A Little Quiet

I am an introvert, but my quietness goes beyond that. If I’m not readily talking or offering opinions, a lot of times I am still processing information. I internally process. I also like to store a lot of data in my brain. I find a lot different things fascinating and also just like knowing things even if it’s not necessary. I’m the girl who read books on sleep cycles in high school not that I ever wanted to pursue studying it further. I love learning.

A couple years ago I took a “Strength Finders” test which highlighted strengths that I was kind of aware of but didn’t really realize that I operate out of in so much of my life. Mine were all kind of nerdy and mean that I’m in my head a lot. My results were mostly tied into people though. 1) Learning- I love learning about people. 2) Intellection- I’m introspective and enjoy intellectual discussions. 3) Analytical- analyzing connections 4) Context- wanting to understand people’s pasts and how that makes them who they are today 5) Input- I love storing data. I use these gifts each day and love how they interact with one another when I engage with people.

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Reminiscing

These have been one of my favorite candies since middle school. I even wrote a song about my great love for them.

I’m prompted to think back on the person that I used to be. I’m glad I’m not the person I was 10 years ago, 5 years ago, or even a year ago. I’m thankful for the growth and refinement I’ve undergone. I’m excited to continue the process and to see who I’ll be.

There’s a Place for Me in This Mission

God has led me to pursue missions for the last few years. He used other people to plant the idea of it in my brain so that I would truly consider it. I held off on missions because I was not sure if my heart was in it and also because of fear. God highlighted what was holding me back. He convicted me, and He urged me to press on regardless. He has revealed that there is a place for me in missions through obedience to His Word and through personal revelations.

God created me to love Him, love His word, and love obedience. I really fell in love with God in the midst of college. In that time, He grew a love for His Word in me. His word is so rich. I love that even though it was written thousands of years ago, it still speaks to me. The Bible is alive. It still relevant. God uses it speak to people to this day. God uses it to speak to me.

Throughout scripture God shows His unconditional love for His people, the Israelites. They turn away from Him over and over again. God continues to pursue them and make Himself known. God wants for everyone to have a relationship with Him. In Matthew 28 God’s son, Jesus, says: “’Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”’ Jesus urges us to be active. Jesus gives us a mission to share with everyone who God is and who He is so that ALL creation can commune with them. ALL creation can know them. We are called to be a part of this.

God is a generous God. He GAVE HIS SON: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17). If God is so generous, shouldn’t I be willing to share my life, my gifts, etc to further spreading the gospel? I am made in His image, therefore, I am called to be like Him.

For me, missions is responding to a call of obedience. God’s scriptures confirm this calling. His Holy Spirit has also revealed this to me. The Holy Spirit speaks to me through the Word, through fasting, through worship, and through nature most of the time. He has shown me that I am called to be a missionary. He is still revealing to me what that will look like, where that will be, and how long that will be.

God knows the desires of my heart. He know my giftings. He also knows how those align with His plan. God planted in my heart a yearning for adventure, a yearning to travel. I desire to explore the world. I want all of the places I have read about to be more than words on a page and to become tangible. Missions is definitely more than just traveling. I am aware of that. That was the primary reason for me not pursuing it sooner. God, however, has been growing in me a love for Him. My relationship with Him has grown deeper roots and developed a more solid foundation so that I can bear fruit, so that I can respond to His calling. Apart from the yearning for adventure, God has used my more introverted nature to reach out to people who aren’t as easy to love or are a little more socially awkward. He developed a patience in me that allows me to enter into relationships with these people more easily than others. It has birthed some beautiful conversations and friendships over the years. Everyone is deserving of love. Everyone has intrinsic value. I just love seeing that and helping that come to the surface so that others can see it as well.

The Holy Spirit gives me revelations and promptings sometimes. When I am really in the Word or just more attuned to the Spirit is when I am able to hear these revelations or promptings. It is a really beautifully unique experience. A lot of times it calls for instant obedience. I honestly knew April 2016 that I was supposed to be a missionary. I was on a missions trip with my church in the Dominican Republic. I had this complete peace. I realized that I would be content if I did that kind of work for the rest of my life. I had conversations with people after the trip considering missions as a career, but the fear of fundraising held me back. It wasn’t until December 2, 2016 when a group from WH & HMO came to speak to the young adult group from my church at my pastor’s house. That night God wrecked my heart. It happened after I spoke with the people from the organizations. I was listening “Trust” by Hillsong Young & Free: “There’s safety in the falling, When I surrender fully, I put all my hope in You.” Just listening to the lyrics convicted me. God challenged me on not trusting Him to provide for me if I choose a life of missions and prompted me to go apply for this internship. That Sunday, I submitted my application. Now I am an intern 9mos later.

I know that there is a place for me in missions. God’s truths in His word and what He has revealed to me have led to pursue this life. He continues to confirm it over and over again whether it is through passages like the Great Commission, Mark 6, Genesis 12, and more. God has been showing me how I fit into His plan. He knows my heart. He knows that my desires will fit into His will. He is growing my talents by refining me and drawing me closer. He is using WH to continue this process and to utilize me in His Great Commission. I am honored to be a part of it. I am honored to work with an organization that loves God, loves people, and wants to share God with all people. They have so many ways of doing this, so I am not worried about finding a place within this organization. I am just going to be obedient and continue listening to God.

First Friday Take 2

Tonight was my second First Friday. I honestly did not enjoy it that much. I appreciate art because my roommates love it so much, and I love the art they make. The art tonight…I did not really like any of it (I’m not going to elaborate on it, because it would be a long list).

The few things I did like were the musicians & DJs playing on the street and a dance piece being performed in one of the side alleys.

I hope that December is better.

Meditating and Resting

My definition of what these two words mean in relation to my faith are expanding. I had my own interpretations of what they meant for years. Culture and even some churches have supported that as well.

Resting I had been defining as physical rest and time to myself. I could do whatever I wanted. Spend time with friends. Lay in bed all day, Netflix, and chill. Rest was however I wanted it to be. Nobody had corrected me on that for twenty five years. Before I even joined this internship, I had a conversation with my director about this. What does the rest look for the internship? He redirected me to what does the Bible say about scripture and expounded on it. Today he did the same in our morning devotions when we read Hebrews 4. Rest is communing with God. That doesn’t mean you’re inactive necessarily. Rest isn’t just one day of the week. Every moment you spend with God is rest, so it can be EVERYDAY.

Meditating was something I thought that other religions like Buddhists or Hindus did. I think of monks and yoga too. It is not something separate or something that only other religions. The word meditation can be found throughout scripture. God calls us to meditate on His scriptures, His wonders, His promises, His statutes, and on Him. Today we practiced meditating on Psalms 1:1-3. For me, meditating on it was memorizing it, resting in His presence, and really imagining what experiencing happiness/delight as a result of following Him and as result of valuing His instruction looks like. I had this image of the most genuine smile in my head. One of those smiles that you feel the joy coming from within. It’s not fake. It’s contagious, and it makes you yearn for the same kind of joy.

So each day my faith is growing, and my preconceived notions are being corrected by God’s truth. Thankfully I’ve got God, His scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and His people to help me with this process.

Good Wednesday

Lots of good things happened today.

It all started with our morning devotions in Hebrews 3 and also discussing praying for the persecuted church. The author repeats twice: “‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’” Also a guest/friend of ours came to invite us to go to DC this Sunday to pray on behalf of the persecuted church. America is one of the few places where Christians experience a lot of religious freedom. Versus elsewhere in the world people are imprisoned a lot of the time for sharing. I felt my heart soften and felt a need to participate in this prayer. To pray on behalf of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted for their beliefs and for sharing Jesus.

I also got to meet one on one with the director of my organization. I don’t always feel like I really know him that well with him traveling a lot, but he always makes us interns feel known and valued. We chatted about how I’m feeling about the internship, what’s been hard, and where I would like to go for my externship. Sometimes our conversation went off onto tangents. Those were some of the parts of the conversation I valued the most. I’m excited moving forward. There are so many possibilities for how God can use me and where that will be. I’ve got some fields that I want to learn more about.

God continues to reassure me and confirm that I’m in the right place.

My Halloween

I spent the first half of my day traveling the city of Richmond with new friends from Burkino Faso and also my coworkers. We circled all of the monuments on monument avenue, went to the overlook at city hall, got milkshakes, and drove through Hollywood Cemetery.

The second half of my day 5pm-730am was spent sleeping. This overwhelming exhaustion all of the sudden hit me. I had originally been planning to hang with my roomies which would include going to get free food for being in costume and going to a “Monster Mash” dance party. That was the plan…I went to take a nap, but ended up sleeping forever.

I think I really needed it after being up since 430am but also being introvert who’s been surrounded by people all day in very close quarters results in extreme exhaustion. It was a good day though. I’m thankful for the rest I got.

Vision Casting

It’s exciting to be a part of an organization that dreams, that casts vision.

The director spoke to us today about the next 5 year plan which included ministries we want to start here in RVA. He prefaced the meeting by discussing 2 Peter 1:5-8. “We should be adding to our faith,” he said.

The whole time I’m sitting there, I am feeling inspired: 1) by the amazingly cool ministries we will be piloting 2) by pondering the concept of adding to our faith. 3) thankful for visionaries (I am not one of them. I’m an implementer.) I do wholeheartedly agree with the statement of adding to our faith. Faith is not supposed to be stagnant nor are you automatically at level 100 when you accept Jesus. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” -Matthew‬ ‭5:48‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ We should strive to be more like Jesus. Adding to our faith is that; being more Christ like. Pursuing holiness.

Legit Anxiety

I low key deal with anxiety everyday.

I have my own expectations of how I want things to go, how I think that they should go. I worry about not meeting those expectations in the back of my head everyday. I worry that I won’t meet others expectations and disappoint them.

Today was really bad. It was the worst it has been in years. I was having a mini panic attack. Some it was related to me starting another job today (I have my internship and two other part time jobs), but I don’t think it was solely that.

I had to go upstairs to get away and have a mini chat with God about it. I really don’t want anxiety to have that much power over me. One of my roomies prayed over me too. I instantly felt my breathing change as she prayed over me and sense of peace start to arise. I’m thankful for having God who genuinely cares so much about me and thankful for Him placing genuine people around me who are willing to pray with me.

Road Trip

So our organization had some friends coming from Western Africa who needed to be picked up from the airport a few hours away. Originally it was just supposed to be one of my roommates and me going, however, we got to ride along with the international director to go pick them up.

The ride there we chatted mostly about the leadership of the organization including how it’s run, who’s on it, and about the conferences they have to include field leaders. It gave me a better concept of how vision is cast for the organization as a whole while still allowing for the teams to function uniquely in each country/culture they’re in.

Apart from that we talked about some of the teams that would be able to receive interns for the externships. Some of those teams are pioneering new programs which would be really exciting to be a part of. So many opportunities, but I’m not sure of which one is for me yet.

All in all, it was a good day getting to know our international director and hearing about ministries all over the world.