Attacks, Battles, Faith, and Trust

I just got back from Poland a couple of weeks ago, so forgive my lack of posts. I’ve been trying to get my thoughts in order.

This mission trip to Poland was my first time going somewhere without my parents – well, first time going somewhere besides the grocery store. Frankly, I was just excited. It wasn’t until the night before I left that I realized what I was really doing. I was about to fly halfway across the world with twenty other people who aren’t related to me. I was going to go to a completely foreign place (in the most literal sense of the word) without anyone or anything familiar to ease the shock. Still, even through that realization, yes, I wanted to cry, but my excitement never faded. I was exhilarated. So we left. All twenty of us, on a little plane out of a nearby city.

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For months leading up to the trip, I had felt “under attack.” This is christianese for Satan was trying to keep me from going on this trip. I felt anxiety, fear, doubts, but through the attacks, God would always give me little words of encouragement. They would be short, they would be simple, but oh they were true, and they were exactly what I needed to do battle. The attacks continued throughout the trip, and the primary doubt that took root in me was the fear that God wouldn’t do anything in me or through me. I had been so excited to go to Poland because I felt so strongly that there was a reason I was going, but I still had this lingering fear that I wouldn’t feel a change. Finally, one day, this fear and others bubbled over to the surface, and, well, I spent a lot of time crying that day.

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The next morning, I was reassured once again that there was a reason I was in Poland. God challenged me to stretch my faith in Him. Plus, that was a word He had given me time and time again leading up to the trip: “FAITH” and “TRUST.” So I trusted. From that moment on, I had a renewed trust in my Father. I was able to trust that I was there for a reason. I was able to trust that I was making a difference, even if I couldn’t see it. I was able to have faith that God was making changes in me and through me. AND HE DID. Even if that is the only change He made, He did renew my faith and trust in Him. Now that I am home again, I want nothing more than to go back. Back to that place of isolation with God. Still, I know that this is where He wants me right now… and I am able to trust Him in that.

After Poland, I do feel changed. I have a new fellowship with God like I’ve never had before. I have a new trust and a new faith and for that, I am so thankful.

I am thankful to be home safe, but I can’t wait for my next adventure.

Sometimes You Just

I’d like to talk for a minute about quiet time.  If you’ve grown up in a Christian home, you probably know what “quiet time” is.  For those of you who don’t know, this is Christianese for about 15 minutes to an hour spent, usually in the morning, reading your Bible, praying, and just spending time with Jesus.  Before I go any further, I’d like to say that everything I am saying to you all, I am also saying to myself.  Because I need to hear this.

It is impossible, in ones life, to never have a morning where you wake up and just don’t want to take the time to do your quiet time.  For me, the usual excuses are, “I have so much to get done” or, the ever-more-intimidating, “I’m afraid I won’t encounter Jesus.”  I’ve had good mornings, and I’ve had bad mornings, and I’m sad to say that the bad mornings have given me a fear of more bad mornings.

I’m here to tell you (and me) this.  When you wake up in the morning, open up your Bible.  Force yourself to step outside of time.  Don’t look at your clock, don’t look at your phone.  Invite your Father into your space.  And if you’re afraid that you won’t feel Him, just remember: He delights in YOU (Psalm 18:19).  So even if you don’t feel Him as strongly as you want, remember that He feels you.  He listens to you.  He loves hearing you talk to Him.  He loves to talk to you, even if it takes a while for you to hear.

Even if you can’t bring yourself to pick up your Bible… even if you can’t find the courage to pray… just sit with Him and listen.  Sit with Him and let Him calm your doubts.  Because His peace surpasses all understanding.

Sometimes you just need to read.  Sometimes you just need to talk.  Sometimes you just need to sit and listen.

Father, Abba, friend.  Let me have the courage, the patience, the faith, and the discipline to spend this time with you every morning.  I know that even when I don’t treasure it as much as I should, you do. I trust you, I know that you love me.  On the good days and on the bad days, I promise to sit with you in faith and in quiet.