Revival, if it is to take place through me, it must begin IN me.
I took off this weekend on a two-day spiritual retreat in a hostel across town. I locked myself in a room with my Bible, a journal, worship music, Holy-Spirit filled books, and a jug of water. My goal? To encounter Jesus. The hostel owners were so confused.
To be honest, the time was a challenge. I had never fasted and prayed for two days straight before. The first day held great revelations about my immediate future, and I made the final decision that I will be moving to Idaho this coming summer to continue working with Extreme Nazarene Ministries and growing in my gifts as a photographer and videographer. I have SO MUCH to learn!
However, there was a part of me that was still very deeply frustrated. I was hearing from God. I was in His presence, but I still was ready to throw in the towel with everything. I was done with Ecuador. I was done with ministry for a while. I wasn’t angry, and nothing was going wrong. I was just emotionally exhausted. I saw that I had nothing left to give. I felt like a failure in many areas of ministry, and I was ready for a good long break.
It was during the second night that I began to read the book Learning to Love by Roland and Heidi Baker. This past year I have been so challenged by their lives, not because they are anything amazing, but because of their passionate love for Jesus and His presence, and their calling to work with orphans. As I read quickly through the book, I encountered a page that one of their leaders wrote about her vision to work with abandoned babies. The tears began to flow, my heart began to ache, and I started rocking back and forth uncontrollably. That has been my deepest desire since high school, and God awakened that calling once again. My heart was literally breaking at the thought that TODAY there are babies dying in dumpsters and in the streets because there is no more room in the orphanages. Even children growing up in orphanages do not have it much better most of the time. I just want to go and hold those babies. I want to tell the children that they are loved, that someone will watch them grow and hug them through the years, and that God has a beautiful purpose for their lives.
Probably the most depressing thought that came to me is that I have no idea how to get there, and for the first time I have literally no plan. For a strategic person, this is super frustrating. However, the biggest lesson that God has been speaking to me about these past two days is that He’s got it all planned out, and He won’t let me miss it. I feel totally and utterly useless right now. I feel that I have nothing to offer Him. It is such a helpless place to be. However, it is exactly where God wants me. It means that in the emptiness there is more space for His Spirit, and I realize now more than ever how much I desperately need Him. If I don’t have Him, I am drained and I have nothing to offer. However, I desire to be totally and utterly filled with His love, so that it might overflow to whoever is around me…whether that be in Ecuador, Idaho, Africa, Asia, Europe, etc. I have no idea what this journey will look like, but I am learning to trust that God does and that He will work it out…and that it will be absolutely amazing.
God told me this weekend that I have not been disobedient, but that He is and will always be asking for more. “God, I have nothing left to give you. I desire to obey You, but I can hardly lift my hands right now. How can I lead others in ministry and make a difference where You have placed me? How can I someday reach farther?” I cried.
Revelation? “Just place yourself here, in My presence, and I will take care of the rest.”
Encouragement to finish well in my present assignment came in the form of a quote from Heidi Baker: “God says to you today, ‘Finish your assignment.’ However much you think you should be somewhere else, and however bad it gets, even if you have to live on the edge when everything in you is telling you to run to safety, finish. He who began a good work in you and through you, will be faithful.”
Revival, if it is to take place through me, it must begin IN me. Right here. Every. Single. Day.