Check back for updates on my trip to the UK and the amazing things God is doing in the city!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Faith and Vision

I realized, recently, that this trip may sound like less of a missions trip and more like a fun and expensive trip to London. While this trip will have moments of fun, it will be challenging and life-changing for me. I anticipate big things and I know God has so much for our team on this trip. So, please read on. I want to share with you WHY I'm going.

I am at a crossroads in this season of my life. I lost my job. I now have a job that I don't have to commit to long term. I feel and see God moving in my life now more than ever. In the past, I've made big decisions based on what I wanted and then slapped God's name on it to get people's approval. I realize, now, that it would be hard to take this seriously as many times as I've followed a "dream" or "longing" and failed. However, I'm human. We all make mistakes. And, for the first time, I can honestly say this is God and not me. God is stirring me in ways I don't understand. He's pushing me in directions that are uncomfortable and challenging me to believe in the seemingly impossible.

I'm going to Northern Ireland in May. I'm going. And my hope and my prayer is that I won't come back the same way I left. I'm praying for God's clarity and vision for my future. I'm praying for insight and confirmation for the things my heart burns for. On this trip, I will be stretched. I will live out of a backpack for two weeks. (If you know me, you know this is a challenge in itself.) I will pray for people I don't know in a place I don't know. I will stay with people I don't know. I will be challenged to share my story with people I don't know. My pastor recently informed us that, "When I'm on, you're on. At any time, I could call you up on stage and put you on the spot. Be ready for that." GULP. There will be very little down-time and I foresee there being some stressful moments with such little down-time.

This won't be a trip I take and come back to "life as usual". This will either confirm or deny my future in Northern Ireland. I don't know what God has for me, but I know there is a reason my heart stirs the way it does about this place. My heart breaks to hear about the 20 foot walls that continue to build in the city of Belfast. A mere band-aid to a much bigger problem. I hear about youth so angry and bitter that they have no hope or care for their own lives or future. The last name they want to hear is "Jesus". The last place they want to go is "church". This nation is divided by a history of politics, pride, and prejudice. God wants reconciliation. Matthew 12:25 says, "A city divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can this kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."

God calls us to be disciples. "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:16-20

In a time when my life feels so out of control, I'm reminded of how much I need to just let go and follow what God is doing in my life. So many times, I've started to follow a direction God points me and then I veer off on another path because I decided my desires were more important than the direction God was taking me in.

This Easter, I was watching my little cousin fill her Easter basket as she wandered around the back yard looking for fun things. Patrick leaned over to me and pointed out the fact that my aunt was pointing at something in a bush but my cousin kept walking forward looking at the immediate area around saying, "I'm looking! I don't see anything!" Patrick then said, "It kind of reminds me of how we are with God sometimes. God is calling us to do something and yet our eyes are fixed on the immediate things around us and we're frustrated saying, "I'm looking! I don't see anything!"' How profound that was!

I'm in this place now. I'm being challenged to look up and trust that God will take my hand and lead me. I know that God will take care of my immediate surroundings. I'm fixing my eyes on Him and the direction He wants me to go in. I'm standing on the ledge, I'm taking a deep breath, and I'm jumping.


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