I don’t plan on posting too much before I leave for Africa, but I did want to update you guys on a few things. 🙂
First Things First:
Thank you SO much to all of you who have messaged me, written me, encouraged me, and supported me in this thus far. I’ve had so many people let me know that they’re praying for me, and I can’t even tell you how much that means. Also, another BIG thank you to every single person who has given to my support page or purchased a t-shirt from my Bonfire campaign. I was completely blown away by how well it did. My heart is overflowing with gratitude to Jesus for all of you. I am truly convinced that I know some of the best people on earth!
A little update on where I am in the Africa process:
- I purchased a ONE WAY TICKET to Uganda. So, I guess it’s official. I’m really actually going. Lord willing, I’m all set to leave on July 14!!
- My passport has been attained!. I’m now working on all the fun visa stuff.
- Other than that, I’m continuing to raise funds, gather things I need to take with me, and doing my best to cherish these final months with my family before I leave.
Some things the Lord has been teaching me:
1. Patience & Waiting — As you can imagine, I am excited. (Ha, an understatement.) I think about Africa ALL. THE. TIME. When I’m in class and my professor is lecturing, when I’m at work shelving books, when I’m driving in the car, when I’m lying in bed at night. And my poor family is probably sick of hearing me talk about it. (Sorry, guys!) It’s not a bad thing, this excitement, this anticipation for what is to come. But it can quickly become an unhealthy distraction. It’s all to easy to become so fixated on the
what’s-to-come that you miss out on what-is.
You see, the Lord has been showing me that for right now, He has me right here. In this current season, I am still called to be a student, an employee, sister, daughter, and friend. I can’t do those things properly today if I am all caught up in tomorrow. Should I plan? Yes. Should I prepare? Yes. But should I do that to the point where I neglect doing what I am called to do now? Um, NO. Right now, my focus needs to be on being faithful in those things and in doing them well — all for the glory of God.
2. Casting My Burdens on Him — “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30) We are told that in Scripture. Yet, how many of you are actually experiencing that? I’ll be honest, these past months, that hasn’t been very true in my life. Maybe it’s because of the season of life I am in, but it seems like my burdens are growing greater and greater. (I’ve heard that happens the older you get. 🙂 ) Trying to balance being a full time student, working two jobs, and getting ready to leave the country can be difficult at times. I don’t always handle it the best.
But I’ve discovered a secret: “Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Our burdens are not meant to be carried, they are to be cast on the Lord — and He bears them a whole lot better than you ever could, trust me. All of our troubles are minute to Him. In fact, they don’t trouble Him at all.
Lately, I’ve been getting in the habit of “casting” burdens, cares, or anxieties on Him as soon as they appear. It could be something as little as a homework assignment or something as big as a relationship challenge. It’s amazing the freedom, joy, and peace that comes from doing that, from saying, “Lord, I trust You. I’m choosing to let go of this and give it to You.”
I don’t know what burdens are weighing you down, but I would encourage you to do the same whenever you begin feeling overwhelmed. I do know He will be faithful to supply you with the grace and strength you need to walk through the challenges — with JOY. I love the words of the old hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus:
What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
Okay, okay. I’m a hymn girl. I really appreciate a good, powerful, old fashioned hymn. I feel as though they often articulate what I would like, but am unable to. So here’s another great one entitled He Giveth More Grace:
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit; His grace has no measure.
His pow’r has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!
And there’s my super exciting update. I wish you a very lovely Easter as you think on all that Jesus accomplished on the Cross and what that means in your own life. The Cross changes everything, and I was once told that it should be the lens through which we view things — people, relationships, time, circumstances, finances, etc.
(This album is great to help you reflect on the Crucifixion of Jesus and to help prepare your heart for Easter.)
Feel free to let me know if you have any questions, comments, concerns, witticisms, or criticisms to share. I’d love to hear from you!
Goodbye for now!
P.s. I would also highly encourage you to watch this video. If it doesn’t fire you up and make you burst with love and praise, I don’t know what will. Jesus is amazing.
P.p.s. If you don’t happen to know Him, but would like to, let me know. I’d love to help you take care of that. 🙂