Thursday, September 5, 2013

Yearning

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted on here, dear friends. This summer has been a whirlwind, and it flew by so quickly! I graduated high school, nannied full time, traveled to Ukraine on a mission trip again, vacationed in Grand Traverse Bay with my family, had a wonderful reunion with some dear long-time friends, camped with our small group, and visited Dad's side of the family in New Jersey (and swam in the ocean)!! Anyhow, maybe I'll post more about those things at a later time, especially about all that happened in Ukraine... but for now, there's more I need to share with you.

Namely, the exciting news of my plans this fall!! Actually, let me back up a bit. Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved missions. I think it started, or at least grew a lot, the year we studied different countries and cultures of the world when I was in 5th grade (thanks ECC and MFW!!). I loved hearing about missionaries, seeing their pictures, and reading, no, DEVOURING countless missionary biographies. I was fascinated. As I grew older, this desire only grew with me. In fact, desire is almost to shallow of a word to describe what I'm now feeling! It's more like a deep longing, a yearning... A yearning to share the name of Jesus with those who have never heard. A yearning to love on those who have never experienced real, unconditional love. A yearning to pour myself out to the utmost for Him who poured Himself out for me. A yearning to live a life totally dependent on Him; trusting Him for absolutely everything. And a yearning to live and serve in culture totally different from my own.

In the last few years I have come to realize that this deep longing in my heart is the Lord calling me into international missions. This was confirmed when I went to Ukraine for the first time last summer, and even more so when I returned this summer. The sheer joy and fulfillment I felt upon entirely pouring myself out for the Lord and for the kids was unfathomable. It was hard, but I loved every minute of it. It's so... oh, there's no words for this! It's so beautiful, incredible, and awesome to do what you know you were made to do. The fulfillment, the joy it brings is just beyond words.

I praise God that He has found me, saved me, chosen me, and called me to serve Him in this way! Thus, I have decided not to attend college at this time. I don't know if God has college planned for me in the future or not, but I do know that's not where He's leading me right now. Instead, He's led me to participate in a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). So basically, at the end of September, I'll travel to Denver, CO. I'll spend 3 months there, on top of a mountain, with about 50 other students and about that many staff. Primarily, I'll just spend time getting to know God more and learning about Him - in head knowledge, but also in heart knowledge. Then, for 2 months after that, I get to go on an outreach trip! Aka, a 2 month international mission trip. :) I have to decide between a trip to Thailand, Kenya/Uganda, or Mexico/Belize. At this point, I have NO IDEA where I'm going to go, but I'm confident that God will show me where He wants me.

I cannot tell you all how absolutely EXCITED I am for this!! Time and time again, God has confirmed that this is where He wants me right now. It has been such an incredible, faith-building journey already to see him speak to me, lead me, guide me, and provide for me - more than I ever could have imagined!

I can't stop thinking about this verse. It is the echo of my heart right now. "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty work within us, to do exceedingly more than we could ask or imagine." {Ephesians 3:20} Glory to God!

Rejoicing in Jesus,
Elizabeth

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