On Friday night, I shared a devotional with the team on obeying God and overcoming fear. As I would be celebrating my 30th birthday on this trip, I felt God calling me to be bold like never before. Specifically using my voice, which was weird because God knows I hate public speaking and I don’t feel it is a strength of mine. I have spent majority of my 20’s living in fear. I have held back and not done or said things out of fear. I have delayed moving when God said move, out of fear. I have not fully depended on God, out of fear. So finally, I am refusing to let fear take over my life.
I have always naturally been a caregiver and shown love through actions but recently discovered that God wanted more from me. He has been leading me to international missions for about 4 years but questioned- can I afford it right now, I have student loans? Who will go with me? Will I know enough? And of course the enemy would always feed me lies about why I couldn’t do it. So I always said “maybe later.” So here I am now, in Ethiopia, trying day by day to push past fear, insecurities and stomping on the devils plans to keep me from walking in my purpose.
The first few days of the trip and my anxiety was high and emotions all over the place. I questioned if I made a mistake, I wanted to change my flight home and leave earlier, I missed my husband and all things familiar. I was completely out of my comfort zone and constantly on the verge of tears.
As the first village day was approaching, I was getting more and more nervous. On Sunday night, we were given our teams and I found out I was going to be with Erin- our trip leader and Mesfin- the E3 country director of Ethiopia. What?!? Lord why are you testing me!?! This is my first trip and on day one I have to go out meet families, get to know them, talk to them about child trafficking and introduce them to Jesus in front of two leaders? It’s not fair, I’ve never done this before! These were my initial thoughts and I was very intimidated.
Monday morning came, I prayed for God to give me strength and courage, for Holy Spirit to speak through me and give me peace. I recited Joshua 1:9 over and over and over again. As the Lord has been telling me all year, he responded “Go”.
So I did.
Monday, was the first time I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. It was the first time that I didn’t feel like I was ready to go home. I walked with leaders. I met and got to know fives families in the village. I had more cups of coffee than I probably ever had in life. I hugged strangers. And most important, I shared Jesus with them. It was a day that I never could have imagined.
Just a few days in and finally realizing that God blesses our obedience. And there is nowhere on earth that I can go, that he will leave me stranded and alone. I realize that he choose ME, specifically to do this and be here. That I have the power and authority that he gave to me. And that I have the Holy Spirit as my guide always.
Though, each day presents new struggles and hurdles to overcome, I am encouraged. I thank God for appointing me for this. For stretching and growing me. My hearts only desire right now is to please God. And I am encouraged to keep going, as he leads me.
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4