Whose plans?

It has been quite a while since I’ve posted on my blog. One reason is because I have been going through an intense period of transition over the past few months. Another reason is because, quite honestly I’ve been dealing with a period of intense Spiritual struggle. Allow me to explain:
The decision to delay my departure for China was by no means an easy one. I think to some extent I felt like a failure for telling literally everyone I knew that I would be leaving in July and that I believed God wanted me in China this upcoming year and then not going. There really was no way I could have gone. I hadn’t raised close to the amount of support I needed. But I had faith that God would provide! I believed that God would bring in every cent that I needed to go. When the money didn’t come in, I felt as though my faith was misplaced. And perhaps it was. See, it’s taken me a while to realize that our faith should not be in what we believe God can or will do for us. Because many times God does things in our life contrary to what we think He should. Looking back I understand that my faith should not have been in God to provide the money I needed but my faith should be in God. Period. Whenever our faith is in God + something else and that something else doesn’t come to fruition we can become discouraged and confused. Many times in our lives we find our plans colliding with God’s plans and when His will is done we can become bitter and angry because we feel we didn’t get our way. But if we live our lives in constant submission to His will then He will give us the Grace to praise Him whatever may come our way. Whether it be delayed plans, poverty, car problems, the death of a Child, loved one or some disaster we can rest secure in the knowledge that the God who loves us and redeems us has a plan for our lives that is far superior to ours.
It wasn’t until God brought me to this point that I could truly thank him for delaying my trip. He has opened up so many new doors for me and I am excited to see what His plans are for me over the coming year as I continue to prepare for China!

Where are my Sams?

I was watching the movie “Lord of the Rings—Return of the King” with some friends recently. It seems barely a moment goes by when my mind isn’t thinking about my rapidly approaching departure to China, so it’s not surprising that a phrase in the movie made me think of my current situation. Frodo and Sam are approaching Mt. Doom after months of traveling on their quest to destroy the Ring of Sauron. As they climb the mountain Frodo, the one chosen to carry the ring to its destruction falls from exhaustion and sheer inability to carry on. He begins to spek of how he feels defeated; as though he has lost the ability to move forward even one more step and it appears that even though they are so close, they might not make it. Then Sam, his friend and companion on the journey tries to rouse him, to encourage him on. But Frodo can’t find the strength the make it on his own. It’s at this moment Sam tells him:

“Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can’t carry it for you… but I can carry you!”

And in a tearful moment of strength and loyalty, the equally exhausted Sam heaves Frodo onto his back and carries him to the top of the mountain.

This made me think of my service in China in a new light. This call to China has been given to me and it’s one that I will answer. But I cannot make the trip alone. I need companions for my journey. I need a fellowship to go with me and carry me there.

Even if you cannot see China with your own eyes, and experience it yourself, YOU are my companions on this trip! I cannot do this without you! I will need your encouragement and commitment to “lift me up” every step of the way!

This is a journey we must make together! I cannot go alone! And I can think of no one else I want to “go with me” than you!