Several posts have been started in the past few weeks that I have yet to finish. I'll get to them, I promise. But for now the blog break ends to share with you...
Nine days. We're into the single-digit territory now. We're heading full-force into a time that is full of packing and planning and praying and shopping, a time of impatience and of trust, and of praying some more. Nine mere days until we are headed to a country that already has my heart.
The past couple weeks especially have been a time of reflection and of hope for the future. There have been moments of fear, when the enormity of everything I cannot control overwhelms me. But Christ always, always steps in and replaces the fear with more of Him. I look back and see how perfectly He has orchestrated everything to bring me right exactly where I need to be.
Back in December, I was absolutely positive God's plan included a week-long June mission trip to Costa Rica, a trip that would have me gone the same week my dad would be leading a trip to the opposite side of the earth- Ethiopia.
But sometimes God's plan is quite different from our own.
And sometimes it takes a while to realize and accept that.
When the Costa Rica trip was a "no", I broke. I broke because my heart was already in the hands of the Costa Rican people. I broke because I have journal entries starting August 9th filled with a dream, hope, and passion to show His love to the world. And on one broken December night, I didn't understand why He would have given me a passion for the world if I couldn't do anything about it or with it.
Because I had it all planned- the trips I wanted to take, the things I wanted to
do; I literally had planned everything surrounding the dream God had
given me. Until one Sunday, our pastor said this... "The fulfilled
promise may look nothing like the original dream." That one sentence got
my attention like crazy and skyrocketed a lasting prayer for openness,
something I still work on daily.
In the midst of my brokenness, God showed up. And His "fulfilled promise" began to unfold. He showed me that a passion for the world is not at all made up entirely of short-term mission trips and because of that, a passion to do something right here in Georgia joined my passion for the world. So a quiet, small-town Georgia girl ended up starting a blog to share her heart. She started a blog to share Christ.
Throughout this whole experience of striving for brokenness and letting God unveil not only the initial dream but also the fulfilled promise, I'm learning more of what it means to place my heart and dreams in His hands. I get glimpses of the unfathomable love of Christ and how that love truly does encompass every tribe, tongue, and nation. I understand more fully that His love surpasses any and every geological barrier, and that the love I have for the world is nothing compared to His. I know now personally that God can and will reach down into your brokenness and turn it into something far different that you could have ever dreamed or planned.
And hey, Ethiopia is only the beginning. The beginning of a glorious, sometimes terrifying, but always providential plan He has for me- but more importantly, a plan He has for the nations.
His promise, His dream, and His plan for the nations is far greater than anything my finite mind could ever come up with. He has it all orchestrated, and the plan He has for me flows right into His plan for the world. And though I may not always see right away how something could possibly work for the good, God is daily fulfilling the promises He has made, promises that give me a hope and a peace even when my dreams seem shattered. Promises that stand true as He continues to reshape my dream for my life into His plan for the world, for the nations, to the ends of the earth.