One year ago today I stepped foot into England for the first time as a missionary. WOW!
I have taken 17 flights, 5 trains, and countless metro and bus rides in both Croatia and England. I have made countless new friends. I have learned 2 new cultures. I have taken thousands of photos. I have done so. many. things.
Look at all the things God has done! (Here’s a very brief list)
- Allowed me to teach music to kids who are now leading worship in a church
- Gave me complete dependence in God
- Taught me how to do hard things
- Allowed me to minister to people who I never would have met without him
- Provided monetarily, physically, and emotionally every time I need him to
- Taught me how to deal with troubled teens
- Allowed me to meet many more Croats who want a youth ministry in Sisak
- Gave me a support group of people I can rely on through anything
- Taught me how to genuinely care for and love on people
- Given me an opportunity to do full time school and full time mission work at the same time
- Taught me how to have healthy relationships with both family and friends
I’m pretty sure this list could go on forever.
God has reassured me so many times this year. He has sent me signs from the Northern Lights to Rainbows to words and conversations. I now know more than ever that his plan is the best plan. With him everything has purpose and meaning. My life has changed so drastically over the past 12 months and I wouldn’t change anything for the world. I can honestly say that there has never been a moment where I thought I was in the wrong place. I was meant to be everywhere I went. Gods faithfulness to show and teach me has been a steadfast source that has never left me.
The joys and successes of this year are overwhelming. I look at the ways God used me, and I am awestruck in the things he was able to do. If I had known one year ago that in a years’ time I would be living between three countries, learning a language, and ministering to people across the world, I am not sure I would have gone on this journey—it would have been too overwhelming! I am so glad that God was (and is) with me every step of the way. He has taught me so many things about myself and I am so grateful that I am beginning to understand (for the first time) who I really am in Christ.
It hasn’t always been easy. From learning how to not miss my family, to learning how to help a troubled teen there have been plenty of tough times this year. Exhaustion, disappointment, loneliness, and confusion have been a part of my life. Even missionaries aren’t immune to the brokenness of this world, and we have struggles too. Even though it may look like we have everything together, we don’t. It has been such an encouragement to learn from my mistakes and to use my hurt to grow. If anything, the hard things have reassured me of my necessity for Christ even more. Nobody, no matter how good, is immune from the necessity of Jesus. Without him, we would have no hope through the broken, dark times.
This is just a brief reflection amongst a still very busy schedule. I plan to take a three-day reflection trip so that I have time to be with me, myself, and God to really debunk everything that has happened this year. I am so excited for this opportunity to rest and connect with God.
These past nine weeks have been CRAZY and I am absolutely exhausted. On Sunday August 11th my Grandmother (Dad’s side) passed away. Once again God changed my plans. I changed my Thursday August 15th flight to Zagreb to a flight that would take me across the pond to Newark. I spent the weekend in New York with my family celebrating the life of my grandma. Then on Monday August 19 I boarded a plane to get to Zagreb so that I would be in Croatia in time for VBS on Tuesday. Even though I took a very indirect route to Croatia, I know I was where I needed to be. My plan lands at 7:30 in the morning and VBS starts at 4:30 in the afternoon! If you cant already tell, it has been literally non-stop for 9 weeks. I realized the other day that since June 10th there has only been 10 days where I got 8 hours of sleep (thank you for reminding me of my exhaustion FitBit analysis). Please please please be praying for rest! After VBS I plan to spend time RESTING! I have long needed it.
Soli deo Gloria