Twenty-six weeks pregnant and I made it back home! To be really honest, my experience was a bit stressful physically and also spiritually hard. But God totally worked in them and now see it as a positive. Many people that I see that come back from mission trips were on a mountain top experience. That was just not me when I came back. I mostly came back tired and a bit overwhelmed of all that I absorbed. Writing this has actually made me see exactly what God did and why. I am grateful that the experience was not a mountain top experience because some mistakes I’ve made from the past is believing God is only awesomely real in only high awesome experiences. This trip made me see that God can be awesomely real in low experiences too. The theme for my trip was noticing how God is with me in every day to day life. The way I felt like England was not a thrill experience, but very much throwing me in an uncomfortable setting. I loved the people I met and I learned some very important realistic truths about what a full time ministry looks like. Everyday I struggled what each day looked like and how I would have to be willing at anytime to die to self for Christ. I know I needed to be in England to learn some important truths. In order to do that, God had to pull me away from all my comforts and be uncomfortable. So in every situation I had to ask him for help, and he would surprised me in the way he would answer me back quickly or wouldn’t and I had to believe He was working when I didn’t see it.
I urge you again to witness that God demands nothing, asks no price, and exacts no payment.
Leading up to Creation Fest I thought I really needed to get some things together before I was able to reach out and do stuff for Christ. I was hoping in England God would reveal some unanswered prayers. Then when I was there not knowing if he would or not, I asked Him to help me with some major anxiety I was having before the trip. I didn’t know exactly where it was coming from, but really wanted a break through before I got home. By his grace He did. One of the pastors that spoke talked about how we know we are saved and what that looks like. In my nineteen years of being in the Lord, I never fully understood the impact of grace and how God freely gives us His full access without doing works to compensate. I was constantly hard on myself thinking I was constantly failing the expectations or potential that God had for me. The freeing words were, “We are allowed to do stuff for God, but we were meant to worship God. Angels get to do stuff for God. Until we understand that we are going to feel empty. God controls our lives, we can’t mess up His plan, but we can derail it.” During my trip I was reading the book of Grace by Spurgeon. He repeats over and over again how there is nothing we can do to earn grace. I can’t tell you how freeing that was for me. Before my trip, God was already working in my life in putting me in the place to practice worship and nothing else. Because he was closing every door I was feeling empty. After the pastors sermon I felt lead to get prayed over. It wasn’t a powerful prayer, but something was different in my soul.
Go as you are.
A profound way of God showing me that this event was all about Him; and not me, are these words. Go as you are. They were encouraging, but I did not expect it to be literal. I was stressing over doing things with my own strength such as, going up to a stranger and sharing about Christ. I was freaking out because I hadn’t done anything like that before. I kept thinking I had to be someone I wasn’t and I was worried about feeling guilty or condemning myself. This of course never happened, because it’s not what God called me to do while I was there. I didn’t realize until later that God literally wanted me to go as I was. He waited until I felt comfortable in my setting and led me and brought me people in my setting where I was serving. I didn’t do anything but be myself, be open to God’s leading, and He did the rest. It was very much a confirmation of when I gave my life to the Lord. That I would be His servant, becoming humbled, and lifting up those that needed encouragement.
Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
My favorite example of God’s power to provide was the last day of Creation Fest. I caught a cold the day before and I couldn’t decide what to do. I wanted to go back and see the event through, but at the same time I felt sick and it was getting worse. I still had a bunch of traveling and the two day touring of England that was in front of me. I knew I needed rest, but I wanted to say goodbye to people I met. I honestly, told God that if He wanted me to go I would have to feel recovered, otherwise I was staying at the cottage to get rest. I was having a hard time being honest in that prayer. I was really frustrated with the decision and was starting to have guilt and condemnation on myself. I didn’t feel better and everyone left the cottages. An hour went by and I received a text. It was from one of my team mates who I was serving with. We had planned to have a little Bible study before our shift together that day and she found out I was sick and was staying behind. In her text she offered to come by the cottage and hang out and do the Bible study with me. And if I felt up to it, she would bring me to the event to do my last shift then bring me back to the cottage. She was English and had a car to drive. God totally answered my prayer and knew my thoughts. I had to wait a little while for my answer, but God totally heard me. It was such a sweet gift and God proved to me again that He is faithful and capable of providing for me.
I came home still holding on to my new belief that God is with me and can meet my daily needs. He doesn’t demand or require anything to show is love and grace. My faith in the Lord has grown to a different level of understanding more of His grace and the full access I have of Him. I am very grateful for all the hard emotional stretching this trip to England has put me through. haha.