This post started off as an email update to some friends and family and as I typed it grew and grew so, bear with me, it's very brief (not necessarily in length, but in depth) but I wanted to give you a small glimpse into my life the last three months and the things the Lord has been speaking and teaching and showing me: Where to begin... The last three months (six, really) has been such an incredible journey. As I'm sure is the case with most of us first time staff it has looked nothing like I thought it would..even as I tried to come into it with no expectation. If I'm honest it's felt like I've been turned inside out so my soft and fragile interior are all exposed to the insanity and beauty and truth that is staffing a DTS.
It's incredible the things you come to realize when you are thrown into the whirlwind. Things like your instinct as a human being is to grab onto something to anchor yourself. Instinct tells you to protect your head, your heart. Fetal position! Close your eyes, cover your ears from the deafening roar..etc etc. But let's be real, fetal position is not conducive to staffing a Discipleship Training school. And somewhere in the mix of things the idea that I had to be the 'perfect' staff, or have it all together or have 'arrived' had taken residence in my subconscious and was dictating my levels of vulnerability and the way I interacted with my students and my friends and, when I took a good hard look at myself, a lot of my life - but let me tell you, the Lord would have none of it.
As is usual with the way the Lord and I interact concerning matters of the heart, it all came crashing down in one brutal moment of violent Love. He would have none of it. None of me slipping into a place of comfortable 'relationship', ticking my way through this time, protecting my heart, protecting my reputation, my image of myself I'd formed in my head. He wanted it all and while, yes, he would give me the option, the reality of his beauty (not to mention the question I've been living this whole year "if you really are who you say you are what would my life look like?") left me with very little choice. If he really is good, If he really is beautiful and sufficient and everything my heart longs for then the only option is to trust him with my everything, right? right.
So over the last three months I've been on this path of learning to lay down my insecurities and my 'would be' identity, trusting that he has a beautiful plan for my life, trusting that he will not shame me or leave me wounded, and instead actively choosing Vulnerability and Identity in Him. Learning to find my value in nothing but my identity as a daughter; "If I had no talent, no creative abilities, no wild streak, no crazy hair, no voice, no beauty, no tattoos no anything, would I still feel valuable?" The answer was definitely no but over the last two weeks I can confidently say that I am learning to operate out of that place... & all this while staffing.
All of this (among other invaluable lessons and moments) while discipleing 6 students (now 7) - getting to watch the light spark in their eyes and transformation in their hearts through encounter with the man Jesus - and trying to plan an outreach to a nation I've never been to - amidst all the meetings, and gatherings and prayer sets. It's been such a crazy crazy ride - but so so worth it. So worth every moment of brokenness on the prayer room floor learning to choose identity as a daughter. I'm starting to see a pattern, I think. Life doesn't just stop and wait for us to regain balance - life continues forward and it's in those ground shaking moments that the Lord is teaching us to stand, but not on our own. He so longs to repair our broken parts, even the ones we may be oblivious to - and he so longs to lend us his strength to stand. How great is he.. Gosh.
And now? Now we get to take the knowledge of his goodness and strength and our own value in Him to the nations! Yes. Thank you Jesus!
I give it all to you God, Trusting that you'll make something beautiful out of me. I lean not on my own understanding, my life is in the hands of the maker of heaven. - will regan & united pursuit