That's what I must be.
In the past 2 1/2 years, I have experienced BOTH the greatest blessings and the MOST difficult hardships of my life. Following, God's blessings, the attack of Satan has left me feeling much like the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness. There have been nights of tears, days of tears, and mornings when I just didn't want to get out of bed.
God is healing me, but I have finally realized that I had to let myself mourn. Grieve for the betrayal I suffered. Mourn the loss of my dreams. Allow myself to feel LONELY and allow JESUS to fill my emptiness.
He give beauty for ashes.
I can choose to let the past dictate who I become. Or, I can choose to allow God to use my past to make me more like HIM.
Less than 2 months ago, on a Saturday, I learned there would be return trip to South Africa this summer. I did NOT immediately respond to the invitation to join the team.
The following Sunday, I felt God speaking. I felt him telling me it was time to go again.
During the entire worship service.
The most difficult part of my testing and trials began when I was in South Africa, almost 3 years ago. I could not stop that thought. There was fear of returning, fear of another long, hard battle with the enemy.
I've continued to pray...some...and think lots about going.
Then, I started a new Bible study, Beth Moore's Believing God.
I needed that.
During the study, I really felt God was speaking directly to me. I had begun to be intrigued with the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River. I read the account multiple times, fully believing God wanted me to learn something there. And then Beth Moore camped out there- in Joshua chapter 4.
I learned God had much more to say to me through those verses. Beth wrote, "The middle of any challenging journey can be the most critical point. Many of us may not be where we were, but we're not where we want to go. Perhaps the terrible bondage of Egypt is behind us, but the land of promise seems remote. The longer we wander in the wilderness between, the greater the chance we'll return to captivity."
I think of myself standing on the edge of the Jordan. God set me free from emotional and spiritual bondage, but it is time for me to put my foot in the water. I must trust him. I must keep moving. I must follow him.
I believe God is ready for me to get to work on the other side of my faith journey.
Then today, our pastor preached a sermon from 2 Timothy. And these words jumped from the pages, "whether convenient or not," (4:2) "fulfill your ministry." (4:5)
During the struggles to hold myself together and hold my children together. During my battle with loneliness and rejection, I had lost my passion.
It is time I trust my first love JESUS, and return to my passion: orphans.
I am now planning and praying for Josie-Tatum and me to return to South Africa this June.
I believe God is calling us to be his hands and feet in ministering to the orphans there.
I also believe God is preparing a great work in my heart and in Josie-Tatum's while we are there. Just as the Israelites had the first Passover before they left Egypt, and celebrated Passover again when they crossed the Jordan, I believe God is completing a work for us.
I am hopeful that God will use this trip to further heal my heart, and to further heal Josie-Tatum's.
Please join me in prayer.
Once again, we won't be going unless the LORD provides the funds. But, more than any other time, I believe they will be there if He desires us to be there. He will make the crooked paths straight. He can do more than I ask or think. He is an Ephesians 3:20 God. He is the Miracle of More.