. In that moment I realized, no, I don’t have this, but God does.

And that’s all that matters.

God has gone before me and knows exactly how this will play out. He knows who will support me, how long the fundraising will take, and when I will move to the Czech Republic to begin my mission work.

God is using this process as an opportunity for me to grow. Grow in patience, in faith, and in something I find unbelievably challenging:

The Big Ask.

I am not good at asking for help or support. I love to give help and support to others, but asking for it for myself is intimidating.

This may come from messages I received as a child where I was told not to be a burden to others. It may come from a fierce independence I developed at a young age when I felt like I had no one to depend on. And it may very well come from pride.

God is challenging me to humble myself in order to seek the support I need. He is stretching me in ways like never before. And I am grateful.

In the Bible, when Jesus sends his disciples out to share the message, He tells them not to bring food or extra clothing. He advises them to search out meals and lodging from people in whatever town they are in.

If Jesus and His disciples can humble themselves to ask others to provide for their needs, why can’t I?

Exactly. Why can’t I?

The answer is that I can. God will provide the support that I need. He will bring people forward who believe in my missionary work and want to partner with me.

But he needs me to do the work too.

He needs me to overcome my fears and my pride, and ask.

I need to remember that although I am asking for financial support for my ministry and living expenses in the Czech Republic, it is not about me. I have been called to the Czech Republic, a country where 90% of the people are atheist, to spread the gospel. I have been called to “go out and make disciples of all nations…” as Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:19.

So when my fears and insecurities and pride try to get in the way, I need to remember that I am doing this for Him and His kingdom.

As I move through this process, I recognize that it is not just about getting people to give me their money. It’s about building relationships and partnerships. It’s about praying for one another and encouraging one another. It’s about spreading the love of our Lord together.

I may be the only one physically moving to the Czech Republic, but I am not going alone.

As I reflect on all of these things, I realize that ‘The Big Ask’, when done for Jesus, is not so big.

If He is for us, who can stand against us?

 

If you’d like to check out my missionary profile, visit https://www.teamcanada.org/about/profile/1638

Feel free to contact me anytime to find out more about what I am doing, or to partner with me.

 

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It’s Worth It

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Last week I was in North Carolina for my missionary orientation for TEAM. As most people in my life know, I will be moving to the Czech Republic to work as a church planter and to teach English.

Orientation was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much and I am so grateful to the TEAM staff for all of the work, effort and care that goes into the training and into each individual preparing to go out into the field. My brain is still on overload from all of the information, but I feel confident and equipped to take the next steps in this journey.

I also had the honour of meeting and getting to know some incredible people. I wish there had been more time to talk to everyone and hear their stories, and learn about what they are going to do. It was inspiring to see so many like-minded people coming together, and to share an instant connection because we’re all going out into the world to spread the gospel.

I could go on and on about how wonderful the experience was, but I want to focus on something that really stood out for me. One of the TEAM staff members shared about his years of working in missions, and all the stress and joy and struggle and excitement that goes with it. He warned all of us that being in the missions field will often mean having to give up our lives. He talked about how hard it is to leave family and friends, comfort zones, and ministries, and how the unexpected will happen and things will often be beyond on our control.

And he finished this with 3 simple words. “It’s worth it.”

Powerful.

I began to reflect on my own journey to be a full time missionary up to this point. It has happened fast, and somewhat unexpectedly, but it has been very God driven from the beginning.

A year ago I was not thinking about moving to the Czech Republic to be a missionary. Now I look back and see how God placed each stepping stone on my path to get me here.

I completed the lengthy and overwhelming application process in 4 months, and never once had any fears or doubts about what I was doing.

Because God told me to do it.

Everything has simply fallen into place since the very beginning. Because it has all come directly from God.

This has made me reflect back on various times in my life – through struggles, joy, frustration, laughter, and stress; in the times and events where I was following God and surrendering to Him, it was all worth it, both the good and the bad.

In the times where I tried to control things and step ahead of God’s plan, the outcome was never worth it. I was often left with pain or regret.

As I look back over the years, I see how God has led me here. Even when I ignored Him or pushed Him away, He has always found a way to steer me back to His purpose. And His purpose has always been worth it.

Missions has been a passion of mine for many years, but I look at my journey and where I am now, and recognize how perfect God’s timing is.

I wasn’t ready for this 5 years ago or even 3 years ago. I was still dealing with too many struggles, too many unhealed wounds, too many fears. It was something I wanted, but I was not equipped for. And God knew that.

God placed me on a journey to grow spiritually, emotionally and mentally, so that He could bring me here to this moment. He planned it all so perfectly.

So I could be ready.

And all of the time it took to get me, all of the stress and struggles and uncertainties, it was all worth it.

Anything we do for God and with God is worth it.

It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves and try to push our own agenda on Him. As humans, we are generally not good with the unknown, and we are often not very patient. We want the answers here and now.

It’s important to remember that it’s not about our timeline – it’s about His.

The waiting and the unknown are worth it if we are following His will.

A few years ago I finally, truly surrendered control of my life to God. And it has been worth it ever since.

In surrendering, I finally found freedom.

I found peace.

I found joy.

I found a deep, deep faith.

I discovered how truly powerful, amazing and breath-taking God’s love for me is.

And it is so worth it.

 

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What I’ll Miss the Most

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It’s been nearly 4 weeks since I found out I’ve been appointed a missionary to the Czech Republic. Since then I have been busy telling friends, family, acquaintances, and anyone else who will listen! I’ve signed up for my orientation and training which is from February 10 to 16 in North Carolina (one week away!), and I have been answering questions as best I can without having a lot of information just yet.

It’s been an exciting few weeks.

As my excitement continues to grow, and I wonder what God has in store for me, the realization of what I am leaving behind has begun to sink in.

Don’t misread this – I am not having any doubts or second thoughts. The more I think about this journey I am on, the more I see how right it is for me, and how God’s hand has been directing it from the beginning.

But it would not be healthy if I didn’t acknowledge and prepare myself for the things I am going to miss here.

Today I went to my nephew’s birthday party. He turns 4 on Wednesday, and it hit me that this may be the last birthday party of his that I attend for a number of years.

Those who know me well know that I adore my nieces and nephews. They mean the world to me, and because I do not have kids of my own, they are my kids. I love that I am very involved in their lives. I love that I get to pick them up from school, and make them dinner, and be a part of their daily norms.

And I know that, in order to follow the path God has laid out for me, I have say goodbye to seeing them often. And that is what I’ll miss the most.

I’ll miss not being here for birthdays and holidays.

I’ll miss picking them up from school.

I’ll miss giving my oldest niece clothes I’ve hardly worn, and books I think she’ll enjoy.

I’ll miss teasing my oldest nephew, and trying to give him big hugs when I know he doesn’t like hugs.

I’ll miss going my young niece’s ballet class to watch her dance.

I’ll miss the way my young nephew runs to give me a hug when he sees me coming.

I will miss key events in their lives.

I will miss watching them grow, and seeing them discover something new.

I will miss them more than I can express.

I am grateful to be a part of time where it is easy to connect despite distance. I am grateful for Skype, FaceTime, email, texting, and all the other ways I can still be a part of their lives.

No, it’s not the same as being here, but it is something.

And no matter where I am in the world, I will ensure my nieces and nephews know how much I love them. That I can promise.

As I move forward on this new path, and get excited about the adventures ahead, I will also recognize and grieve what I am going to miss.

And I plan to cherish each moment I have with my nieces and nephews, my parents, my sister, my extended family, my friends, and my church family, up to the moment I step on the plane.

Although I’ll miss so much here and it hurts my heart to move so far from everyone I know and love, I am confident in my decision to move to the Czech Republic for mission work.

I want to obey God and His calling for me.

I want to do His will.

And I want to share this journey with everyone I love.

And I hope to have lots of visitors! 😊

 

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