I know I haven’t really blogged at all since I’ve been back in the Dominican Republic. I don’t like making excuses, but truly, life has been crazy busy since I returned in January. Since I know I can’t share every moment of every week since I’ve been back, I thought I’d look back on a few of my journal entries and share a few thoughts with you through those, as well as a few highlights to dive more into. So, here goes nothing!
“1/22/14. Genesis 22, when Abraham is tested to see if he will sacrifice his only son Isaac – Abraham says that God Himself will provide the lamb for the offering (v. 8). Such a testament to God’s ultimate redemption plan – that He would provide His Son to be the lamb sacrificed for the sins of all. Abraham didn’t have to give up his son – God provided another way. But for God, there was no other way. It had to be Jesus; it had to be His Son, or there would never be redemption in the relationship between Him and His people.” I’ve been reminded many times since I’ve been down here about how amazing God’s Redemption Plan is. How He wanted more than anything to be back in relationship with the people He had created, and how from the very beginning – since even before time began – He and Jesus knew what it would take to have a fully restored relationship with us. And the fact that despite knowing that sin would enter the world and their people would turn away from them, they still created the world and created people – that’s how much God loves us. On a blog post by A Girl Like Me (a blog I follow written by two wives of members of Tenth Avenue North), they wrote a post about how God is love because He is community. If God wasn’t the Trinity, He would have had to create something in order for His love to exist. But since He is the community of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, He is able to lavish the love that already exists within Himself onto the people He created. That’s the God who has had a Redemption Plan since forever, and will continue to set the desire to know Him into the hearts of every generation.
“2/3/14. Lord, it’s been very clear to me since I’ve been back in the DR that I need You. I very much need You in my life in order to get through even one ‘normal’ day, let alone the challenges and storms that come. – Lord, I am worried about my future. My flesh worries about getting the right job and finances and where I’ll live and when/how I’ll meet my husband. And my spirit worries if I’ll be doing that You called me to do, if I’ll be missing out on something You have planned for me, if I’ll be living the richest life with You I can be.” I literally cannot live life without Christ. I can’t imagine going through the bad days and struggles with sin and sadness and everything the world throws my way, and NOT having my Savior as the crutch I need to get me through. When Tori came to visit me for a week, we got to have lots of conversation about our worries for the future. One of the things we talked about was being willing to go wherever the Lord leads – but our willingness to go anywhere doesn’t mean God is going to send us to a far away country without friends or any comforts. But if I am willing to be willing, that is a good place to be. And so that’s what I’m starting to pray: that I would be willing to go wherever God wants me to go, despite any anxiety I have over whether it will be hard or sad or make me miserable. If I’m where God wants me to be, He will be providing for all my needs.
“2/15/14. I want our story to go deeper. – Lord, set my MIND on Your law and mercy; set my HEART on Your love and grace; set my FEET on a path that takes me further up and further in – closer and closer to Your presence and Your will.” I never want to lose my desire to grow deeper in my relationship with God.
These are just a few of the thoughts/things God has been teaching me, revealing to me, and growing me in. As far as Lily House things go, I’m still in charge on the weekends, which sometimes is easy and sometimes is hard. Yajaida, the big sister of the house, is getting married in 2 weeks, so I’m still not sure what it’s going to look like with her no longer living in the house. Please be in prayer for this transition time – both for Yajaida as she becomes a wife, and LH as we celebrate with her and see what it means for the house (Yajaida will still be working with the ministry during the day). We have a new LH intern, April, and she’s been here for about 2 weeks now. It’s been fun getting to know her, see her love and passion for the ministry, and help her learn Spanish. I’ve still been helping with finances, which are finally starting to get under control, which is a huge answer to prayer. We had two women who have left the program, so please be in prayer for them, that the Holy Spirit would continue to convict them and they would continue to walk with the Lord despite having left the ministry.
Today is my 23rd birthday, and I am completely overwhelmed by how much God loves me. I don’t deserve the amazing love He lavishes on me, but despite not understanding it fully, I know that He is all wisdom, He understands everything, and He gives me His grace freely and fully (Ephesians 1:7-8). This morning I got to sleep in, have quiet time, opened lots of cards and presents that Tori brought down for me, visited the ladies at LH and was serenaded (they started off singing in English but ended in Spanish) and hugged, got my birthday muffin (and a mocha frappuchino!), then came back to Score and was thrown into the pool by Sarah and Pastor Nate (a tradition down here…a sign of love), ate pizza for lunch with uva soda, video chatted my parents while swimming in the pool, started writing this blog, video chatted Mary and Sam, and then received birthday flowers from my dad through my Dominican dad, which was an unexpected and beautiful surprise. Still to come is more time with good friends eating grilled cheese, ice cream, and watching movies. I honestly couldn’t have asked for any more love than I’ve received today. I’m so grateful for the love of my Lord and Savior, and all the amazing people He has blessed me with.
Thank you for all the prayers – I have felt them. I love you all!