Sunday, July 31, 2011

Something Bigger

I leave for India in less than 48 hours. As it gets closer I have had a lot to think about. Tonight as I was driving home from seeing a very sweet friend of mine this beautiful lightening storm enriched the sky. There was no rain, I didn't hear thunder, I just saw this vibrant masterpiece of a lightening storm flashing across the sky. It really made me think, this isn't about me, is it? None of it is. I have spent weeks thinking what if I get sick? What if the food doesn't agree with me? What if I don't get enough sleep? And today it hit me that I was going about this all wrong. It is not about how I will feel on this trip, what matters is how the Kingdom of God will be impacted. What matters is that we take every moment to share the news of Jesus Christ with everyone we meet. This trip is about encouraging the persecuted church in India, bringing hope to women in churches on the other side of the world, and bringing the joy of Jesus Christ to children so that they in turn will become disciples of Him. This trip is not about me. I have been so selfish in believing this was my adventure. The Lord told me to go and serve HIM, not to go and worry about myself. This earth is momentary. There is an eternity waiting for us and I want to take as many people as I possibly can with me.

I heard this song (click here) twice today and I decided it will be my theme song for my trip. This next month is being covered in prayer by so many people and it means more to me than anything. I hope that this month whether you are going across the world or going back to school you will realize that this is all about something so much bigger than you or me.



And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on 
A glorious light beyond all compare 
And there will be an end to these troubles 
But until that day comes 
We’ll live to know You here on the earth 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Afirmation

Ok I know I already posted today but I just have to share this. God is so good!

Today I emailed my Community Coordinators at Fuller Theological Seminary. Basically this is a married couple that act as the RAs on the two floors of my apartment building. So I sent them an email saying I was not going to be actually moving in when my lease starts because I will be in India for August. Tonight I got an email back from the wife of the pair. In it she mentioned that she was very happy that I was getting to go to India...because she and her husband are from India! They moved to the States a few years ago when they felt God calling them to be missionaries.

I feel like this is such an affirmation from the Lord that I am exactly where He wants me to be. Not only am I going to India, but then I am moving sight unseen to California, where my CCs ARE FROM INDIA. Now I am telling you I do not think that is a coincidence! This is going to make the transition to Fuller a lot easier knowing that I will have someone there, in my apartment building, who will understand exactly what I will have just been through. I foresee a nice coffee date with my first friend in CA, and maybe she will even cook me some Indian food!

I thank the Lord for taking me into the unknown and for making every tiny piece of the puzzle work together. It is so calming to know that the God who created the universe is taking care of me every step of the way. Isn't He so good to us?

4 Days Until Take Off!

I officially leave for my Indian adventure in four days! I am all packed up, excited, and ready to go. Stay posted because next week these posts will actually be from the other side of the world! (In other words, they will be a lot more interesting!) Stay tuned!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Typhoid, Rabies, and Mosquitos..Oh my!

Update on all things India:

It is getting closer to my departure date so I am putting the finishing touches on getting ready. It is taking a lot more preparation than I had predicted! Today I traveled to the big city of Atlanta and met with a travel doctor. I really recommend this if you are traveling out of the country. It was very informative and productive.

So I am proud to say that I am now vaccinated against Polio, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid Fever. I have also been instructed to stay away from all animals, no matter how cute, and to cover myself in deet in order to not get Japanese Encephalitis. (It is as scary as it sounds). Let's just say that I will have a forcefield of protection around me made of vaccines, an inordinate amount of deet, and fear.

My support raising is coming along great. It has been unbelievable to see the generosity of people around me. I love it because it is nothing I have done to deserve this- it is obviously the work of the Lord! I always love to see the Lord come through financially, and in such little time too!

I also recently watched Gordon Ramsey travel to Southern India on BBC America in order to educate myself on what I would be eating. The travel doctor thought it was very weird when she asked if I had researched India and where I was going and I said, "No, not really." haha, I guess I should have mentioned my education from Gordon. She also winced when she asked what I would be doing with all my time and I said, "I'm not exactly sure." Maybe should have been more prepared for that appointment...

All in all things are going so well. Thanks to everyone for their interest, their support, and their love for me and this journey. In a little over two weeks these blog posts will be from India! woohoo!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rejoicing in His Goodness

There are some times in life when there is no other thing to do but sit back and rejoice in the blessings given by the Lord. It is this incredible feeling to realize that I deserve nothing, yet I have everything. I have failed, I still fail, and I disappoint the Lord I am sure, yet He still chooses to bless me and make me feel how truly loved I am. His love is incomprehensible to me, for we surely do not love this way! My love is so fickle so much of the time! Yet God loves me and you without asking questions, it is unconditional.

So here are just some of the great things the Lord is doing in my life:

1. In just around a month the Lord has been faithful in raising $2,050 for my trip to India. In a month! Through family, churches, strangers and friends, the funds have been coming in- in amazing ways! I am so thankful for all of the people who are putting their faith in me and this mission. To know that they believe in what I say and do is an incredible feeling and I am so so blessed to have their support. I still have around $1,000 to raise before August 2nd but I have no doubt that this amount and more will be provided. Praise the Lord!

2. This week I have gotten to spend a lot of time with my brother (who hopefully won't read this because he will find it cheesy and stupid!). It has been such a great blessing because when I move to California in the Fall, I won't get to see him very often. I have been blessed with an amazing family and I will spend hours telling anyone who will listen how great my brother is. This week has been so fun, just getting to go grocery shopping, attempting to make dinner, watching crappy tv, and laughing about silly things. I have really felt thankful that the Lord gave me this week to spend with him and I know I will really miss these times when I am so far away. As hard as it will be to move across the country I feel like it is a blessing to feel torn, because it means that I have something special enough to be sad about leaving. I have been given a great family, and I am not always nice to them or considerate, yet they love me and are willing to deal with my crazy self and for that I am so so blessed.

A lot of times we get caught up in everyday life and the many to do lists that we have around our homes. We get stressed, worried, and frustrated about everything. But it is times like tonight that make all the difference. Take time to just sit back and look at all the things we are blessed with, that we don't deserve, and to be so so thankful for a God who is willing to not only put up with us, but to provide such great things in our lives.

I am thankful, so so thankful, for my God, and I am so thankful for the way He provides and the ways that He shows how much He loves us. We are all so blessed, aren't we?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Life's Mission Statement

In one of my leadership classes in college we were given the assignment to make a mission statement for our lives (I think it was from the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). This statement would reflect what we live for and give us goals for who we want to be. I really liked this idea because we use mission statements for our organizations, our jobs, and many other professional endeavors, but I had never thought to make a statement declaring what I stand for and the kind of person I want to be. It really made me think about what I want to stand for.

Here is my life mission statement:

"I will be a woman who has strong moral character, who has patience even when patience is tried, who has joy in all circumstances, and who shows compassion to all people. I will strive to serve others in everything I do. For my friends, my family, those I know, and those I do not, I will live my life to better the world around me. I will not sit complacently in my life of wealth while others have nothing. I will strive to be a friend who listens, a sister who encourages, a daughter who loves, and above all a passionate follower of the Lord. Every action will be defined by the love of my Savior. I will have grace, compassion, and mercy on every person because I have been covered by the love of Jesus Christ who had grace, compassion, and mercy for me."

Cool huh? I want to challenge you to take five minutes and write your own mission statement. You will be surprised as to how much it makes you think about what is important in your life and what defines your actions. Post your statements as comments if you would like- I would love to read them!

Update on India: God has been faithful in bringing in the financial support for my trip. Keep praying for the last bit to come in as the month goes on (if you don't mind). Thanks for all of your prayers and support! Your encouragement means more to me than you know!