I find myself having a hard time writing this blog.
At this time last year I was praying, freaking out, getting excited about new adventures, packing, freaking out, and trying to ready my mind and heart for what trials were to come. (Little did I know of how little I knew.)
The reason I have a hard time writing this blog is, although it was a great & joyful time in my life, I deeply miss Kenya and the family like friends I made there. So naturally, it makes my heart ache when I think of the sweet experiences I had and the fact that I’m simply not there now.
God placed me in situations that, if I knew about them prior to moving, I probably never would’ve gone. Needless to say, I am so grateful for the little knowledge I had of what I was getting myself into! Uncertainty is truly a gift when God is in control, because I knew that every small, but stressful detail of my journey was later going to be used to bring me closer to Him; and that’s exactly what it did.
We aren’t given verses like Joshua 1:9, Nahum 1:7, or 1 Peter 1:13 to believe a false truth that God isn’t near. He is so near; nearer than the human mind can fathom. He does ONLY good & noble things, solely to bring His children, that He loves, cares for, has mercy & compassion on, closer to Him. Once we place the image of the Holy of Holies, reaching His arm out, saying ‘This is best, follow Me, beloved child’, our prayers change, the stressful urgency to figure out what the “next step” is steadies, and our minds are at peace because we know that The omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God, who is perfect and cannot sin, knows our every action, feeling, thought…and still loves us like no human could ever imagine. Through grace, and grace alone, we are rescued.
My time in Kenya was so sweet, refreshing, challenging, and convicting. When I first moved, the initial 2 weeks felt like an eternity. I kept thinking to myself, “Life is always gonna be like this, it’ll never change”; clearly, that was a naive thought. But that’s just how I felt. I didn’t have much community, I rarely saw another “mzungu” (foreigner, white person), and, as funny as this sounds, I missed my car. I missed having the advantage of wanting Blue Bell ice cream, being able to hop in my jeep and drive to Tom Thumb for immediate satisfaction. As 99.9% of y’all probably guessed, there is no Blue Bell in Kenya. To get to the nearest ‘real’ grocery store was about a 45min-1hr drive down a road many call “The surface of the Moon”; I kid you not, I’ve never seen so many potholes. As rough as that sounds though, I miss life being like that. It was almost like relearning patience, and it made the food we ate taste even richer.
Now, I’m gonna try to tie that last paragraph to the one above it; buckle up, y’all.
My favorite thing about the bible is reading & studying the Old Testament, and then later seeing prophesies fulfilled in the New Testament. When you do that, you so clearly see who the bible really is about. The Bible wasn’t written as a “guideline” book for how Christians should live. It wasn’t given to us only to portray a list of do’s/don’t’s for the life of a believer. It is the story of God perfectly creating lands, and waters, and creatures, and humans to live in harmony together; but we ruined that. We let sin step in, which, please hear me, didn’t surprise God. He knew it would happen, and the moment we don’t believe that is the moment that we believe He isn’t the only One worthy of authority over ALL things. So then, God graciously sent His sinless Son, Jesus, to die. Die for what? For wretched, deceiving sinners who would hopefully believe in Him, be transformed, then live eternally. Why would He do that? Not to expect something in return, He knows we aren’t dependent. He did it because He loves you. He loves you. He loves you now. Right now.
No matter who or where you are, what sin you’ve committed, I know we all can drift and let Satan speak in, saying, “That sin is unforgivable. Your sin makes you unlovable”. BUT, that is a flat out lie. God’s grace is stronger than Satan’s defeat.
When I was in Kenya, lonely and afraid of what could happen, I felt those lies. I didn’t have many believers around me speaking life and encouragement to my soul, which gave the devil a perfect opportunity to intervene. I felt like Kenya was a mistake, at first. I can remember, crying myself to sleep, calling my mom at 03:00 (my time) telling her I should be back in Texas. Thank goodness, she graciously shut that down. She reminded me of how smoothly plans for ‘Kenya 2013’ came together, how prayerful I had been about this new chapter of my life, and that God has my life in His hands.
I prayed, pleaded with, and pestered God; yearning for a closeness with Him like never before. And He brought me so near to Him. I can’t begin to explain how amazing it feels to confidently know that He is right beside you. And how merciful of Him to do that when I was ministering to orphans, who few know what it’s like to have even earthly parents love and care about you.
He is good.
I hope and pray that whoever reads this blog is encouraged. I hope that you can see the true, undeniable goodness of the Father through these words. Rest in Him.
Philemon 1:6 – “..and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.”
1 Samuel 2:2 – “There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.”
Deuteronomy 14:2 – “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”