Six weeks. Ten students. One God filled experience. These are some of the things that I see when I look back on my England trip. I have been back in the United States for a week, and I already miss the missionary life. I long to be back serving the Lord abroad, but even as I have been back the Lord has given me unexpected blessings. On Sunday I woke up at 3:20 A.M. to video chat my guitar students who were playing for the first time in the worship service by themselves. It was a blessing to get to run a rehearsal from 4,700 miles away. It certainly had its challenges, but it was an extremely fun time. Watching my kids lead worship all by themselves warmed my heart and reminded me that God holds them in His hands even when I am not there to see it.
Earlier today I was talking to my Dad about how excited I was for Christmas and how much I wanted the Texas heat to go away. (When you have been in 40-50 degree Fahrenheit weather for six weeks, coming back to Houston is quite a shock). I was explaining to my Dad how Christmas music was stuck in my head and how much I wanted it to be Christmas time. This evening at Gateshead Evangelical Church, there was a dinner concert where the church got to hear a Christian singer from the United States perform worship songs. I was video chatting my students during the concert and what do you suppose the singer decided to play? That’s right. Christmas songs. He invited all the kids to come and sit around the piano and sing “Jingle Bells” with him. He also played several other fun Christmas songs. I was dancing to the music all the way in Texas. God certainly has a sense of humor! This first week back has reminded me how grateful I am for technology. Without the constant texting, video calls, and photos being sent to and from England, I’m confident I would have been even more of a mess without my kids. (And don’t get me wrong, I am still a mess without my kids). Being patient is hard. I feel as though I have officially begun my journey as a missionary and yet right now I find myself back in the United States. Even though I am sure God will bring me back to both Gateshead and Sisak, I do not know when, and that is very very hard. As I begin looking ahead to plan my next missionary journeys, I am saddened at the time I spend doing the “ordinary.” Something I constantly remind myself is that God uses all things for His glory, even the “ordinary.”
Sometimes our plans and our timing doesn’t match up with God’s plans. Even though it may feel like God doesn’t love us during those times, His love is steadfast. Sometimes His way of showing love to us is by telling us no or not yet. God never promised that it would be easy, but He called us to follow Him and rely on His steadfast love for us. There is a song called “God Help Me” by Plum which I have been praying over my life during this period of waiting. The chorus goes like this:
“Help me to move,
Help me to see,
Help me to do whatever you would ask of me.
Help me to go,
God, help me to stay,
I’m feeling so alone here,
and I know that you’re faithful but I can barely breathe.
God help me.”
These lyrics have been so powerful to me these past few weeks. God calls us to follow and serve Him in both the big and the little ways, in the extravagant and the ordinary. As he is calling me to stay in the United States for a few months before I go back to Gateshead, please pray that the Lord will give me his timing. Pray that I will have peace in the waiting, and that I will be joyful in the struggles.
Please help me to go and stay. Give me peace in whatever you call me to do. Help me to be a light to everyone I encounter and love the unlovable. Allow me to continue ministry in both Croatia and England while I am spending time in the United States. Show me the best way to serve you and please reveal your timing.