I just spent 4 days with some INCREDIBLE people!
Not only is Virginia absolutely gorgeous, but every person who was there is passionate about following the Lord and His purposes for their lives. My world was turned upside down. My eyes were opened.
I went to Expo thinking I knew exactly what the plan was for my life. I had a job on the books and I was good to go! Then God decided to shake things up a bit. Looking back, I realize how much I still needed to know and now I can see that I still have a long ways to go (I think I’ll probably be learning that lesson for the rest of my life).
The first night we were there we heard people from every region in the world talking about the great needs they have there. I was completely broken by the vast lostness all over the world. Then we each received a ridiculously thick list of places we could serve. Overwhelmed does not even begin to describe it all. My prayers began to change.
I began asking the Lord where He wanted me rather than assuming I knew where that was. The prayer became “Lord, where can You use me most? Where can my life bring You the most glory?” instead of “What can I do for you when I get there (insert location of choice)?” There are three major problems with that second prayer:
1. It’s asking what I can do – the focus is on me and not on the Lord, but He’s the only one who can accomplish anything. Whether He chooses to use me in His work or not is totally up to Him.
2. It assumes I will go “there.” Each of my days is in the Lord’s hands. If He allows me to go there someday praise Him! If He does not, praise Him still! I assume on the Lord far too often.
3. It neglects the present. He has me where I am right now for a reason. Yes, I must be praying about the there and then, but He wants to use me here and now to accomplish His purposes for my life today, this hour, this moment.
Through small groups, personal interviews, reflections, social interaction, and large group times I learned a lot about myself. I had weaknesses brought to the forefront and became aware of strengths the Lord is developing within me. I wasn’t expecting that at all.
Through all of these experiences the Lord affirmed that I was to continue pursuing the destination I had originally desired. But now things are different. As much as I would love to serve with the people on that team and as much as I love the people and the culture there, if He chooses to send me somewhere else I will be thrilled! He also showed me that, regardless of where He sends me, I MUST BE PRAYING FOR THE NATIONS. And now I have names and faces of people who will be ministering to those people and I can be praying for them and their teams too!
I cannot wait to get my official “assignment” and to go to training – being able to spend 8 weeks learning to be a more effective, open, broken vessel. But I am so excited to get to spend that time building relationships with these amazing people and with the Lord. It will be challenging, and probably painful, but it will be beautiful.
Look out, world! We’re coming soon to a neighborhood near you! 🙂