It is 5:26 on a summer Friday morning... and I am awake. Not only awake-- but awake with thousands of things swimming through my head. Summer is a teacher's friend. This is the first day that I DO NOT HAVE to be awake by 5:30 (or even 10 for that case) and can actually sleep in. But as you can see-- that isn't happening.
The Lord has been so sweet to me lately and has allowed me to be pursued by Him in multiple ways. However, His ways and my ways don't always match up and His timing and my timing NEVER match up. So this has been a beautiful, yet humbling time in my life.
I leave for Uganda, Africa in 15 days...wow. It has been such a long journey to get here. I remember beginning to feel a stir in my heart for Africa. I remember the day I felt compelled to begin painting and the end product was a piece that sits catty cornered in my room that reads PRAY FOR AFRICA with a huge picture of that lovely continent in the middle! I remember the process of supporting a child through World Vision but realizing that the pull I had towards this people group went deeper. I remember looking at trips, organizations, opportunities....anything and everything to get me over there. Prices were high. Trips were not what I desired (as a teacher I felt drawn to work with and love on orphans). Dates were inconvenient. Nothing seemed to work... so I thought I had misread the Lord's will. I must have heard His calling for me incorrectly because everything fell through and nothing worked out. But just like the Lord...when I completely gave it over to Him and convinced myself it must just be later on in life that I would get that opportunity... He provided. My roommate worked with a lady whose sister had just returned from Africa on a short term mission trip working with orphans. She went through an organization called Visiting Orphans, whose main goal was to love on these babies and share Jesus with them. Sold.
From then on the process has been absolutely unreal. The Lord blessed me with a love for painting (which if you remember started this desire) and He allowed me to paint my way to Africa as well. I have painted and painted and PAINTED... I have sold my canvases to friends, family members, at auctions, to teachers and even to some of my student's parents. My paintings have allowed me to share my story, and where I am going, and the Lord has received glory in all of it! And as of yesterday that painting has paid off and my trip cost is completely covered! Gosh the Lord is just so magnificent and yet so intricate in the way He pays attention to every small detail.
During the process the Lord has also allowed alot of needed sifting to occur in my life! Things that were needing to get pulled out of my life for my ultimate refinement were taken from me-- no matter how much it hurt tearing them from my hands. My sweet Beloved has allowed insecurities to be destroyed, desires to be met and some situations to be dealt with. In this time of the Lord pushing GO there is also alot of NO...and even harder... WAIT! I know that my Daddy has my absolute best interest at hand. Sometimes--scratch that--the majority of the time I am so self absorbed that I miss that and play the victim of "woe is me. woe is me". But lately I have seen the fruit of passionately pursuing our ultimate pursuer and the goodness He can do with a messy sinner like myself!
We often hear... God is good, all the time. Followed by... All the time, God is good! For the first time in my life, I think I am truly begin to understand and whole heartily believe it. And THAT is exciting!