Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Choices and Changes

"So let us be faithful to do the same. [make disciple makers] We are followers of Jesus. We have died to ourselves, and now we live in Christ. He has transformed our minds with his truth, fulfilled our desires with his joy, and conformed our ways to his will. He has joined us together in bodies of believers called local churches for the accomplishment of one all-consuming commission: the declaration of his gospel and the display of his glory to all the people's of the world. 
This task involves all of us. No child of God is intended by God to be sidelined as a spectator in the great commission. Every disciple of Jesus has been called, loved, created, and saved to make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus until the grace of God is enjoyed and the glory of God is exalted among every people group on the planet. And on that day, every disciple of Jesus- every follower of Christ and fisher of men- will see the Savior's face and behold the Father's splendor in a scene of indescribable beauty and everlasting bliss that will never, ever fade away.
This is a call worth dying for.
This is a King worth living for."
                           David Platt - Follow Me

This truth is what I came face to face with last year. I knew, deep down, that my season with Ballet Mag was coming to an end and yet I still loved it and after an injury free season asked The Lord to confirm, and reconfirm that it was time.
Facing the unknown is exciting for sure, especially when the sky's the limit. Endless possibilities invaded my imagination; I could go to school, live closer to my family, teach or perhaps DTS. I knew I was on the verge of something new and something great. One of the ways the Lord confirmed His timing was the challenge to "walk by faith". I'm fairly simple, so when a truth like that hits me, my response seems evident. I could stay in my comfort zone, where I loved what I did and knew how to do what I did well, or I could step out into the unknown by faith and follow by faith, a God who says he has "good work prepared in advance for me to do". 

By February 1st I had put in my notice with Ballet Mag (meaning I would finish out the season through August 1st).  I was so thankful for their response as they  prayed over me and affirmed me in the confidence they have that I hear His voice and therefore must obey. (Though they did try to convince me to stay in some form or fashion.) 

I'd like to say that I obeyed without hesitation as soon as I heard His call, and  without requiring confirmation or doubting, and that I stepped forward into the unknown without trying to take control and plan out my future, but I didn't. I definitely required confirmation time and time again before I obeyed and doubted that I had heard his voice along the way trying to conceive a plan for my life before I put in my notice. 

The overwhelming peace that washed over me after telling B-Mag leadership was continued confirmation. And The Lord continued to confirm in other ways too. You see, The Lord loves to give good gifts to His children. This has been head knowledge for me but The Lord evidently wants it to become heart understanding this year as he cracks open this hard heart with His incredible love. 
The second confirmation came in the form of quick and clear direction as The Lord opened the door for me to apply for a internship position at my church in MS.
As I prayed through the endless possibilities, the desire to be near my family, the pressure to go to school etc., one thing stood out over them all. My heart cry (and I believe the lord's call on my life) is to help make Him known to the ends of the earth and specifically where people have never heard the name of Jesus Christ, or the good news of the Gospel before. This was confirmed in my Spirit by the desire to be a missionary from a young age (probably from hearing
my grandmothers stories from Papua New Guinea) and several visions, words I had that The Lord was recalling to mind in this season. This in turn provoked a desire to accrue discipleship training and equipping for the field. This coupled with my desire to be a part of the movement of God taking place at Pinelake Church led me to apply for a one year missions internship program there. The application process, applying for the position without the required bachelors degree, the interview, and all that went along with that were all part of the "by faith" journey I've been on this semester. I learned a lot about myself, how the Lord had already been transitioning me and giving me desires to walk out.
 My desire to serve and learn and grow under the leadership of my church grew until I had to lay down the desire to do it because fear of disappointment was setting in. Haha "Me" is always too eager to take over. All along I can just imagine The Lord looking down, smiling and saying "these are good plans, I'm unfolding for you, they are a gift". 
Meanwhile I busted my foot on our
East Coast tour, in St Augustine, FL early in March. I limped my way through the rest of the tour, doing (faking) what I could while all the girls stepped in and pulled extra weight... dancing, driving and lifting for me. 
Just one week before we left for our 6 week overseas trip I found out I was accepted into the internship. I was so shocked and excited that I was silent on the phone for what seemed like an eternity until I could choke out some words. :D "Every good and perfect gift is from above!"

The first 3 weeks overseas I wasted a lot of time in pain and frustrated that I was in pain. I was sidelined for the most part hit still in costume having to do (fake) small acting roles. That got tiring really fast and breakthrough happened about halfway through for me. 
I could write for days about all that I saw, learned, experienced, the people I met or the work The Lord did in Switzerland, Poland, Ukraine, Czech, Russia, Kenya and South Africa, not to mention the many stops, airport sleeps, and flights along the way. I'll save those stories for another day.

Right now, I sit at the close of a chapter. A beautiful chapter of spiritual growth, stumbling, challenges, grace, healing, and serving. I have been so blessed to work with the people I get to every day. Where else can you find such sweet relationships that challenge you, refine you, love you (on 18hr drive days in close quarters) and motivate me to be more like Jesus and who speak Truth into my life when I need it.  
It has been a whirlwind transition from 6 weeks overseas, a week in CA for (my sister) Jennifer's graduation, and then our month long summer intensive dance camp held here at Belhaven University. After 4 weeks of acting as a head counselor for over 200 students (we had 375 total ages 11-24, + 30 teachers), I find myself in a swirl of packing, transition and processing. Today is officially my last day with Ballet Mag and Sunday is my official start day at Pinelake. I look back and my heart is filled with thankfulness and sweet memories and I look ahead with excitement, anticipation and hope as I look to Jesus the author and finisher of my faith. 

As David Livingstone said: "Without Christ, not one step; with Him, anywhere!" 

1 comment:

  1. Your obedience and submission to God is such an inspiration to me. He has and will continue to do great works in and through you. I look forward to seeing you continue to grow during the internship!