I have a month and a day before I leave for what could be one of the greatest adventures thus far in my young life. South Africa sounds like a dream even now as the plane ticket is bought and the money is being raised. I don't know that It has really hit me that I'm leaving.
I have always believed in my heart that my life was not meant to be lived in my hometown of Mississippi. There has always been a stiring in my soul for more. More adventure, more people, more traveling, more culture, love, time, experiences, and more of Him. Not everyone has the yearning to leave and start over some where else, but I do and to my family's dismay, I believe I will.
I have never felt worthy of the opportunities that the Father has put before me. For I have never been as pure in heart as His Son, or the humble John that came before him. I have never been as peaceful and patient as Mary surely was, to gain favor in His eyes. My story is a roller coaster of ups and downs. There are twists and turns that lead you to unexpected drops just when you think you've reached a plateau.
I have been studying the lives of some of those who were closest to The Son during His lifetime. These men and women are incredible followers that provide wisdom and insight to those of us who have come along after. These are stories of normal people who lived very ordinary lives, and even yearned to keep their ordinary, dreams as they aged. However the Father had a much different path for them. Thankfully when He called them to a story bigger than themselves, they were faithful to obey. Their obedience has not only revolutionized our relationship with Him today, but allowed for the one true Lamb to be born, sacraficed, and raised up so that our faith may not be in vain.
I wish that I could identify the most with Mary, Elizabeth, or the messenger John, whose faith, prayers, and persistence have radiated through stories over time, but I believe my habits of faith symbolize those of Joseph, Zachariah, or even James. I often think, like Joseph, that my plan will make a seemingly broken situation better. Even if I take my time to consider possibilities, it takes an act of Him to explain how short sighted I was. I also question my blessings like Zachariah did. I doubt and rethink things that have literally been placed in my lap. I have yet to be physically silenced for my unbelief, but if that day comes I won't be surprised. And sadly I can often relate to James. He had more access to knowledge of Him than the general population and it still took his own brother dying on a cross for him to realize that His words had been true.
One of my favorite of these people to study would be John. I wonder what it was like to know that he would lead the way for the one true Lamb to come. I wonder what he struggled with and how he overcame that. I wonder if his faith waivered while he sat in a jail cell alone, cold, and starving after doing into what he was called to do. I'm sure he had a hard time watching the friends he grew up with marry and begin families while he was alone in the desert learning. He was a man, a normal man, that had found incredible favor in the Father. How grateful we should be that he did not run from that blessing.
When I chose to follow, I accepted a life that I was not in control of. As the time comes for me to change my current location and begin an adventure like many have done before me, I am bombarded with many emotions. The months leading up to this have seemed to go on forever, making it challenging to be content in the present yet reaching for the future. Where the fire and passion once made this decision indestructible, now stirs fears, worry, doubts, rebellion, and questions. I will never understand how my soul and flesh can be at such a war. Why is it so easy to want to run away from the things I know will bring joy to my heart, and the greatest glory to Him? It's as if we think we can hide in the darkness away from Him to avoid the life we signed up for when it gets the slightest bit scary. Because if I'm honest I am scared. I'm scared to be in another country with people I don't know, away from things that are comfortable. I'm afraid of failing and not living up to some earthly expectations. It requires a great stretch of faith to be okay with placing yourself in an environment where you have no choice but to rely only on the Father, for everything. A faith that I am still trying to apply to my own heart.
Here is a spoiler alert. Just because someone is led down a path that may look exciting and seem to require a whole other level of holiness, they are the same broken sinners as anyone else. They are plagued by lies from the enemy just like anyone else, and they need to be rescued from death just like.....you guessed it.... Anyone else.
As my excitement grows my spirit has worn thin anticipating this change. And now I'm having to remind myself that I am here for a reason and not to waste time looking ahead. For time is precious and so quickly fleeting.
If you are a child of the King you have chosen a life that may not make sense. You may be confused at the path sometimes and want to change your direction out of fear. But look back at the stories and lives of these faithful men and women. From Mary to James, no matter where their steps came from, they all came to trust the One who would never tell them a lie.
Hold on tight to that truth and run the race marked specifically for you. For He may lead you to the jungles of the Philippines, the cities of Africa, the mountains of Nepal, or the suburbs of America. So be assured in the fact that He knows the hearts of His people, and He is always, always faithful.