Tuesday, March 15, 2011

...most likely going back to Mozambique!! (and teaching Crafts!)

Hello friends
I'm so sorry I haven't posted like I said I would. A lot has been happening that has made me sort have a continual pause button being pushed on what I feel like I should share. I have been really involved for the past month in plans for the future of my little life and what opportunities I should pursue. I have been sort of holding my breath waiting for responses from things I applied for off and on since mid-January.

-I want to share with you what God has been teaching me over these last few weeks. It's pretty awesome.The biggest thing that God has been doing in this season is reminding me that He is good regardless of what my situations look like, or how I feel. I should never believe that I am not going to be given the desires of my heart - God just has interesting timing when it comes to these things.
I applied to staff the Iris Ministries Harvest School that begins in June. What I would have been doing would have been to be a house mom for about ten of the students that come from all over the world, be in charge of one aspect of the school leadership (24 hour prayer week, worship teams, etc), lead a weekend outreach, and lead a week to 15 day outreach after that. I was so desiring to do this as it would stretch me in ways the I have been really desiring to be stretched: Leadership, personal ministry (to the students), and responsibility.

I focused on doing this and basically planned on it, though I wasn't sure if I would be. One thing that I was struggling with was the little nagging thought that maybe I wasn't ready to do this and that it wouldn't be God's timing, though it was the only thing that I wanted to do. I had been hearing God say many times that I am allowed to dream and hope for the desires of my heart, and this was a big dream of mine that I was barely letting myself hope for at times when I wasn't in the right head space. But then I would remember that God has good plans for me that are to prosper me and not harm me - His plans are always bigger and better than we think.

A month and a couple of days ago, I decided that I was going to spend a week praying and fasting. I canceled some of my responsibilities and spent time at my father's house and while I was there I found out that I was not accepted to be on staff for this Harvest School. I was taken aback very much at first. I was incredibly disappointed, and immediately felt a sense that my little worries had come true. I felt these lies creep in; "I am not ready for such responsibilities, and I'm not good enough". But luckily, I had already set all this time aside to be in God's presence, so He quickly set me back up on His lap and comforted me and reminded me of His goodness and His promises. I know very well that if there is an obvious "no" to something, then it's for my good, and God has good plans that will be better than "my" plans. So I just told the Lord, "Ok. Do what you want, and I will follow."
At the end of the email letting me know I wasn't going to be on staff, the leaders of the school, Pamela and Tony Maxwell, said to be expecting a call about other opportunities.

A week and a half later (God also has been working with me on patience and believing He is good when it looks strange) I got to talk with Pamela Maxwell. She told me of a couple of opportunities that I could possibly be a part of. One of those immediately stood out to me: She told me of a woman named Nathalia who is planning to start a Micro-business class/discipleship for the many amazing widows in PEMBA, Mozambique, which is the SAME location as the Harvest School, during the same time as the Harvest School, and I would be helping with teaching CRAFTS AND JEWELRY MAKING!!! Ahhh- wow!!!! Seems a little bit too good to be true, eh? She also mentioned to me the possibility of helping plan events in which the children of the students would spend time with Mozambican children!

-I remember after I hung up with Pamela I sort of stood stunned in my kitchen with, I'm sure a hilarious look on my face of puzzlement, complete excitement and the irony of the situation! If I did this, it would in fact be most of what I was wanting to be a part of if I staffed the school, in the same place, but with the added benefit of getting to use my skills of Jewelry Making and teaching!!! I kept saying, "NO WAY! NO WAY!" and laughing! "God, what are you up to??!" , I said out loud.
I went outside and sat on the sidewalk, just sort of taking in what was happening. I realized I needed to really and truly seek the Lord about the decision of whether or not to be a part of this. Part of me had thought that maybe the reason that I hadn't been accepted to the school, was because I needed to continue to be here in this place of refining and obedience (It has been a hard season for me here in Nashville in many ways - my desire was to be out of the country, but God had me here for this season for many reasons that I didn't understand until recently and He did some incredible thigns in this season that I am so thankful for).

Anyway, i realized that this was an important decision. The thing that I was most worried about not being in Nashville for was my friend, Shyanna. She is a girl that I have been mentoring for about 8 years, though I haven't always been able to be consistent while I've been out of the country or while she was in another state for part of a year. recently she was put into temporary foster care, and the foster mother lives about two blocks away from me!! It has been such a divinely put together situation. I have been able to see her more than i ever have in the past (about twice a week), and i hav ebeen able to take her to Grace Center with me! she has gotten really involved in the youth group, which is a miracle, because she has never wanted to be very involved in the churches that i have brought her to in the past. she also never cared about the worship music very much, but she now has requested that I make her "at least 20" different worship cds! i asked her if she could feel something change inside of her when she listened to worship music (she is now 12 and that is part of the reason why she can grasp these things more than she used to), and she said that, yes she could feel lighter and happier. Two weeks ago, she decided that she wanted Jesus to be in her heart, and we prayed together to invite Him. Woo!! This has been amazing!!
That week I kept thinking, "what if'" this and that in regard to Shyanna's situation, and was worrying about leaving. My friend Jack Beach reminded me of something: he said, what if's don't usually come from God, but from the enemy who wants us to worry." I think that's very true! Why would God want me to worry when He is perfectly capable of handling any situation?!

I set myelf a deadline for making the decision and went to Grace Center and got prayed for. I have some amazing prophetic words including this one: "I see you were recently in a situation that is like you were reaching for a tissue out of a tissue box, but it wasn't there. And it was an opportunity that you were looking forward to very much, but it wasn't there when you thought it would be. but the tissue has actually just fallen into the box, and you have to dig for it." Ha!!! Wow - such an accurate picture of this situation in which I wanted to go to the school, wasn't accepted, but was given the same situation/a better one! Wow! Also that same day, shyanna gave me her permission to go to Africa! Wow. she said, "You can go...I'll be ok". Wow! And she didn't even know that I was worried mostly about her. I take that as a confirmation. :)

So - Isn't God so faithful, and kind??? He wants to give us the desires of our hearts! I am going to Mozambique, I beleive! there are still some things to work out and fill out, but it is the direction that I'm heading!
I don't have a lot of time to get ready, but I believe this is what I'm going to do! It will definitely be a miracle being able to leave here in a MONTH AND A HALF! I have to apply for being a missionary there, apply for a Visa, get tickets, get shots, pack, move my things out of where I'm living - wow!


  1. "He quickly set me back up on His lap and comforted me and reminded me of His goodness and His promises. I know very well that if there is an obvious "no" to something, then it's for my good, and God has good plans that will be better than "my" plans."

    What a perfect summation and JUST what I needed to hear. (over and over again!) I know how much better things run when I give it to God, but it is so hard to relinquish control and stop being convinced that I have to plan things out perfectly! Thanks and what an amazing opportunity you have ahead! Very excited for you!! (I know from personal experience having bought a piece of your jewelry that everyone you encounter is in for a real treat!!)

  2. Jen - thank you sooo much for your encouragement. !! You are so lovely. What a blessing it is to me to hear that this blessed you; I couldnt hope for anything more! :) thank you!!