Thursday, September 26, 2013
Last night I received a phone call that left me discouraged, dismayed, and disappointed.
If you have been keeping up with my shenanigans, you may remember that I have been planning on going to Brazil in October (next month!) to speak and share on abstinence and purity.
Well, last night that door was shut.
There have been little issues with scheduling dates, my visa, and finances. I have been a mess about it for the past week. I have been so full of doubt if all the pieces would come together in time. I reminded myself this was something He would have to do, I couldn't do it on my own. He knew the desire of my heart. I wanted to be in South America. So I dug up any bit of faith I could muster, and believed this would be a huge God story of incredible proportions. I waited expectantly.
So last night when it was confirmed that I wasn't going to South America this fall (which isn't to say God couldn't open the door for me to go next year...), I felt multiple emotions. And none of them were the fluffy, fun ones.
I felt like a failure. I had shared my plans with multiple people personally, and many more via my blogs. I felt like I let everyone down. That it was all my fault. I felt like a failure because I couldn't make it work. When the reality was that there was nothing I could've done differently or better. He alone is the one that shut this door.
I felt discouraged. He knew what my passions are. He knew that with everything in me, I want to be in South America, serving Him, and loving people. So why am I still here!?
I felt disappointed. For some crazy reason, adventure is programmed into my DNA. As much as I love home, routine, and the expected, adventure in the great wide somewhere calls my name. I wanted that adventure. I wanted to have a stamp in my fresh passport. I wanted to get out of here, and explore.
I doubted that He had actually called me to go. Did I mishear Him? Did my love for adventure and the unknown drown out what He was saying? I doubted myself. There is no way that God would've called me, to speak on a topic that makes me blush and sweat, even just thinking about it. I didn't finish college. I am not a speaker. I'm not anything special.
I felt like my dreams were dashed. I wanted to share my story. I want all these years of waiting, and waiting, and waiting for my husband to not be wasted in vain. I want to share how important purity is to me. I have dreamt of telling girls how wonderful they are, and that we have a Jesus that restores and heals. I have dreamt of sharing the importance of knowing your value comes from being a daughter of the King, not anything you can do, or have done.
I felt dismayed. I don't understand why He would answer big prayers to get my passport here in record timing, only to allow my visa to cause problems. I don't understand why He would grant favor for me to have time off of work, only to have the days not work out.
I was bummed because I was supposed to do training in Chicago next weekend, and now I'm not going. I love Chicago. So very much. I was looking forward to riding the Ferris wheel after training, eating a hot dog from a street vender, and hailing a taxi cab. Now Chicago is off of the calendar.
I am tired of waiting. Even if this door is closed just temporarily, it means more waiting. I know waiting doesn't mean just sitting around, but the in between times are doing a number on me. I have been waiting for what some days feels like forever, for a husband and family, and now I am continuing to wait on what I am doing with my life, and ministry. I just want to hit the fast forward button.
I have some wonderful people in my life. They have sat with me while I have cried, and listened to me hash this out a thousand times already. I am so blessed to have them.
And as annoyed and frustrated as I am, I am so thankful for a God that has a plan. I do not run around willynilly. His timing is perfect. His plan is perfect. He loves me more deeply than I could ever realize. And He truly wants what is best for me.
So as I grumpily eat a piece of dark chocolate, and continue to sort out my feelings, and my plans, I somewhere, somehow gather up a speck of faith, and attempt to believe that He has got this one.
I am still struggling today. I don't want to wrap this up in a perfect little bow, and claim to have my junk together. I don't. Today is a day I am barely getting by, and so ever thankful for chocolate.
So, pray for my heart. It's a little bruised right now. I hate having plans and dreams not come to fruition in my timing.
Thanks for letting me be real and honest for a few minutes. It's not always my favorite thing to do, but I just wanted to let y'all know...
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Can you believe summertime is already over? It just flew by!! A few months ago, I made a "Summer Bucket List". I didn't want my summer to go by, and be too busy, to do what the things I wanted. So, I decided to live intentional. I made a list, and for the most part, completed everything.
"My Summer -I Did List!"
-drive in movie
-see a rainbow
-sleep in til noon
-bake a pie
-meet new fiends
-layout and look at stars
-sweet tea on the porch
-go on a boat
"My Summer -I Didn't List"
-float down a river
I just finished making my list for fall. I am so excited to start checking things off.
"My Autumn -To Do List"
-buy a friend flowers
-jump in a pile of leaves
-wander in a field of sunflowers
-get pumpkins for the front porch
-visit a cider mill
-wade in a body of cold water
-carve a pumpkin
-eat doughnuts and cider
-pumpkin spice latte
-salted caramel mocha
-picnic in a park
-bake an apple pie
-go to a football game
-toss a football around
-plant bulbs in the garden
-relearn how to knit/crochet
-start Christmas shopping
-go antiquing all day
-find a cozy sweater and wear it all the time
-write thank you cards to 25 people just because
-invest in a good pair of boots
-wear a scarf every day for a week
-spend time in my downtown
-mail a care package to japan
-read (and finish!!) a book for fun
-wear leg warmers
-drive around aimlessly just looking at the changing leaves
-dance outside barefoot
-sit on the front porch and just enjoy traffic
-lay out on a quilt and look at the stars one night
-fall in love with South America all over again
(Maybe I went a little bit overboard on the fall list... Can you tell what my favorite season is!?)
What is on your "must do list" for fall? What should I add to mine?
Love, M :)
Sunday, September 15, 2013
The past few weeks God has been teaching me about prayer. The biggest thing I have been learning, is that He really does hear our prayers, and He does answers them.
My dresser in my room is placed near my bed. So when I first moved in, I taped multiple notecards to the side, and created a "prayer board". I love it because it is only visible from being in bed, and I am the only one ever there, so it has created a special, private place for Jesus and I to talk. There are different categories on the notecards. "Family", "married friends", "babes I love", "people overseas", "health", "future husbands"(for me,sisters, and friends. Not multiple future husbands for me!) "salvations", "healings", "different ministries", and "randoms". I have written prayer requests on each of the cards. Last week, I was praying while getting ready, and realized I needed to add new requests to my board. I was overwhelmed when I realized I had to grab a Sharpie to cross off multiple requests, because God had heard my prayers, and answered so many requests. It was insane. He answered my prayers! Not always in the way I wanted, but He did. I anxiously scribbled a few more petitions on some more notecards, waiting and expecting God to show up in huge ways.
Later last week, I had gone to the store to quickly grab some produce to make my favorite Filipino dishes for lunch. I ended up at a store I haven't been to in months. I couldn't find the green beans and so I asked for assistance. Little did I know I was going to be blessed with more than green beans. The woman who helped me with my produce started talking to me about the weather, which somehow God turned into a conversation about prayer. It's always weird when talking to a produce lady, in the middle of Kroger, about the power of the name of Jesus, over green beans, when you have no idea if she even knows your Jesus, but you just can't seem to shut up. God just kept filling my mouth with His words, so I kept sharing. She then told me that she does know Jesus, and I was able to share with her what God has been teaching me, and encourage her in her prayer life. I shared about Bolivia, and Brazil, and how I know that I know, that God is faithful. It was the coolest thing!! We have committed to pray for each other for specific things. I am looking forward to running into her again soon, and hearing about how God is moving in her life. (Also, my lunch was amazing!!! I love Filipino food!!)
Last week, (apparently last week was a big week for me!) I met two friends for dinner. As we talked over pulled pork and Mac n cheese, the topic of rainbows came up. If you know me, you may know, I am obsessed. I told my friends that I just really wanted a rainbow to show up right over Main St. My friend laughed and said I would end up on the ground seizing in delight, if God combined two of my most favorite things. The next day I came home from work, and fell asleep in an unplanned nap. I woke up after two and a half hours, suddenly, with the random, unexplainable,
and urgent need to go outside. I walked onto my front porch, and there was the most gorgeous rainbow, right over Main St. He had heard the whispers of my heart, and gave me the most beautiful rainbow, in the exact location I had wanted. He delights in me. I am His girl. :)
So current prayer requests:
-a couple of dear women fighting cancer
-my health (cough/runny nose/headaches/tiredness)
-starting to teach new women's Bible study this week
-money to get to Chicago/place to stay while there for abstinence training for Brazil
-Ina's book to finish final stages of publishing in Brazil ASAP.
-final travel details to be solidified for Brazil
-continued financial support for Brazil
-God to fill my mouth so I can share His story, wherever I am.
-new fall ministry schedule
-making time to rest
How can I be praying for you this week?
How have you seen God answer your prayers lately?
What is your favorite verse about prayer?
I hope you have a wonderful week!
1 John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
Monday, September 2, 2013
The other afternoon, I was driving across town to get some errands done. As I came up to the first traffic light, I realized there was a little grasshopper sitting on the windshield of my car, holding on for dear life. He probably had not planned to be on an unexpected adventure. He probably thought he was just going to sit there, and enjoy his day. He was probably pretty content with that. Suddenly, he had no idea where he was going, or what would happen when he would get there. He was just along for the ride, on an unexpected adventure.
I am that grasshopper.
Let me back up a few months. At the very beginning of summer, I was at a wedding. I was talking to a friend, waiting for the bride and groom to make their grand entrance, when she said words I had never heard before. She told me she had been praying for me, and really felt like God was going to call me to speak. No one had ever looked at me and thought, "She is a speaker, I can just tell." So that was weird.
Days after that conversation, I was with a new friend at the park. I had only known her for maybe 30 minutes total. We had met the week before, sitting on the beach, bonding over modesty, Target, and our girls playing so well together. So when we met up for a play date, I had only expected light conversation to occur. While we were pushing the kids on the swing set, she looked at me, and told me I need to surrender to the Holy Spirit, because He is calling me to speak, and He is going to use me to minister to women, and do big things. That was really weird.
Later on that week, I received a phone call from an old roommate. She encouraged me about a blog I had written, and went on to say that she knew God was going to use me to be a voice for single girls, everywhere. By this point I was completely confused, and weirded out.
Throughout the summer, I was sent emails from people I had never met, text messages from friends I had not seen in months, and conversations began to take place with those closest with me. Everything was pointing to being a voice for women. I was freaking out.
I tucked this all in my heart, and waited to see what He would do about it. Because frankly, I wasn't going to seek anything out on my own. I was terrified.
I am not a speaker. I do not have a college degree. I only took one speech class in the course of my entire education. I was once such a shy and timid girl, I couldn't read aloud in class. I have always been a bit more on the meek and gentle side. Speaking was never in my plans.
In June, I blogged a simple sentence that has become my new motto. I don't want my life to make sense, I just want people to take note that I have spent time with Jesus.
So, when asked to teach a women's Bible study, I thought I had landed right on what the next step was. It was made mention of possibly speaking at a women's event, but nothing was really confirmed. I then thought this really had to be it. Speaking, and teaching women. It made sense to me.
But I didn't know if I really wanted my life to be safe, and just make sense.
By this point of the summer, I was beginning to really pray for big things. My heart was really aching to be in South America again. I woke up broken, sobbing, and longing not to be here, multiple nights a week. But I knew I had promised 2 years left at my job before I could pack up and go. So I began to pray for God to just open doors.
So when I got a phone call just a few short weeks ago that made no sense at all, and created a huge stirring in my heart, I was excited.
I was asked to come to Brazil, travel, and speak on abstinence, my story of purity, and how Jesus brings hope and how He alone can restore.
A lady I served with in Bolivia 18 months ago, met up with her Brazilian friend Ina, in Chicago at a missions conference. Ina asked Danee to be praying for God to bring a girl who was pure, single, young and loved Jesus to Brazil to speak to some girls.
Danee later told me that God instantly put my name on her heart.
What I love most about this opportunity is that it really doesn't make sense. Someone who has never met me, wants me to come serve in their ministry, in another country, on another continent, all because I spent some time with Jesus. This is insane. I don't speak Portuguese, I have never spoken to a group before, I have never been to Brazil, I can't even say the word 'sex' without turning bright red, and freaking out, so this has got to be all Jesus.
So, I said yes.
This fall I was planning on being married. But because God had other plans, I will be going to Brazil to share my singleness, my purity, and my Jesus the week I had planned on honeymooning. Isn't He incredible with His timing?
My waiting for a man, waiting on God's timing, and choosing to wait to have sex until I am a married woman is not being wasted. In fact, it is actually pointing back to Jesus, and giving Him the glory. I am baffled.
The plan is to be gone a little over a week at the end of October. And hopefully many more trips as the years go by. I am thrilled that God continues to open doors to use me in very unexpected ways.
I will need to come up with money to pay for my flight, my visa, and food. While traveling, we will be staying in homes of believers around the country. I know He will provide, because He is so faithful. I have already been granted the time off of work. And when I couldn't find my passport, He put it on a friend's heart to pay for my next one. I will not be sending out letters, asking for support. And for this time, while preparing to go, I have taken myself off of facebook. So I have no idea how He will provide. I have been saving, and pinching pennies. I know that if He called me, He will make a way.
I don't want my life to make sense. I just want it all to point back to Jesus.
So, please be praying for finances this fall, final details to fall in place, His words to fill my mouth, and my heart to be prepared.
I am thrilled to finally be able to share all this goodness with y'all.
I promise to keep on sharing, and keeping everyone informed.
-If you have any questions, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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