I’m not sure today. Not sure if I heard
anything or if I’m making things up in my head in order to say I heard
something. Today wasn’t as clear as it has been…
Still, it continued to be wonderful.
We did six school programs. In each we started
with a tunnel where we yelled and screamed until we could yell and scream no
more. Then we danced hula, we played games, and we split into small groups. In
each group we asked the Japanese students a bit about themselves and even
though it was difficult for them to understand English, we powered through. We
did this six times.
Six times of being sweaty, uncomfortable, and
awkward. I was so annoyed with how many layers I had to wear to be “appropriately”
dressed. I was so tired of dancing around. I was so over yelling and even
smiling. But when that last song hit… One Direction…
“Let’s get crazy, crazy, crazy ‘til we see the
sun. I know we only met but let’s pretend it’s love. And never, never stop for
anyone. Tonight let’s get some, and live while we’re young.”
(I know it’s not the most appropriate or relevant song lyrics, but it’s
a hype song nonetheless.)
When that last song hit it was if my
frustrations that were weighing me down never even existed. Somehow, I had the
energy and the spirit to just keep going.
And maybe that’s what God is telling me. That
even in the midst of the scary, unknown, unpredictable that causes me to worry,
I can call upon Him for that boost of energy to make it through one more time.
Ultimately, He’ll get me through it.
I’ve been afraid. Maybe even hesitant. Doubtful
really. Nervous about September turning into October and my birth month
arriving; therefore, my birthday getting even nearer. I’ve been scared because
this time last year I thought I heard God. I thought He told me not to worry because
I wouldn’t be single anymore. Yet here I am, single as ever. So, I was
heartbroken to think I heard God wrong or that maybe He had forgotten or left
me. I didn’t want my birthday to come up because I wasn’t ready to face the
disappointment of an unanswered prayer becoming a reality.
Yet as I walked around Tokyo Disneysea… The
beauty and detail of Ariel’s grotto… The reality that I was in Japan… All the
amazing things that are happening and will happen in the month of October… God
must have chuckled as He said, “It’s not as bad as thought it would be is it?”
Because the reality is, this month is going to
be amazing. It’s a month I should be excitedly anticipating instead of
dreadfully ignoring. It’s a month of travelling to new places, spending time
with family, and most importantly, celebrating my birthday.
There was nothing I had to worry about. There
still is nothing I have to worry about.
I couldn’t hold back the tears. They just kept coming and coming. For the first time in a really long time I just connected with worship and let God speak to me through it.
And this is what He said to me…
“Who told you those things? Who said that about
you? Because I didn’t. Because I don’t think of you like that.”
In every meeting, Stephen would talk about how
this trip pushes people. It causes you to think and really decide whether the
whole Jesus thing is real or not in your life.
And here I am. A leader on the trip, and I have
all those questions and doubts. I don’t feel like I’m in any position to lead
or be an example. Yet God is telling me that’s not true.
He’s calling out the lies and unearthing all my
doubts. He’s trying to speak louder than my own, condescending voice. He’s
trying to empower and uplift me because He knows and understands my true worth.
Even when I doubt myself and I doubt Him, He still calls close so that I can
hear His loving voice.
It was a rocky summer- and that’s putting it lightly. My friendships and my faith were put to the test, and for the most part I didn’t make it. The doubts that crept into my head overpowered the hope that I had in my heart. So, I ended the summer not really trusting in who God is, not really knowing what He was trying to do, and not really sure if I wanted in on this whole Jesus thing.
So, I’m here in Japan, and that’s exactly how the enemy is trying to attack me. He’s getting into my head saying, “Who are you to preach about a good God when you yourself don’t believe in Him?” And God is telling me that simply is not true. I am enough for Him. I am enough to fulfill His promises. I am enough to accept His goodness and grace and love. He’s using me. I just have to remember who I belong to.
I am not
an idiot. I know that what comes up must come down. I know that hot is the
opposite of cold and big is the opposite of small. I also know that good’s
counterpart is evil, and that where light exists there must also be darkness. So
as much as I believe in a good God whose light prevails always, I must also
believe in an evil enemy whose darkness can be just as strong.
07, 2014 I chose good. I declared in front of my team, in front of the church
members in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and most importantly in front of
God, that I believe in goodness and grace and light and that as much as I could
I would walk everyday closer to that goodness and grace and light.
But in the
summer of 2019, it became really difficult to choose good. Every day and
because of each situation, the light that I looked for grew dimmer and dimmer. The
darkness in my life soon became a cloud surrounding me that I couldn’t see
past. The devil seeped himself in my life and planted himself where he knew it
would hurt most. Little by little, one by one, he shattered every relationship
I had put my hope into. I began to resent the people I loved. The people I saw
a future with. The people I looked up to in my call to ministry. The people I
trusted with my whole heart. And for the longest time I thought it was all my
fault. I thought that I ruined these treasures in my life. It wasn’t until the
enemy tried to ruin the one relationship that I hold dearest in my life that I finally
woke up and said that’s enough.
enemy thought he had won. I imagine him walking around with a smirk on his face
thinking, “I’ve got this girl. She’s going to run away just like I knew she
would.” But I’m not, not this time. I know that if I runaway now that darkness
will win and the light at the end of the tunnel that God is trying so
desperately to get me to will never be reached.
I know now
that the light never disappeared. God’s goodness and grace never left me. I
just turned my back around and thought I could handle it all on my own. As if I
could ever fight the enemy on my own and win.
So now I’m
turning back around. I’m facing the light and walking towards goodness and
grace no matter how many nails the enemy lays on the path as I move my feet
forward, no matter how many times he tries to whisper in my ear to turn back
around, no matter how many tears flood my eyes as I try to see what’s ahead. Because
I believe in good, and I know that when I choose good that evil will continue
to creep up behind me and cause me to doubt. Because I know that the closer I
get towards God, the harder the enemy is going to try to pull me away from Him.
Because I know now that God has something wildly incredible in store for my
life and that the devil was moments away from snatching it away.
every day I choose good.