Monday, August 11, 2008

We're home!

We arrived back in the U.S. on July 12th after being in Mexico for 2 full months. The last few weeks I’ve been processing all I experienced and all that the Lord taught me while I was there. This is really long but here are some of my thoughts:

My prayer going into our International Training Project 2008 was that God would use me and produce a radical change inside of me. He answered my prayers in amazing ways, however differently than I was expecting.

God really blessed our ministry this summer. God gave me deep, meaningful relationships with several of the Iteso students through my time spent on campus. These relationships gave way to great conversations about my life and theirs, and what each of us believed. Most of these students got connected to the church there and I believe the Lord will continue to bless the seed He planted in their hearts. I’m so thankful that He allowed me to be apart of this process along with the rest of the team.

Personally, the Lord used our experiences and two books to really put His healing hand on several issues in my life this summer. The books were the Search for Significance and Captivating. Security, shame, and journey were some key phrases that surfaced throughout the summer. The Lord began by stripping me continuously of my earthly securities and forcing me to find security in him. Two years ago He began revealing ways I find security in myself, my abilities, and my plans for self-redemption, and continued to expose them on even deeper levels this summer. He not only exposed them, but also allowed them to absolutely fail, so that I was forced to trust in Him alone.

The Lord graciously took my heart to a place this summer to really embrace the plan He has for my life. In many ways, the past five years have been very difficult for us and we’ve endured trials of various kinds. Throughout this process, I have been fighting to survive, often in my own strength, and thereby not fully embracing all the Lord wanted to do inside of me through these hardships. I numbed myself to much of the pain, and found myself longing for relief instead of for the Lord. The Lord broke me and forced me to feel the pain hidden in my heart so that He could heal the wound. God has shown me that relief may never come, but I always have Him and He’s the answer. I can open myself up to feel the reality of the pain and disappointment in life, because Christ opened himself up to feel immense pain for me. . I can feel all my doubts, all my confusion, loneliness, and pain, because He already felt all of it. It is by his stripes that I am healed. I’m thankful for the journey, for by it I know more of His redeeming love.

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