It’s been an incredibly full summer in so many different ways. Support raising has been challenging, life-giving, and immeasurably more than I could have asked or imagined. I’m so happy to tell you all that in the Lord’s faithful provision, I am 100% fully funded. Praise Him!
God brought funds rather quickly, but He has proven over and over that He isn’t done providing in this “pre-go” season. Allow me to elaborate. The word that comes to mind when I think of my time in July and August is freedom. Because He provided financial support so quickly, He’s given me both the freedom and responsibility to do other things. First of all, He has given me the freedom to invest in relationships. My brother and I have spent more time and had more meaningful conversations together in this past month than we’ve had in 23 years of knowing each other. We have both learned so much from each other (me especially) and more importantly, we’ve both grown in our own relationships with Christ. I’ve been able to travel back in forth from Waco to Abilene to spend quality time with life-group brothers and sisters and take random trips to Colorado with YoungLife girls. Our God is a God of relationship and I’m so thankful for this time to not only say goodbye well, but to have the opportunity to deepen these friendships.
God has also given me the freedom to rest. Taking a Sabbath (especially an extended one like this) goes against our fast-paced, workaholic culture and definitely goes against my legalistic tendencies. God has been gracious in teaching me that there’s a stark difference between lazy rest and Sabbath rest. Lazy rest is my go-to when I’ve had a long day- 20 episodes of the Office and 20 helpings of brownies. Sabbath rest is sitting at the feet of Jesus, drinking in his words, and being satisfied with simply being in his presence. I’m learning that Sabbath rest is sweet, rich, full, and the preparation grounds for this new season in which I’m about to embark. Godly rest has taught me about the power of God in seemingly mundane moments.
This last freedom God has given me, the freedom to start learning my new language, comes with a story. I was talking with one of my good friends, Tanner, who just got back from Brazil and his biggest piece of advice was to get a head start on language learning. Because Tanner is the best (maybe one day I’ll write a blog about his awesomeness) and knows a thing or two about cross-cultural ministry, I thought I would do well to take his advice.
I went to a support raising appointment with my church in Abilene and asked if they knew anyone who might be interested in tutoring me. He had a connection with a student from one of the local universities, and by the end of the day, I had an invitation to her home. We decided to spend our first meeting visiting and getting to know each other (bonus because she has a little nugget 9 month old baby and I got to hang out with him too). After a few minutes of talking, we discovered and insanely fun connection. About a year and a half ago, she went to Pregnancy Resources for an unplanned pregnancy. All of our clients have the option of receiving prayer after their pregnancy test, and she decided that’s something she wanted. Tears came to both of our eyes as we realized why we looked so familiar to each other. WHAT?! Our friendship has come full circle. It started with us praying together for her pregnancy and significant life transition and now continues with her investing in me as I make a huge life transition. The more I know our Father, the less I believe in coincidences. As I transition (sorry I’ve used this word a thousand times) into moving overseas, I’m thankful to hold onto our great orchestrator God of detail who is purposeful in EVERYTHING for the sake of my good and ultimately His glory.