A little over a year ago I was stepping into something new. Something unlike anything I had ever done before.
It was one of the hardest but most exciting days of my life.
I hugged my friends and family goodbye, packed some of my belongings in a duffel bag, and hopped on a plane to head away from everything I knew for three months.
That may not seem like long, but it felt like a lifetime to me at the time. I had never been away from my parents for more than a week and, this time, I was going to a whole new continent with people I had never met, for three whole months.
I spent five days at training camp with my team before flying to Africa.
Those five days were tough.
I tried to hold it together, but when I was still and in solitude, it was hard.
I cried. I prayed. I questioned. I doubted. I wondered.
I was scared – of the unknown, of not being enough, of not having my family with me, of all the things that could go wrong.
I was scared that I was doing the wrong thing.
… all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be…
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
When fear seemed to drown out my faith, those verses were the cries of my heart.
I remember our first worship session at training camp. A flood of emotions filled my soul.
I just tried to soak it all in. I just tried to believe every word that was sung.
“You’re a Good Good Father.”
Those words brought me peace beyond understanding.
“Your presence always covers me.”
I tried to rest in that truth.
“I lean not on my own understanding, my life is in the hands of the maker of heaven.”
I tried to let go of the lies I was telling myself and lean into my Maker.
When I cried, I was comforted. When I prayed, I trusted in His power.
When I doubted, I tried to discover more about Him. When I wondered about the unknown, I was assured that He goes before me.
It’s hard to surrender comfort and go where we’re called,
but there’s a lot of freedom in it.
I’m telling this part of my story to assure you that the Lord will equip you for what He’s calling you to.
He will use your imperfections to emphasize His perfect love, so don’t let them hold you back.
Here’s the catch: where you are doesn’t determine who you are.
Don’t expect your imperfections to be erased and your insecurities to cease just because you’re at your next door neighbor’s house or on another continent.
Your destination does not determine your definition.
You’re defined by your infinite worth in Jesus, not where you are in the world.
Where is the Lord calling you?
Maybe it’s to a new continent or country, maybe it’s to a different career or college, maybe it’s to your neighbor’s house or to an old friend. Whether it’s a million miles away or not even a mile away, I want to encourage you to GO.
The first step into the unknown is always the hardest, but Jesus has already taken that step for you and He wants nothing more than for you to join Him.
He’s already written your story, so why not trust the journey?
You might cry and question and doubt and wonder.
You might be scared of more things than you’re sure of.
But you have nothing to lose and everything to gain when you’re following Jesus.
And, wherever He is leading you, go with all of your heart.
It’s going to be hard.
It’s going to test you and stretch you.
It’s going to wreck you.
It’s going to challenge you and change you.
It’s going to make you grow beyond your wildest dreams.
It’s going to be a wild journey.
It’s going to be part of your story.
Don’t let fear hold your future captive.