The Waiting Period.
Also known as the most difficult season in my book. The anticipation of being sent out. The eagerness to get where you're going. The longing to be where you know the Lord has called you. The yearning, the tears, the prayers that are lifted up, the crying out to God. I wish I could write that I've been excelling in this area of my walk but to be completely honest with you guys, it has been an area in where I constantly have to seek the Lord and ask for forgiveness.
It's funny how we as humans plan out our lives. As an American, I am used to the here and now. Why wait in line for five minutes at Starbucks when I can order the coffee on my phone and not have to wait at all. Our culture has been trained to not wait. Yet countless times in scripture, we are told to wait on the Lord.
"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope."
To expect. Wait for, on, upon. To gather together. All words used to define the Hebrew word, wait, in the scripture above. In other words, we wait with expectancy. We gather together everything we need, in preparation, knowing that the Lord is going to lead us out of the waiting. We have our oil lamps prepared and ready to go, so that when the Lord says 'let's do this,' you're ready to go. I never really understood the real purpose behind the waiting season up until a couple of months ago. I've always heard and been taught that through the waiting season, your patience grows and you learn to depend on the Lord and though that is true, there is so much more!
I look back to July of last year. I was sitting in a meeting with SGWM pouring out my heart about Croatia and the burden the Lord has given me for the Roma communities. I remember telling Pastor Trent that I needed to be back in Croatia by the end of August. I also remember him telling me, it's not impossible but let's see what the Lord will do. I walked out of that meeting excited that I had a group of people who believed in the work that the Lord had called me to and wanted to partner with me but at the same time I was also ready to show them that I could make it back to Croatia before the end of August.
Since then, I've had to ask the Lord for forgiveness for trying to get a step ahead of Him. God knew my desire to return but He also knew that I wasn't fully ready. In a sense, I hadn't gathered together everything I needed to do the work that He has called me to do successfully.
This past couple of months, I've never appreciated the waiting season more. It's in this past couple of months that I've scratched the surface of understanding the true meaning behind the waiting. I can say that I've learned more about cross-cultural ministries than I have ever learned before. I can say that I've learned so much through the lives of other missionaries that went before me in the past. I can even say that I've learned the significance of meeting with a mentor weekly and discussing the Word of God but also spending time in prayer without time constraints. But most importantly, I've learned the real meaning behind the phrase
"He's in the waiting."
You see, the season of waiting isn't just a time of praying. It's a time of doing! It's a time of taking steps towards where the Lord is calling you so that when He says 'Let's go' you are ready. It's a time of preparation, studying God's Word, increasing your knowledge, praying for wisdom, sharing with others, and the list goes on and on. It's not easy and many times you need to come alongside believers and ask them to hold up your arms so that the battle may continue to be won but what the Lord has for you, in the end, makes it worth every tear you shed, every prayer that is spoken and every lesson that is learned.
Don't get me wrong, I still long to be back in the Roma communities with the children and women that I miss so much, it hurts. I want to be able to hug the women, this being the only affection that they get throughout the week. I want to hang out with the young ladies of the village and help them with little things like doing their hair because I can't fully communicate with them. I want to play with the kids, sharing God's love with them. I want to continue to bring light into a community where darkness is what is seen and experienced daily. And though my prayer is to return soon, I have the full assurance that what the Lord has promised to do, He will complete in His perfect timing.
I long for the day when I can see my Roma family again but until then I have to continue to prepare myself for the return. I have to continue to remain in His Word, I have to continue in prayer, I have to continue telling people about this group of beautiful people that many don't know even exist, I have to continue raising support, and most importantly I have to continue to find people who would come alongside me in prayer. I am currently still in need of people who feel lead to give financially each month towards the work in Croatia. If the Lord has placed the work in Croatia on your heart and you feel lead to start giving, click on the link above that reads 'Financial Support" Once I have enough monthly support raised, I'll be able to head back to Croatia, long term.
I know how difficult this season can be. Let me encourage you to remain faithfully active towards what the Lord is calling you to. Surround yourself with people who are on fire for the Lord and build one another up. David Guzik said this in his commentary of Numbers 32, "If you want to press on with the things of the Lord and go deeper and further with Him, there is a sure way to discourage the desire- start hanging around believers who are content with where they are and who don't want to press on with the Lord. Complacency is contagious." Let's not be the people who lead our friends and family to complacency in the Lord by the way we live our lives but rather lets be the generation that challenges one another to go further in our walks, to live out the gospel, to step outside of our comfort zones and to live fully surrendered radical lives for the Lord!
If you need prayer for anything or simply someone to listen and come alongside you, email me. I would love nothing more than to be able to be praying for you in any way possible!
--Though I am not in Croatia at this moment, I do receive pictures from the kids. Enjoy the pictures and continue to pray for the Roma Community!
THIS VENTURE OF
A day in the life