This week has been pretty neat. I am feeling quite blessed these days...not only from watching impossible things actually happen...but because God has been showing me all the ways that He has always been with me over the years. Though some of my readings, conversations with Cole and with my older brother Sean over the last months I see that God truly uses all of us uniquely and according to the purposes he designed before we even came to be. All these steps I have taken have lead me here and even though I clearly fail at times, even those failures have been blessings of protection, learning, and comfort. It has been such a precious thing to look back and remember some very difficult times, especially as a kid, when I did not consider how profound it really is that the Lord says "I will never leave you nor forsake you"(Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5-6). It also says in Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." I am convinced that all that the Bible says is true. We are jars of clay designed with a purpose, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us" (2 Cor 4:7). This is all to say that God has loved me so deeply and carried me in every moment of my life because he has created me to be just what I am...a fearfully and wonderfully made creation in his likeness. I love him because he has first loved me and it is this love that takes the focus of my life off of me and places it all in thanking Christ for his great gift. I am just a vessel created, held and sustained by the creator. It is humbling and profound to know one's place... to be so small yet treasured by our God.
These are the thoughts swirling around in our heads right now as we are preparing for this great leap. It is plain to see just how intricate his plans are as we get to see them unfold now. For me personally, it is just a shift of focus because certainly I am not always able to see the beauty of his plan. Sometimes I get stuck on my own plans and settle on feeling disappointed. If we remember that we are his vessels to be used as he wills, the burden is removed to carefully plan a life with meaning and fulfillment...all that is required is our submission to his will and to be obedient as it unfolds before us. We are entirely God's work. Nothing is lost is his hands.
For those who are watching and praying: We are at 86.73% funded still in need of 13 more families/individuals to support us with an average of $40/mo for 27 months. We have about a week and a half to reach 100%. Ask of the Lord to show you if you can join us in this. Just as he has called my family, he surely is calling some of you to support and he will provide!
We are flying out very early on February 16th. Please pray for us in all the travels and adjustments in our new South American lives. We will be missing you all tremendously and are so thankful for your continued love and friendship even while we are away. We will be praying for each of you as your lives change and unfold that you would keep your focus on Christ, not letting yourselves become discouraged for any reason. He is faithful to forgive us and to cleanse us...his plans are to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future.
Grace and Peace,
"Then Jesus said to his disciples: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:24-26