This week was another week of preparation! I spent the last two weeks at Men Nan Men learning from and observing other teachers. I had opportunities to speak with students so that they could practice their conversational skills. We also spent some time serving together as a staff and cleaning up the property.
I also had the pleasure of joining Pastor's church for a trip to the beach. His oldest daughter so graciously sat with me during lunch and we spent some time teaching each other our languages with a book that she brought. I spent some time with his daughters in the ocean. Then, some of the other children came up to me and began to trust me. We had so much fun sitting on the shore, just where the waves could come up and touch us. Their smilies and trust in me lit up my day! How much happier and overjoyed is God when we begin to show trust in Him?
Can we talk about joy for a minute? I don't mean people by the name of Joy, nor am I referring to our often misconstrued definiton of joy as happiness. I'm talking about God given joy.
This week I found myself asking God why I didn't "feel joy" like I had on past trips. In that moment I felt the Lord speak to me and say that the joy that I am now experiencing is the peace, strength, and security that I feel in Him that has been unwavering. It's so much more than moments of happiness.
You see, we will all have rough days. Ones where we don't feel qualified, or maybe we don't even feel like enough. Do I feel qualified? No. Do I often feel like enough? No. Will I ever completely understand all that has happened and all that will happen? No. But if we always wait until we are "ready" or feel "good enough" we don't leave any room for God to move, and are we really putting trust in Him? No. At the root of it all, God is here and He gives Joy. He is the one who calls and qualifies us.
And isn't that the beauty of Grace? To not be enough, to not have the skills or strength to do things on our own and yet, when we are obedient, God powerfully moves mountains through us anyway?
I've also begun to realize how sin becomes so deafened in the States as we are so busy with every day life. It becomes normal and almost unrecognizable as part of our daily routines. Sometimes we simply don't make it a priority to take the time we need to reflect on our actions, and discover the true root of them. Pride gets in the way and we have the most dangerous of thoughts; that there aren't many (or any) sins we really struggle with and need saving from/forgiveness for.
Sin is different here. It screams. Here...you're left to confront it with God - one on one.
I used to be so afraid of silence and alone time. My perspective is changing as I feel at peace, and see all of the work that God can do in my mind, and in my heart when I can simply be still. A concept I've known for a long time, but have not fully put into practice as I've been able to in these last two weeks. Yes, sin screams but God is LOUDER, bigger and more powerful. He wins every time.
I'm excited to see more of His victories this week!
Thank you for reading, praying, and staying in touch. Here are some photos from the week!
How to pray for me: Please pray that I would trust and obey in every circumstance God calls me to and that I would hold on to these moments of silence and alone time, making them my greatest priority.
Please comment or message me about how I can pray for you this week!