Today, I leave for Africa! This will be my first trip back to Africa in five years!!! I’m excited to go back yet it’s always hard to leave my family and friends…I want to pack them all up and take them with me 🙂 I can’t help but remember the person I was five years ago and all that God did in me on that trip. I remember God shifting something in my spirit that hasn’t been the same since. I remember Him widening my view of this world and His reach to touch every single part of it. I remember faces so vividly that I can tear up thinking about them…their stories, their struggles and their joy.
I remember leaving that trip with a renewed hope that while we can’t do everything, we can do something. I remember thinking, I must do something…no matter where I’m at on this earth, I can do something! After that trip, I served better, loved better and lived better. It changed me. I could sense my call to ministry being solidified on that trip and the entire way home, I knew I would serve God and others the rest of my days.
Then, back at home…life continues and a few short years later, I felt clearly God impressing upon my heart that a change was coming. I had been on staff at my church for nearly 8 years and God was saying it was time for me to go. What?? That can’t be…I don’t have another plan…I’m called to ministry…I love this place and these people. God, you must be wrong…but sadly, I knew in the very deepest parts of my heart it was the Lord’s leading. I resisted for a bit but ultimately gave in…scared, disappointed, sad and confused I walked away and the enemy went to work. “That was it, that was your shot in ministry and you blew it.” “You didn’t really think God would let you continue in ministry did you?” So many lies the enemy threw at me…so many thoughts to overcome.
For nearly six months I sat….still. I felt as though God had forgotten about me, the dreams in my heart and the call I felt to ministry. As my heart softened and I began to squash the enemy’s voice in my head, the Lord began to quietly whisper to my heart of the things I would do and how I would return to ministry. I couldn’t make sense of it or see how it could be. I doubted, I wavered, I wept and I prayed. But God, in his faithfulness, allowed an opportunity. He made a way when I didn’t see one and he is continuing to unfold the many things He whispered to my heart during that time.
My trip to Africa, well it’s just a reminder that God WILL do what He says and what He plants in your heart, will come forth in His time. Today, I’ll travel back to Africa for new experiences, new stories and new opportunities for growth. I’m expectant and leaning in to what He wants to do.
Where ever you find yourselves, rather it’s exactly where you thought you’d be or in a completely different season than you ever expected. Embrace where you are…God is just preparing you for where he is taking you. Trust Him, lean in and enjoy the journey!