and so he responded.

(WARNING: long..) man. It is extremely hard to motivate myself to blog these days.. I know I have things I want to say, but getting my thoughts in order and convincing myself to sit down and type them out seems to be just too much, at the moment. I have started draft-things ranging from how I feel about the lack of healthy touch in our society to freedom to my summer plans and adventures to the basic updates but none of them seem to be ripe in my head enough to put in text for you.

I was thinking today, though, about the things God has been doing in me over the last 4 months since returning from Africa & DTS and there was one thing I found myself wanting to share: It was somewhere around the middle of my lecture phase in Kona and I was sitting in a room with all my classmates eyes plastered to the "2,000" some odd dollars I needed in that hour to continue on and get to outreach. I was nervous and excited to see how God was going to provide because after all he did promise to provide the funds if I took the leap. Everyone was praying and asking the Lord how much to give to one another and who to give to and what else could be released. I sat in the back, against the wall and asked, "God what is it you want me to give away? How much can I give? I don't have much, in fact I need much this hour.. but I want to do this! I want to have open hands". My mind started to race and I half-successfully calmed myself to the point of being able to hear his quiet voice. Immediately two people were highlighted, one of which was a beautiful, crazy passionate, free woman who I adored. I looked at her and I felt the Lord say "your camera". For a second I was all for it. I was like, nothing is going to stop me! but then someone walked up with 5$ for me so I put it on the back burner. (the way the Lord provided for me for that 2,000 is a story in itself, I may find myself sharing that later if I haven't already, and if you want to know! please don't hesitate to ask me!) The rest of the day wore on and I got fully distracted from the release God had asked of me. Occasionally over the next week I would see her and remember what I was supposed to do but as time wore on I found myself questioning what I had heard. I mean, it was my camera! The extension of my arm! How was I supposed to give that away?

It only got harder from there. I would find myself asking the Lord over and over if this is what he wanted from me and even through confirmation, over and over,  I resisted. Against my better judgement I asked a friend. I knew this was between me and God but I wanted an excuse to NOT! as soon as I mentioned what I felt the Lord had said he responded, "You do know she has the exact same camera, right?". JKHSADKJASH! I DID NOT KNOW THAT. bah. I was like JESUS!  YOU DOOOO KNOW SHE HAS THE EXACT SAME, WORKING, CAMERA!? WHYYY.  I told you it only got harder.

Finally, three or four weeks after that day of Giving I made up my mind. Earlier I had been listening to a podcast and asking the Lord yet again for confirmation, and he basically said, "I am not asking you to look at the circumstances. I am asking you to release what is already mine." so I did. That day I went back to campus and sat down. I asked the Lord what he wanted me to give away (tripods, camera cases, lens, memory cards etc) and did the deed. The joy on her face when I handed her the bag was immeasurable, and I had no idea why...

A couple days later she and I finally got a moment to sit down and talk about her excitement and it went something like this. she expressed about how three weeks earlier (after comparison we decided it was within two or three days of when the Lord had asked it of me, and when this had occurred) she was skyping with her her younger sister and her sister asked her for her camera (her younger sister was increasingly interested in fashion photography and found her reprieve from the ups and downs of high school in that hobby). My friend prayed about it and told her sister that she just didn't feel like she was supposed to give her her camera (remember that it was the same exact camera as mine?) right then, but that she would pray with her and ask the Lord for one. So they did. And so he responded.

It was a bit strange at first, not having a camera. But the Lord is good and provided and beautiful canon for my outreach to use (borrow). It was awesome, too, as time wore on. I was expectant for the Lord to provide another camera in return! I was confidant that if he asked me to release mine he was going to give me one in return. But God has also been teaching me much about motifs and the way he works lately.

yesterday I bought my new camera, 7 months later - and while it didn't come in the way I was expecting (someone giving me one like I had) I still have a camera on the way. and shoots enough booked to have already paid for it! It's been an interesting process looking back and seeing the phases where I was angry with God for not having providing a camera in my timing and the way I wanted. Or where I was confused and frustrated because I didn't know what he was doing - and now.. seeing what sweet relief it is and has been to be able to walk in confidence that even if it isn't in my timing or according to my plan he still provides.

I realize this blog is a bit length, choppy and probably doesn't make all the sense in the world - but I wanted to share that and remind myself to give because I can, not because I should or because I expect something back. To trust that his plan is bigger, better and more well thought through than mine would have ever been and to always walk in confidence and faith.

Risk is an essential part of faith.