I would like to start by sharing with you my hate for Houston roads and traffic. Once upon a time, there was a Waco-Abilenian girl who thought she could make it in the big city with just a GPS as her guide. Ladies and gents, please take notes. Houston does not follow GPS rules because they’re always under construction and always changing their exits on you. They also are little sneakers with their tolls and don’t tell you ahead of time that you must have a toll tag or pay 33 dollars. No mercy for the clueless out-of-towner. None at all. I did have a palm to face moment though when I realized (on the last day) that I could get the free Google maps app and they have the option of avoiding all toll routes. At that moment, I welcomed myself to the twenty-first century. You live and you learn, right? Let’s just say for a solid chunk of the trip, I was like Michael Scott, wholeheartedly trusting Siri while she led him straight into the lake (anyone?).
Anyways, Houston redeemed herself when she gave me some of the very best and the most challenging conversations. Coming into this summer of support raising, I had two very specific things that I asked the Lord to do. The first was to challenge me in a way that I had never been challenged before. I’ve never been put in a position where if God didn’t come through financially, I’d be out of luck, so I was completely convinced that this summer’s “challenge” would be trusting Him to come through in that way. Although asking for support has definitely been uncomfortable and stretching, the way God is choosing to answer my prayer is by asking me to trust Him in every single itsy bitsy aspect of my life.
In Houston, I was asked some pretty tough but necessary questions that went a little something like this: Couldn’t you do that relationship building stuff here in Texas? Why are you moving across the world and putting your safety in jeopardy? Do the people there really need your help? What’s your theology on this, that and the other? Why would you choose to go to a completely unknown world when God put you here in America? These valid questions gave me something to chew on during the loooong drives within Houston city limits and I’m thankful. I found such joy in asking these questions of myself and my God, and it was through these questions that He kept sweetly calling me back to trusting this crazy call to go, trusting His heart for the nations, and ultimately, trusting in His complete and total sovereignty.
The second request was that in whatever way He saw fit, He would pull an Ephesians 3:20 on me and show me immeasurably more of who He is an what He can do. I have been absolutely blown away by the body of Christ this summer and am becoming more and more thankful for support raising face to face. First of all, I’m beyond thankful for the willingness of this body is support me financially. In verbal commitments, I’m about 95% finished with support raising (HOLLA HOLLA!). But what I’m most blown away with is the relationships that the Lord has awakened and or deepened.
Houston was a whirlwind, but the sweetest experiences with people came out of the craziness. I got the opportunity to spend a few hours chatting with cousins who lived where I’m spending the next two years. I had coffee with a childhood best friend where authenticity was just really easy. I got to spend 5 hours on the couch with my aunt talking about missions, theology, relationships, politics, family dynamics, dreams, fears, etc. (and we went to sleep still loving each other!). I saw two old friends from McMurry and from one of them, I learned all the nooks and crannies of the oil business (okay, maybe not but I at least know more about it). In Waco, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with my home pastor on 3 separate occasions because it just so happens he loves talking God and so do I. In total, I think we’ve spent about 10 hours talking about all things theology when before, I might have had 2 or 3 conversations with him.
All of these conversations wouldn’t have happened had I not been encouraged to raise support in a face-to-face context. I wish I could put all of the sweet conversations and relationships from this summer, but there’s just not enough room (#immeasurablymore). I'm so thankful to participate in this calling that goes beyond me and into his kingdom purposes.