A friend recently messaged me to catch up and asked:
“How’s life treating you?”
I let out a long sigh, tilted my head and replied,
“There has been a lot of unexpected changes but I’m good! Making moves and
I nodded in sign of approval and clicked send. To which he replied
“Life tends to do that, I’m glad to hear you’re rolling with the punches. It’s the only thing we can do to keep moving forward!”
I thought about that today as I was packing and all the frustration that comes with that. Not to mention the added stress of trying to make it happen while there’s a devastating hurricane inching closer and closer to “moving weekend.” So I began to contemplate how my life has been much like the storm outside lately and how now could possibly be the best time to share.
Oh how true that comment was from my friend. I mean, if I want to “keep moving forward” then yes, I must roll with the punches. Looking back to not so far ago I could feel the calm right before the storm. The kind where you are outside and the wind is blowing beautifully strong and you enjoy it in your soul. The kind where it’s peacefully quiet and you “feel” deep in your soul that something is about to happen but like the wind, you don’t know in which direction the change is going to come from. Well, soon after that calm came the rain, then the clouds and then the storm that took my breath away.
This particular storm made me run to God so fast, that I clung on to His leg like a little girl that doesn’t want to let go. I eventually realized I had to pull away and look deep within myself. This storm stripped me of everything important to me. It stripped me of everything in my comfort zone. It had me questioning everything about myself and where my life is going. Frustrated and hopeless one afternoon, after countless hours spent applying for jobs, I finally sat back in my chair and asked God.
“What do you want from me?”
Then with a quiet whisper, I remember having to answer this question…
“If nothing in this world mattered what would you do? What would make you happy?”
Without hesitation but with a lot of frustration I answered, “A missionary of course … I would travel to the ends of the earth and do my best to help trafficked women and children all over the world and deliver babies in impoverished places.”
See, I was frustrated because I knew the answer to that question. What I didn’t know was HOW? That’s where I got stuck. In the how! I reasoned so many things into and out of existence my whole life. Apparently, if I didn’t see the step right in front of me I wouldn’t dare the first step. Funny thing is, I thought I trusted God with all my heart. I thought I was adventurous and care free and would surly give all that I had at the drop of a hat if He asked. With everything stripped of me now, I realized then and there, that “I didn’t even know what that meant!”
I’m still learning what it truly means to trust God recklessly. I’m learning to pursue the dreams He placed in my heart even though it makes no sense but to me and God. As long as my recklessness matches up with His word, then I can take the first step. That first step was the hardest for me though. That one scripture in Hebrews kept “popping” up in my mind “And without faith it is impossible to please God (and here comes the kicker) because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him”. Ekk “earnestly seek Him”…where was I in that spectrum? Now, full of intrigue, the fear of God and nothing left to lose, I began my journey. So I asked “OK God, but how?” True to His character I so happened to have written this Bible verse earlier that week because I liked it. 2 Corinthians 4:18.
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather we fix our gaze on the things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone but the things we cannot see will last forever.” I wish I could say it was smooth sailing from there but I’m still growing in what true faith looks like. I did however, take the first step which somehow after a few classes of training and trusting God for the money, I became a Doula. Supporting women in the miracle of giving birth. Then I took the next step and applied for this amazing opportunity called the world race. A chance to travel to 11 countries in 11 months using my gifts to love on those who need it most. And I was accepted!!!! So one step at a time I’m learning what faith, love and trust look like. And I think thats the answer to my How.
Looking out at the destruction of my personal storm, God began to pick up the pieces one by one. I found comfort in Him that I never experienced before but even more surprising I found love and comfort in asking for help. One night after an outreach, He made it clear to me “you’re not vulnerable like they are. I mean truly vulnerable. I mean in the way people are with you when they ask you for prayer.” It was true. I wasn’t that way with anyone. When I began to reach out to the ones I trust, and finally was humble enough to be “seen” for me, the response of my family and friends was Jesus Himself. With my family and friends being his hands, feet and sometimes even His shoulders to cry on, I learned what unconditional love really looks like. Then and only then, did I begin this journey for real. When I finally let go of what could have been and began searching for what God wanted for me, then there was a shift.
Oh it’s a process and I’m afraid it’s still only the beginning, but oh how I have grown. I remember clearly hearing my Pastor, Pastor Sonia, once preach “You don’t have what God’s plans are for you because you keep negotiating the price!” See, He never changes His mind, I was just wasting precious time haggling for a good bargain! So even though there’s a storm outside it will pass. So too will the time. Time passes and storms come and go but how long will I waste time? I want to be His hands, His feet and His smile! In the same way my girls prayed and encouraged me when I needed it. In the same way my dad paid my rent when I couldn’t find a job. In the same way my boss pushed me to apply for The World Race when I had no faith. In the same way a friend payed for my first Doula training and countless others have shown me love. So too I want to show His love despite the storms.