"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Today is the final day of school. My desk is cleared, my bookshelves are covered, my classroom is empty, and my closet is packed. I can’t believe I have completed my first year of teaching! I wish I had time to dwell on that achievement, but instead I’m jumping in head first into my final plans for my trip. You truly can’t comprehend my excitement… or my growing fear. I need a lot of prayer. The devil is filling my thoughts with doubts and apprehensions.
My head is screaming:
Who do you think you are going to another country to “serve” people?
You’re such a sinner, how can you ever do God’s work?
Why did you ever think this was a good idea?
How do you possibly think God can use you?
You will fail. You will fall. You can’t do this. This trip will become one big regret in your memory.
All these thoughts are terrifyingly flitting around my brain.
The scariest ones are the ones that I fear may be stationed in some form of truth.
What if God won’t bless this trip?
What if you’re doing this for the wrong reason?
These words are shouted into my ears constantly… and the worst part is I hear my own voice screaming them. My own mind is plaguing me with anxiety and dismay. I need so much prayer... Sometimes the declarations are overwhelming. My only solution is to continue to surrender myself and this trip to God.
Last night in church the pastor said, “Christianity is not about an invitation to heaven. Christianity is the opportunity to become more like Jesus.” That is the reason I want to go on this trip. To become more like Jesus… to not be afraid of my faults or inadequacy because it doesn’t matter who I am. What matters is who God is. He’s God. He can accomplish anything. My small request is that he would choose to use me however he sees fit.
Amidst my own uncertainty I another prayer request. As many of you are aware, last week the Republic of Ireland voted on gay marriage. More than 60 percent of voters in Ireland cast ballots in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. I know God’s timing is perfect, but this was not something I expected to face when I took the Gospel to Ireland. I’m unsure and nervous about what may be required of me in the light of this event. My deepest desire is to be God’s servant, his mouth-piece, his hands and feet, but I am so very afraid.
At my school’s graduation ceremony for the class of 2015, one my students gave a speech to his peers in which he said, “I have realized that I need to stop trying to convince myself NOT to be afraid. Instead, I will say, ‘Yes, I’m afraid… but I’m going to do it anyways.” What wise words in this moment. I am afraid, but I have Jesus walking with me. "The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1).
Please remember to pray for me, the DCM team, and Ireland as a whole. Thank you all for your continued support. I will keep you updated as I count down the days until I fly out (23!).
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