Thursday, November 23, 2017

Finding Rest in His Goodness

Today I was thinking about the ways God has blessed me this past year, and my heart is truly so full and thankful. I thought about how good God has been to me, not just this year, but my whole life. Truly I could never deny His goodness. Yes, there have been trials and sorrows over the years, but even in them God has always been faithful to show up and show me His goodness. I don't say God is good because that's what I've been taught, but rather that's what I've experienced firsthand.

Something that I like to do on New Year's Eve is journal about my year, the blessings as well as the hardships. I like to write it all out as it helps me to see how the Lord has once again proven Himself so faithful, and it helps me go into the new year with His goodness and faithfulness in mind.
I know we still have a ways before this year is over (and I'm definitely not trying to make time go by faster!), but today I found myself already thinking about this last year and how truly good He has been.

This year, God truly gave me the desire of my heart by allowing me to go to Uganda for three months. There were times when it seemed impossible and I didn't know how it was all going to work. There were times I was tempted to let fear stop me from going, and yet God was faithful. I was so scared to fly to Uganda by myself, and I honestly didn't think I would be able to do it because the fear was so overwhelming, but God met me even in my deepest fear and in those moments of doubt.
If I had let that fear stop me from following God's call to Uganda, I would I have missed so very much! My heart felt so full throughout my time there, and I'm so thankful that God blessed me beyond what I could have imagined as I served Him there. I guess that's just what He does isn't it? He calls us to places that at first might seem scary and unknown, and yet as we follow, He shows up every step of the way. I can't even tell you the number of times the Lord so faithfully and so sweetly met me as I called out to Him, starting from the night before I even left. The night before I left for Uganda was a very hard one, as I had lost my beloved dog just a week prior. My heart was so heavy and so sad, and on top of that, I had so much fear about making the trip alone. I remember going into my room and crying so hard as I thought about what lie ahead. God is so faithful, and I believe He allows times like that, times where we feel completely at a lost and completely overwhelmed, so that we look up to Him, the One who has it all in His hand. The next morning I awoke, still afraid, and yet God met me even there. I've been doing the One Year Bible reading plan, and Psalm 34 "just happened" to be part of the reading for that day. I love verse 4:
"I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears". Though my heart felt so fearful, I was reminded that the Lord was able to deliver me from that.
The Lord filled me with His supernatural peace, and I truly felt His presence with me as I traveled.

Though I felt so fulfilled and so thankful to be in Uganda, there were still days that proved to be challenging, days when it was hard to be in a different culture and away from home. There were days I felt totally inadequate and overwhelmed. I loved all the children so much, but there were days in class when I knew I was in way over my head! There was one day in particular that I remember going to one of the vacant classrooms, feeling so overwhelmed and so unsure. I felt so inadequate for the tasks at hand, and I literally cried out to the Lord. He met me so faithfully as He brought to my remembrance the very verse I had read that morning. There were so many times like that! Times when I would need a word of encouragement from the Lord, and He always met me.

It's good for me to remember these things. It's good for me to remember how good and faithful God has been to me, because though I know God is good, it's still so easy to fear the future and the unknown. My mind still quickly goes to the "what if's", and I forget that even if my worst fear were to become reality, God is still good and He is still on the throne.

I am so excited to return to Uganda, and daily I find myself missing it. The Lord often brings to my mind a memory, and I find myself feeling "homesick" for Uganda. I know that it's the Lord preparing my heart to return, because as much as I want to return, I'm also feeling sad at the thought of leaving my home here. It is really hard for me the months right before I leave, as I begin thinking of all that I'm going to miss, but even in this time of preparation before I leave, God is faithful to meet me.

As the doubts and fears come - and they do - especially as I lay in bed at night and try to rest - God is faithful to meet me. As there are times I wrestle with my doubts and I question things, I am reminded to walk by faith, and that He is enough. There are times that I honestly feel tired of walking by faith, when my faith itself feels tired, but how thankful I am that even those times, God never grows weary. Instead, He comes to me in His perfect love and walks with me through the questions and the doubts, reminding me of His all sufficient grace.

A verse that I recently read has stuck with me:

"Return to your rest, my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you"
~Psalm 116:7

Though there are times when I feel so restless and uneasy, I'm comforted as I go back to the truth of God's Word. He has been good to me, so very good, and because of this, truly I can rest. I can rest knowing that the One who has been faithful to me in the past will continue His faithfulness to me in the future, whatever it brings. I can rest knowing that no matter what tomorrow may bring, He will still be good and He will still be enough for me. I can rest knowing that even though I leave behind my family, the same God who goes with me and takes care of me will stay with them and take care of them. I can rest knowing that my God is good, and He is working for my good, even in the ways I don't yet understand.

Truly God is good, and I'm so thankful that I can rest in His goodness.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Uganda Bound!

I'm so thankful for how good God is, for how full of patience He is, and for how faithful He is. 
I will never get tired of recounting all the ways God has shown me His faithfulness, and I know He will never cease to amaze me by His faithfulness.

When I came back home from doing the IGNITE program through Potter's Field Ministries, my heart longed to return to the mission field. I had such a hard time adjusting and being back home, but the Lord was telling me to wait. He was in fact making me wait, and if I'm honest, sometimes I waited not so patiently. Sometimes I really struggled with what He seemed to be doing in my life, or more truthfully, I struggled with what He wasn't doing in my life. 

I was at a hard place in life, caught in what seemed to be the "in between", not knowing what was next except for getting a job and waiting on the Lord with the desire in my heart to be a missionary.

While I wanted so desperately to return to the mission field and full time ministry, the Lord was calling me to something different. He was calling me to something that was not what I wanted, but something which He, in His perfect wisdom, knew I needed.

I became part of a drug study, which many of you knew about and prayed for me during that time. It was for a new medication to treat my Cystic Fibrosis, and it was actually taking place in California. I struggled with the length of the study because it was about two years.  At the time, two years seemed like an eternity. I struggled with being "held back" from the mission field. I struggled with being kept in the states because of a study I didn't want to do. My parents were really excited about the study and the possible results, but to me it seemed like an interruption in my life that I didn't want to welcome. 

Looking back, I know that my parents were excited about this study because they only want the best for me. I know they want me to be as healthy as I possibly can be, and the advances in medicine are exciting. 
For me, I had felt so willing to go wherever the Lord would lead, and to do whatever He called me to do, but I hadn't pictured His will for me being me going to and from California for doctor's visits. It seemed like a waste of two years. If I had only known then what I know now, I would have realized that those two years were certainly not a waste! In fact, I believe those two years were crucial, and it was the Lord preparing both my heart and my body for the plans He has for me. I'm so thankful for this. 

That new medication has made such a difference in my health. My lung function stays up, and I haven't been in the hospital since before I started the study. Before beginning the study, and even during it, I had such a fear of flying. I hated the fact that I had to fly to my doctor's appointments, and there was a point during it that I actually told my mom that I couldn't do it. I was so afraid to fly, even with my mom beside me. I remember saying that maybe the Lord was using those trips to prepare me to fly somewhere far away, since that was my desire. Little did I know that He really was! 

I am so thankful to say that, even though I initially didn't want to go to California for the study, some of my sweetest memories were made on those trips. I had the best days there with my mom. We would get up early, fly to California, go to my doctor's appointment, and then spend the rest of the afternoon shopping, relaxing, talking, laughing, and simply hanging out before we flew home that evening. Funny how the trips I didn't even want to take are the very ones I now find myself really missing. 

Much time has passed since finishing the study, but I remain so grateful for all that God did in my life during that time. I've now been to Africa three times, with the last time being for three months. God did indeed give me the desire of my heart. Though there were days of waiting and preparation that seemed painful, though there were days it seemed like God had forgotten me, He has proven Himself so very faithful to me. Never once has He forsaken me, and I now see how He was working a beautiful plan even through those days of waiting. 

I loved being in Africa, and being able to recently spend three months there teaching and loving the kids of Uganda was an incredible blessing. I loved being a part of the ministry there, I loved being able to spend time with the kids almost every day, and my heart has been missing it since I've returned home. It is safe to say that I left a huge piece of my heart in Africa with those kids. 

I'm so excited and thankful to be able to say that God is once again giving me the desire of my heart and is making a way for me to return to Africa, and this time long term! I never thought this would be a possibility because of my need for health insurance and the costs of medications, but I've learned that God likes to do the impossible. Nothing is too hard for Him. The plan is for me to be in Uganda February-November each year. I'll be teaching and helping at UKP Academy like I did last time. I will come home for two months while the kids are on break, and then will again return
to Uganda for another ten months. I honestly don't know for how long I will keep on doing this, but I will go for however long the Lord leads me there. 

I am so thankful, and my heart is so full. Truly God is good and He does delight in blessing His children. Even when He says no or wait, still He is good and is working a greater plan. I'm so thankful for the years of preparation and how God has shown me His faithfulness time and time again through many different seasons. I know that there will be challenges and days of difficulty ahead, but I know Jesus will be faithful every step of this journey. 

I ask that you would please be in prayer for me as I get ready to leave. February is still a ways off, but I know time goes quickly. Please pray for me regarding all the preparations, and also please pray for me as there are inevitable spiritual attacks. Please pray that I would grow in trust and have a deep peace through it all. Please also pray for the provision that is necessary to make this possible. I know God is faithful, but sometimes I am just like that man who cried out in Mark 9:24, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

If the Lord places it upon your heart to support me through prayer during my time in Uganda, please let me know and I will add you to receive my prayer updates. I would be so encouraged and blessed by this. Prayer is so vital to every missionary. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to sharing all that God does in the coming months and years. He is faithful, and I want to spend my life telling of His great faithfulness. 

"Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His 
faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your
 heart."
~Psalm 37:3-4

"He says no in order that He may, in some way we cannot imagine, say yes. All His ways with us are merciful. His meaning is always love."
~Elisabeth Elliot 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

He Walks with Me

I'm so thankful for the many promises I find in God's Word; promises that sustain and give needed encouragement on the hard days of life.

Over the years, Psalm 37 has been a favorite of
mine. It's packed full of so many verses that bring such encouragement to my heart. Psalm 37:23-24 are particularly ones in which I find so much comfort:

"The steps of a good man are ordered by 
the LORD, 
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly 
cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand."

I love the promise that God upholds me. To be honest, sometimes it feels as though I'm "utterly cast down", and yet I take comfort knowing that even when I do fall, Jesus will pick me up; He'll raise me up again. It might feel as though I'm utterly cast down, but in Jesus there is always hope. I can rest knowing He will be faithful to uphold me.

This verse reminds me of a day back when I was in Africa. It was a beautiful day, and Danyal and I went to visit one of the families in the village. We made the climb up the steep hillside to the house, and the view from up top was spectacular. It was such a beautiful day in the country I love, and I remember being very blessed by our visit.

One of the things I love about the Ugandans is how giving and hospitable they are. Even if they might not have much to give, even if they have already worked a long and tiring day, they are so happy and ready to receive their guests with a smile. Danyal and I sat and talked with Naturinda, and his wife soon came and served us a hearty meal. We visited for some time, and then Naturinda took us on a little walk to see where his family gets their water. It was near to their house, and again, I loved being in the beauty of God's creation.

Since Naturinda and his wife had to go work at their store that evening, they walked with Danyal and me back down the hill.

As I started down the hill, I began to comment about how someone could easily slip, when I started to slip myself! Naturinda quickly grabbed my arm and steadied me, and then he continued to hold onto my arm as we walked down the hill. He let go at one point, but as soon as we reached where he knew I would again lose my footing, he grabbed my arm and held onto me.

On that beautiful day in Uganda, I was reminded of Psalm 37:24:

"Though he fall, he shall not be utterly 
cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand."

The promise in that verse suddenly had new meaning to me. I thought about how just as Naturinda held onto my arm to help me down the hill, so too my Heavenly Father holds onto me and helps me through the difficult places in life. Naturinda had been down that hill many times before, and thus he knew the places that would cause me difficulty. He was there beside me to help me over those rough places. I couldn't help but think about how my Heavenly Father goes before me, and how He too has already walked the path ahead of me. He knows the difficult places of life, the places in which I'm prone to struggle, and He is holding onto me all along the way, helping me over the bumpy spots. When I stumble, He is always there to lift me up again, and through every season of life He will remain faithful to uphold me.

I'm so thankful for this truth. Lately, I have felt weary and "burnt out". I know God is working on me through this time, but it's been rather hard. I've had a lot of days of discouragement and feeling down, but I'm thankful for the Lord's faithfulness, even on the hard days. Even on the days I feel down, I can take heart because of God's promises. Though I might feel cast down, my God promises to uphold me. He won't ever fail. I take comfort knowing that God's Word is filled with promises to the weary, the broken, and the weak. Times like these are when I learn to lean upon God's grace and strength, and feeling the sorrow of life makes my heart look toward heaven and eternity. There might be days when the weight of life knocks me down, but my Heavenly Father will raise me up again. He will walk down the hill with me, and He can use this time to draw me closer to Himself.

"Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you.
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
~Isaiah 41:10 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

My Song

The Lord has been teaching me that He is my song. This may sound simple, but it has been so good for me to learn.

I loved being in Uganda; it was so good waking up each day to do what I was so passionate about and loved so much. Even as I was in Uganda, I was well aware of the struggle it would be to come home. Don't get me wrong, a part of me was happy and thankful to be going home, but the other part of me was deeply saddened. I'm thankful though, even for that sadness, because it's a testimony of all that God allowed me to be a part of for those three months.

 I remember being so blessed during Bible study one day, as Danyal shared about how even a bird in a cage still sings. I remember wanting the Lord to give me a song to sing as I went home. I wanted a joy in my heart and a song that would carry me and sustain me as I went back to the states.

These are words I wrote one day while still in Uganda, as I was reflecting on my time there:
"Lord, thank You for Your goodness. Thank You for how You display Your greatness in my life. Thank You for these months in Uganda. Though my heart is sad and breaks at the thought of leaving in a couple of weeks, I thank You for the time I have had here. I thank You that You've done what I thought was impossible by bringing me here, thank You for giving me so many babies - a goat included. :) Thank You that although You sometimes must take away, You give so much. So many undeserved blessings You have given me, Jesus. While my heart is sad at the thought of leaving, help me to not focus on what is being taken, but on what You've given. Help me not to question Your plan in not allowing me to stay here, but to rejoice in Your goodness in bringing me here at all. Oh Lord, truly You are good. You are my reason to sing. Please be my song, even as I return home. And in the meantime, please help me to rejoice in the day You have made and not worry about tomorrow. This, right here and right now, this moment is a gift You have given me. May I rejoice and be glad in it."

After months of being back, I realize that Jesus answered my prayer. He has indeed become my song. I'm so thankful that the entirety of my life belongs to Jesus, thus I can sing and rejoice every day, no matter where I am or what I'm doing. He is my song; He is my constant. My location and job may change, but He never changes. Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." In the midst of the changes and the uncertainty of life, I find so much comfort and peace in that truth. There is so much comfort in knowing that, even when it feels as though I'm in a cage, not necessarily where I want to be, I can still sing with joy deep in my heart.

The truth of matter is that even though being in Africa brought a deep fulfillment to my heart, Jesus is still the only One who can truly fulfill and satisfy. Though I felt as though I found a place where my heart rejoices and sings, I can't let my heart forget that my reason to sing has always been Jesus. If I let myself mistakenly think that being in Uganda is what fulfills and brings purpose to my life, I will end up disappointed, because only Jesus can fulfill and bring purpose to my days. It is true that I love being there and I am thankful for the fulfillment and purpose I had there, but I must remember that it all comes back to Jesus.

Lately, I've been feeling tired and I guess you could say "burnt out", but I take comfort in knowing that Jesus is my song, even in the dry seasons of life. He is my song even on the days when I have to deliberately choose joy because it does not come easily.

One of my favorite worship songs right now is one that Kutless sings, "King of My Heart". I love these lyrics:

"Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run
The fountain I drink from
Oh He is my song

Let the King of my heart
Be the shadow where I hide
The ransom for my life
Oh He is my song"


Jesus is the fountain I can drink from, the One who can satisfy, refresh, and renew me when I so desperately need it. I think sometimes He takes me through things so that I can once again be reminded of His character. He might take me through days of frustration when joy seems hard, but always He is faithful. As I remember the Lord's great faithfulness to me, I am once again reminded of my many reasons to rejoice. He is my song and my reason to sing. 

"The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation."
~Psalm 118:14

Thursday, July 27, 2017

God Sees and Cares

Psalm 33 has always been one of my favorites; it's one of my "go to" Psalms. As I read it yesterday, a couple of verses seemed to jump out at me. I've read them many times before, but suddenly they ministered to me in a sweet way. I love how that happens! Truly God's Word is alive, and through it He is so faithful to speak to His children.

"The LORD looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;
He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works."
~Psalm 33:13-15

I love the truth in these verses. I'm thankful for the fact that even though the Lord is in heaven, even though He is God Most High, still He chooses to look upon humanity. Though He is in heaven, He chooses to be intimately involved with mankind, which is the whole reason He came to this earth to die upon the cross. I'm very thankful for that sacrifice He made. He chose to give up His life so that He could be a part of mine. Truly I could never thank Him enough.

It brings me much comfort to remember that my God has His eye upon me. He fashioned my heart and He holds my heart, my days, in His hand. I'm thankful to be able to worship the God who made the heavens and earth, and I'm thankful to know that my life matters to Him. He cares about His people so much more than we could ever begin to comprehend.

The Lord's eyes are upon me, and I want my eyes to be upon Him. I was actually reminded of this just this morning as I read 2 Chronicles 20.
I like what was said in verse 12:
"O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You."

I love that. King Jehoshaphat said they didn't know what to do, BUT their eyes were on God. It's so easy for me to get caught up with so many anxieties and in my own thoughts. It is when I fix my eyes upon Jesus that hope and peace come.

How thankful I am for the peace that comes when I choose to fix my eyes upon Jesus; when I choose to fix my eyes upon the One who has His eyes upon me!

“The God who created, names and numbers the stars in the heavens also numbers the hairs of my head. He pays attention to very big things and to very small ones. What matters to me matters to Him, and that changes my life.”
~Elisabeth Elliot

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Choosing Jesus over Fear

I don't know about you, but I'm very thankful for all the times in Scripture that God tells His people not to fear.

Fear has been something that I wrestle against, and though I've had many fears over the years, God has always proven Himself so faithful and so much stronger than any fear. I just have to choose to trust Him instead of allowing my fears to control me.

Just yesterday morning, I awoke around 3AM from a horrible nightmare. It was one of the worst dreams I've had. It seemed so vivid and real, which made it that much scarier.

The truth is, it was only a dream that had so disturbed my peace - it wasn't even real. But I guess that's true of most fears, isn't it? So often the fear seems so real and so intense, and yet it's not even real; it's only in my head.
After that dream, I went back to these verses which spoke truth and comfort to me:

"The LORD is my light and my
salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against
me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though way may rise against me,
In this I will be confident."
~Psalm 27:1-3

Most of you might know that I used to be terrified of flying. I am very thankful for the fact that I can say "used to be". I am so thankful that I have found freedom from that fear. I remember having to fly to and from California for my doctor's appointments, and I was literally sick because of my fear. I remember telling my mom I couldn't do it; I remember feeling so trapped and paralyzed by fear. It was only a two hour plane ride and I had my mom by my side, but still the fear gripped me. If you had told me then that only a few short years later I would be flying to Uganda by myself, I probably would have cried at the thought! I'm so thankful though for how faithful my God is, and how He loves me too much to leave me in my fear. His perfect love casts out my fear.

God saw me through all those plane rides to California when I literally thought I wouldn't make it. He gave me the strength and grace to get on the plane each time. I knew that I needed to go to those appointments, and the end result would be worth it. He used all those trips to prepare me to fly to Uganda, and He allowed me to fly to Uganda twice with a group of amazing people before He called me to fly there alone. I love how God prepares His people for the work which He has for them!

Even so, the night before I left to fly to Uganda alone, I felt so fearful and cried as I was so nervous about making the trip by myself.  Nevertheless, God once again proved His faithfulness to me. God met me every step of the way, and He filled my heart with His peace which passes understanding. He gave me the strength to do that which I didn't think I could, and I'm so thankful. If I had allowed my fear to stop me from going to Uganda, I would have missed so, so much. Following Jesus is always worth facing any fear.

There's so much in life that can cause fear, but when I set my eyes on Jesus, I once again see that He is still on the throne, He is in control, and He won't ever let me go. I can find victory over the fears that seek to bind me, because His grace is sufficient and His love is stronger than any fear I face.

I'm thankful that I too can say what David said:

"The LORD is my light and my
salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?"
~Psalm 27:1

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Rooted in His Word

"But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life as dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." ~Acts 20:24

Over the years, this has been one of my favorite Bible verses. It's one that I often go back to, one that I can read again and again, and still find much encouragement.
Right now, at this particular season in my life, I find the most encouragement in the first part of the verse, where Paul declares, "But none of these things move me."
If you look at the context in which he spoke these words, you will see that he had already faced many trials and persecutions, and he knew that the future held more trouble. We're talking intense trials, and yet still somehow he declared, "But none of these things move me." This amazes and humbles me, it encourages and convicts me. I look at my own life and see how easily I am moved. How easily I let little things disrupt my peace, how quickly I am moved when faced with a challenge or struggle.

Being in Uganda has been such an amazing experience, and I'm so grateful to be here. Words can't express my gratitude and praise to God for making the impossible possible for me. I'm so thankful for that, though it has not been without some challenges.

Cultures vary, and thus what is culturally acceptable to say varies from culture to culture. I knew this beforehand, but it still has been something which I have been learning more so as I'm here. Let me just say that it is completely different living here for three months versus coming for less than three weeks. You begin to see and learn things that you simply can't know in a short amount of time. I'm going to be very honest right now and say that some of the things that are deemed culturally acceptable to say I have found to be hurtful. This has been a real struggle for me, but God is using that struggle to teach and refine me. I had read this quote on a day that was especially hard for me:

"At home you can never know what it is to be alone – absolutely alone, amidst thousands, as you can in a Chinese city, without one friend, one companion, everyone looking on you with curiosity, with contempt, with suspicion or with dislike. Thus to learn what it is to be despised and rejected of men – of those you wish to benefit, your motives not understood . . . and then to have the love of Jesus applied to your heart by the Holy Spirit . . . this is worth coming for." ~Hudson Taylor 

God's timing is perfect, because on that specific day I found so much encouragement and comfort in those words. It was as if God spoke that directly to my heart.
I found those words to be so very true! Maybe I have not experienced all of what Hudson Taylor said, since I have been blessed with such sweet friendship with fellow missionaries (Thank You, Lord!), but I have really found the rest of those words to be so true. Even the ones you come to serve will sometimes hurt you, and sometimes wound you with words, but Jesus is so gracious to give us His love for them. He doesn't just ask us to love others, He gives us that love. It is worth coming for indeed.

This brings me back to my verse, Acts 20:24. I realize how Paul wasn't moved by the trials and tribulations he faced (which mine are nothing in comparison), and I must confess that I have allowed myself to be moved by the words of others. I have let the words of others have far too much power in my life, I have let them move me when instead I should be standing firm on the rock of God's Word. This makes me think of Psalm 1:1-3:

"Blessed is the man

Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,

Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper." 

Oh, how I love God's Word and how He so faithfully speaks to me through it. I realize that it should be His Word, and His Word alone, that moves me, that breaks me, that changes me, not the words of others. I want to be so firmly planted and rooted in His Word that the words of others would have no dominion over me, that I wouldn't be moved by them. Instead, I want to be moved and blessed by the words of my Savior. When I go to His Word, I'm reminded of how great His love for me really is, how He is with me, how He strengthens me, how He is enough, how I'm fearfully and wonderfully made, and that's all that really matters. I want God's Word to be what defines me, not man's.

Paul was not moved by the trials of life, but instead, he counted his life as nothing that he might finish his race with joy. That's how I want to live, not counting my life as dear to myself, but daily giving it in surrender to the Lord's plan and purpose. By God's grace I want to run this race well, and I want to testify to that amazing grace.

What a good God I serve! I'm so thankful for His faithfulness to work in my life, I'm very thankful for the ministry He has called me to here in Uganda, and for all He is teaching me through it. God is faithful!