The amount of time I've spent in Zagreb so far.
Everyday this country feels more and more like home.I wake up not thinking about California but rather about the people here in Croatia. Yes, I still have my moments of missing my family, friends, church, fast food, car, hugs (yes, I mean actual hugs) and other little things I was taking for granted. I don't think there will ever be a day that I won't miss these things. People here ask me if I could see myself living in Croatia for the rest of my life. The truth is, I can. I can completely see myself spending the rest of my life in this country.
"A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps"
Whether I'll be coming back in January is still unknown to me but not to God. He knows my next step. He knows it all. Like what I'm going to be making for dinner (even though at this moment I'd prefer to starve because the idea of walking to the market to buy groceries and then having to come back and cook something sounds absolutely horrifying. It's in these moments I miss fast food the most) or who I'm going to be marrying (which has been one of the most talked about subjects in Croatia this past month). You see, God not only knows it all, He cares about every little detail. So I'm choosing to trust in the fact that He will supply the confirmation needed for my next step. I was reading a study on Romans 9-10 by Pastor Chuck. In his study he was talking about faith and trust. He said this
"It is hard to trust somebody you don't know. When a person comes up to me and says 'Oh, I have the hardest time trusting God,' what they are really saying is 'I really don't know God very well.' Because if you know God well you will have no problem trusting in Him at all." I've found myself at times being the person in the quote above. Admitting that I struggle with trust which then leads to fear. It's also in those moments I find myself not in His Word, not reading about His promises and not meditating on His faithfulness.
31 days, 19 hours, 47 minutes and 9 seconds
These past 31 days, I've made the choice to be in His Word daily. I've made the choice to wake up and talk to Him not only in the mornings but all throughout the day. I've made the choice to trust in Him. I still struggle with thoughts of fear, inadequacy, frustration, and so much more. However, His Word always comes back to me and rings true. I can't imagine life any other way. So I'm choosing to cling to His promises and trust in Him.
So now my question for you is this, what are you choosing to put your trust in? Some put their trust in a relationship, others in financial stability or in a job. While these things are beneficial, they won't last and at one point in time they will break your trust. However, Christ, the lover of your soul, will always be trustworthy. He will always be their pursuing you. Always.
Get to know Him. Read His Word. Cling to His promises.
In Him alone there is fulfillment and satisfaction that is eternal.
This past month the Lord has provided for me a place I can call home. Friends I now call family. A family that I can't imagine not being apart of my life. I've also been given the privileged to grow and tend relationships with the kids that I work with weekly. I've learned communication isn't only through words. Love is seen and felt in many different ways. That saying how you truly feel and not trying to hide your thoughts and emotions, only allows you to grow closer to the people around you. I've learned the importance of simply listening and not needing to have a response. I've had to live out what I've been taught over and over for so many years. I've had to cling to what I know is true and not waver in thinking. Most of all I've learned to pray for every aspect and detail that I encounter. It's been four weeks. A month. 31 days to be exact. I may not be able to fully grasp what the Lord is doing at this time but I can honestly say I'm ready for whatever is to come. So whether I'll be staying in Croatia for a longer time period or simply returning home and serving the Lord in La Habra, I know that it's the Lord that will be directing my steps and it's in Him alone in whom I will be placing my trust.
So please continue to pray for me. Pray that the Lord would provide clarity and confirmation and above all that His will would be completed in my life.
I've talked to a lot of people back home recently and the number one question is 'How's it going?' My initial response is always 'good.' However, the truth is most of my time here I feel completely inadequate.
Inadequate (adj) : lacking the quality or quantity required;
insufficient for a purpose.
The honest truth is that there are days that I wake up thinking that the Lord should have picked a better person for this ministry. That the kids I teach deserve a better teacher and leader. That the staff here deserves a better addition to their team.
I'd like to say that these thoughts don't come to my mind often but that would be a lie. I face the feeling of inadequacy quite often but let me tell you how good our God is to me. It's in those moments of feeling insufficient, that I open up the Bible to read His Word and He reveals His love for me. The truth is, I am inadequate. I don't know what I'm doing most of the time but God does. It's in His word that I read His promises. Take a glimpse into my morning devotions:
"In my distress I cried to the Lord, and He heard me"
"When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I"
"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint"
"You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away; 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"
"But now, thus say the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior"
I wish I could give you all the scriptures that the Lord has given me over these three weeks. I wish you could be sitting next to me as my eyes fill up with tears because of God's goodness. I wish that you could experience the sweetness of each promise that is given at the exact moment that it's needed. You see, the verses above are verses that I've read countless of times. However, in re-reading these verses recently, I've found a fulfillment and comfort that can only be given through God alone.
So yes, most days I struggle with the thoughts that I am not good enough but I read His word and know that He is. I trust in the fact that He has called me to be in Croatia at this time. I also trust in the fact that even in my inadequacy, He is faithful to use me in whichever way He pleases.
" My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Cor 12:9)
It's in this feeling of inadequacy that I've had to learn to keep my eyes on God alone. It's in the moments that I've wanted to quit and go home, that I've had to remember His promises and His faithfulness to complete them. There is nothing that I desire more than that God would be glorified in all that I say and do. That desire can only take place, however, once I've fully surrendered everything over to the Creator of the universe, my Savior. It takes full surrender of the thoughts I have, of the desires I want, of the work I do, of the time I posses, of the words that I use, and of every second of every day. Don't get me wrong, I'm still learning how to do this. Each day though, it's getting a little easier to hand everything over.
I'm taking this venture of faith one day at a time. Trusting that the Lord will supply all that I need, even when I don't know what I need. So I encourage you to do the same. Not because I've heard that God is faithful but because I've experienced it first hand. I want nothing more than for you to be able to experience too. So be in His Word, consistently. Learn to surrender everything over to him. Learn to trust Him. Put yourself in situations where He is all you have, even if it means you feel completely inadequate. It's in those times that the Lord is ever present.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full on His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will go strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
THIS VENTURE OF
A day in the life