Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Deep in my heart... {Our story}

New Year’s Day, 2014

I lay back on the couch and sigh, and realize how glad I am I have time just to rest. I’m still a little tired out from last night. As I lay back and relax, my mind goes back to it – New Year’s Eve, not 12 hours ago...
The crowds of people… the floating lanterns we let off… the awesome fellowship with friends… getting lost in the city together… the fireworks that nearly killed us…
It was a fun night. I do miss home a bit, though. I miss being home with my sisters and dear, dear friends that we have a sleepover with every New Years. I remember how every year we would always take time to write down memories… memories from the past year, good or bad; things we’re thankful Jesus brought about. I remember how we then always flip the paper over and write down what we hope or anticipate will happen in the coming year. It’s a way to reflect on and thank Jesus for the last year, and look forward with anticipation to what He’s going to do next.
I don’t want to let New Years pass without taking time to reflect, so even though (technically) it’s January 1st, I start reflecting on the past year. And of course the first thing I think of is YWAM – this crazy place He’s brought me to, where His Presence is so blatantly obvious, and the community is so dear, and wow – how do I even explain ywam?!?! And I reflect some more… and then it hits me.
I dreamed about doing this – almost 10 years ago.
The second year we were homeschooling, our curriculum was all about different countries of the world, their cultures, and religions. I read so many missionary biographies that year (which ironically were published by ywam), and heard so many stories of innumerable places and people who had never heard the Gospel before. Even to my 9-year-old brain, that seemed crazy. They’d NEVER heard about Jesus before?! Well, SOMEBODY’S got to tell them! How sad – how horrible – how heartbreaking – that they’re going through life, day in and day out, living and dying – without EVER hearing about Jesus! It blew my mind. And it’s not even that they chose to not follow Him – they’d never even HEARD about Him!!
And that year, Jesus began to stir something in my soul. A passion. A longing. A desire. Stronger than anything else I’d ever felt before, this seed – so small, yet so incredibly powerful and full of potential – this seed of a dream was planted by Jesus himself in the very depths of my soul.
Sometimes this seed saw the light, and my dream would grow bigger; like when our missionary friends from Indonesia would come home and tell us their stories – and my heart would explode with joy hearing about how another tribe had met The One. Or when I would read yet another missionary biography about an ordinary person who followed God to an extraordinary destiny – and I would think, “Wow. I want that to be me someday.” And in those moments, my dream grew and grew.
But I’m not perfect. And there have been times when I’ve wondered if He planted the wrong seed; like when I would talk with friends who knew exactly what they wanted to do, where they wanted to go to school, and what they wanted to major in, and they had a good, secure life in front of them – and I would just sit there, wondering what in THE WORLD I was doing choosing a life of not knowing, of uncertainty, away from the comfort of home. Or when I would think that this dream was too unattainable, too much of a cloud in the sky, something that I could never actually reach – and I tried to bury the now-small-plant of a dream growing inside my heart.
But praise God that His plans are greater than our doubts!! For though I didn’t realize it, and though I sometimes tried to bury the seed, or wonder if He had planted the wrong one – all the while, He was making it grow; even when I couldn’t see, He was watering it. And every time I tried to cover it up, it would only come bursting out even greater than before!
Like when I went to Ukraine. For two summers in a row, I traveled to Ukraine and helped run an evangelistic English Language Camp. I taught English, played games, formed relationships with the kids, directed skits, and ultimately shared the gospel - and witnessed over a hundred kids meet their Savior. I think that was when I looked down, deep into my heart, and was awed to realize that this seed had not only grown into a plant, but a precious bud was sitting on top, waiting for the right time to open. That this dream might actually become reality - because I have a God who so desperately wants to see it fulfilled. Who wants to see this seed He planted twist and turn and grow stronger and stronger and higher and higher until it becomes everything it was created to be.
And so I said yes. I said yes to moving to the top of a mountain with complete strangers; yes to giving up college and a “normal” life; yes to follow Him wherever He leads. And thus my YWAM journey began. And throughout the 3 months in Denver, He continued to grow me, and prune me, and water me, more and more.
And now I’m here. I’m living my dream. Yes, let me repeat that for you: I’M LIVING MY DREAM!!! I’m here, loving on people, being the hands and feet of Jesus to His precious children in Thailand. And you know what I’m also doing? Sharing the Gospel with those who haven’t heard.
I gaze down, into the deepest part of my soul, and I smile. A deep, joyous, contented, peaceful smile. The rose has blossomed. I’m living my dream. And it’s only just begun.
This is my story. This is Jesus' story. This is OUR story. <3 font="">


Ronald Skorstad said...

Beautifully written Miss C. The Lords hand is certainly guiding your life down a path many would love to follow. We get to vicariously through you. Praising your work.
The Skorstad's

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Mr. Skorstad! But it's not my work - it's His work. I am just blessed that He chose to use me to accomplish it. :)