A Step in Faith

Two days ago I got back from a month long trip to Guatemala and honestly I am still processing everything and getting used to being back in the States. Each time my phone chimes, I am reminded of the group of people I left behind when I got on the airplane to come home. My heart aches for the kids I had to say goodbye to after a month of being in their lives. I think back to the people who influenced me at the base and the impact they will never know they made on me. 

I tend to be a very closed off person..in my life I’ve seen people come and go, be there then not, and leave without notice. People I trusted turned their back to me when I needed them most and I was left alone in the dark. Because of this there was a box around my heart. I didn’t want to let anyone into it because they might leave me or hurt me. I didn’t know who I could trust anymore and I wasn’t about to be wrong again. But God had different plans. Within a month God smashed that box and said “I am all you need, so rely on me and you will be freed.” See here’s the thing..it’s so easy to rely on man instead of God and I fell into that trap. I relied on people to make me feel better and be there, but people will always disappoint, even the ones who love you most. But God will never disappoint. He is ever present loving you and chasing after you! He showed me this. In a month, He surrounded me with a group of people who love and support me; He broke down a wall of lies the devil had built up; He rescued me from my past; He broke that box; He taught me what it means to be His daughter; He rejoiced as I rededicated myself to Him; He took me out of my comfort zone; He prompted me to share my testimony even when it was uncomfortable; and He worked in my heart.

God worked wonders in my life this month! But while He was working, the devil got mad and tried to tear me down. He made me physically sick whenever a significant moment was about to happen. He waged war in my mind and flooded me with guilt over my past and present decisions. He tried to tear me down in every way he knew how. The devil is not dumb; he is smart and he will take truths and twist them to deceive you. But he also is a liar and EVERYTHING he says is a lie. So if he says you are not loved then that means you are loved so so so much! The devil can really become your greatest supporter after you realize that the opposite of what he says is the truth. Personally I’m going to share a couple of situations I’ve been in and what I’ve learned. 

One..the devil likes to try to distract you on important days. So for about three days I was having serious stomach pains. They came in the middle of ministry and were debilitating. On the last Thursday of ATL I could feel the stomach pains coming back before we left the base and it was a “Not Again!!” moment. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to function during ATL, but I decided I was going to go anyways because I wasn’t going to let the devil have the satisfaction of keeping me from ministry. So we were in Parramos and we had asked God which group we were supposed to go with and I ended up on a group with Gabe as the leader. After praying, we stopped at a tienda and the stomach pain was much much worse. I kept silently praying that it would hold off until we got back to the base. Finally, I asked my team to pray for me, and after laying hands on me they prayed that it would be gone in Jesus’ name. The crazy thing is that while it wasn’t completely gone it became very dull, bearable, and after we got to the base, it went away and didn’t come back! Prayer is powerful and it’s amazing how God can use humans as his tools to accomplish amazing things. Here’s the craziest part–that day at the end of ATL  I had the most amazing experience. Something you will learn on trips is that if your heart is racing that is often God prompting you to say something. So, we were talking to two guys and my heart started racing. In that moment, I knew God was telling me to share my testimony so I did and God used my testimony and the words of others to lead one of the men to accepting Jesus into his heart then I got to lead him in that prayer! If I had let the devil hold me back via that stomach pain then I would’ve missed out on a life changing experience. 

Two…the battle can be ongoing. So the morning of the most important day of my life thus far, I woke up with a nasty head cold. So all that day I was miserable. I was likely running a fever and tissues became my best friend. The devil that day was trying to ruin my day. He hit me physically and mentally. But if you think about it, God must be doing something amazing with you if the devil wants to ruin it so badly. Needless to say, I’m not ready to share what happened, but the devil is still trying to bring me down and hurt me even today. Luckily I am equipped to fight him. God gave us His armor in Ephesians to help us stand firm against the devil, and we are not fighting alone! God is our strength and defender; He will never leave or forsake us! Not to mention your brothers and sisters in Christ are there to fight along side of you! Thank you to those who have fought along side of me–you know who you are, and I love and appreciate you! 

This month, God became my Friend, Strength, Protector, Healer, and Father. Philippians 4 says, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength,” and now I truly believe that! To have an intimate relationship with God means walking with Him wherever He will lead you, trusting Him in all situations, being vulnerable to Him, and letting Him fight with you and for you! He was chasing after me for years and gradually I became more and more aware of it and willing to trust him, then on this trip I fully embraced it. I was hungry before the trip, and I knew when I applied what the trip would be like; I just never imagined that I would be satisfied. God showed me which trip to take and raised my funds for me..all I had to do was take that step in faith and say ‘yes’ and I’m so glad I did. God is good, and He will never stop chasing after us.

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