15 Nov
After Today - Month 5

I spent the last two months not fully preparing for what was to come. I let all the cleansing God did during training camp mucky back up again and I think I figured if I could never truly prepare for what I'm about to experience, why try and prepare at all? 

I made some choices that were not so great and spent a lot of time laying around not doing much of anything. I had no work, no school, no obligations. It was the first time in a very long time that I had absolutely no agenda and no schedule. While some part of me enjoyed this idle time, I still have regrets. I regret not meeting up with certain people, I regret how some of my relationships said goodbye, and I regret not being fully present. Part of me shut down. I checked out and put everything aside, acting as if this life had no time constraints, or there were no upcoming changes in the works. Out of all these regrets listed and a few more, I think my biggest regret is the lack of correspondence I had with Christ. I'm not sure I wrote Him one letter since I've been home from training camp and to me I know that means my engagement was weak. I know there's more He wanted to say and I know there's an intimacy I missed out on. I know there could have been so much revelation and instead, I shut down. 

These past three days I spent my time cleaning out my apartment, packing my bags, and tying up loose ends. I walked into church this morning with tears in my eyes because I'm sad to say goodbye. I'm scared that life in the field will be more than a challenge and that the things I'll discover about myself will be appalling. I'm scared to get into mission and shut down the way I did here, that my heart will be hardened to the difficulties and that I'll shy away from our Lord instead of pressing in. Oh what a frightful feeling this is. 

However, there is a flip side filled with hope and a feeling of excited love. Along with the above thoughts and missed opportunities I've also had some great rest. I've spent time in prayer both corporately and alone. I had the chance to strengthen relationships, hear God's voice and have quality time with loved ones. For crying out loud I got to experience 7 holidays in 3 days! Woo wee was that a ride. I'm excited that life in the field will be a challenge, and that the things I'll discover about myself will grow me. I'm excited to get into mission and see Jesus work in all the impossibles as He softens my heart to learn how to press further into His merciful grace. Yes some changes will be hard and yes some changes will hurt but I think I can finally mean it when I say I'm ready for change. 

The word given to me at training camp was beloved and that has been echoing in my mind these past few weeks. Of course I know this word to be true but I'm still waiting for my heart to catch up to my brain. While I hold on to fully experience what that means Psalm 20:1-5 presses into my heart. 

"May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!

May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!

May He send you help from the sanctuary 

 And support you from Zion!

May He remember all your meal offerings

 And find your burnt offering acceptable! Selah.

 May He grant you your heart's desire

And fulfill all your counsel!

 We will sing for joy over your victory, 

And in the name of our God we will set up our banners.

May the Lord fulfill all your petitions." 

My prayers for this year are to first and foremost fall more in love with Jesus and His righteousness. After that all my other prayers for the world to knowingly remember His name, for tangible and abundant presence of kingdom, for strength, desire, provisions, miracles, healings, and growth will fall into place. I knowingly trust that all these things will come if my first prayer is fulfilled because He tells me these truths just as He tells you. (Matt 6:33)

After today, I won't see my apartment again for at least 11 months. I wont know what my own bed feels like or be able to walk the streets of my neighborhood. The world will be a different place when I get back to the states and my hope is I will be a different person as well. I'm asking that Jesus have His way in this life, that my heart fully surrenders to His will and that I offer it up willingly for all the rest of my days. For His is the kingdom, the power, and glory forever. Amen!

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