I haven’t really said much about my trip to the Philippines lately. I guess with all that has been going on (camp and VBS) my mind hasn’t had much time to really embrace the fact that I’ll be leaving soon. Really soon. No matter how hard I try, I know that I can’t even begin to fathom what my time in the Philippines will be like. As much as I’d like to say that I knew what was coming, I can’t and therefore I’m choosing to view this opportunity as an open door. I am fully convinced that I was chosen for such a time as this and that from this experience, God will continue to open new doors and His plans for my life will unfold.
For most, the beginning of this God story has remain untold. I haven’t had many opportunities to talk about how faithful God has been throughout this entire journey and how He has proven to me that He has all things under control, even when things didn’t seem to be falling into place. I thought that now would be an appropriate time to begin to share that story from my perspective. The following is an excerpt from my journal and the beginning of this amazing journey.
“In October , I picked up Tim Tebow’s book for the very first time. I may be a reading teacher, but to be perfectly honest with you, I find it difficult to read long books. My attention span just isn’t long enough sometimes. But, every once in a while I’ll come across a book that I just can’t put down. After the first chapter of Tim’s book, I knew that reading it wouldn’t be hard at all. That book intrigued me as I read about Tim’s life. I loved reading about the mission trips to the Philippines, the orphanage, and his family. I didn’t think I’d get into all the football lingo at first, but I did. After reading his book, I found myself recommending it to my family and friends. It was so good. I found that it helped me to relate to the kids in my 6th grade class who looked up to Tim as a role model. It gave us something to talk about and it made communicating and teaching those important life lessons about character easy because they all knew about Tim Tebow and his values. God opened my eyes to some things while reading. One thing that really stood out to me was the mission trips to the Philippines and the orphanage that his family started and still supports today. Intrigued, I began my research. What I found wasn’t too surprising to me. I learned that his Dad, Bob Tebow, hosts mission trips during June and July every summer. I looked around on his website and found the information I didn’t yet know I would later need…the application process and requirements to go. More on that to come later…
I didn’t give it too much thought after that. I can remember mentioning what I’d discovered to my sister, Kari. She seemed happy and slightly interested, but not nearly as moved as I was! I think I even asked her if she’d even be interested in going overseas on a mission trip (Just to get her opinion of the whole situation). I kept pleading to my Dad, “You’ve got to read this book…it is so good!” But he didn’t seemed nearly as inspired as I was either! (I think he did eventually pick it up…)So I kept on praying, seeking, and studying God’s Word for some answers, hoping that He’d show up with some kind of deep revelation for my life, straight from the heart of God.
Later that month, I stumbled across another book that I’d bought for my Dad, but never gave to him because he had so many books already (or so I thought. He’s a Pastor…pastors always have lots of books, right?) It was meant to be a Father’s Day gift, but of course, it was tucked away along with some other things that never did really fulfill their purpose either. I had intended to take it back to the store and exchange it for another book, but at this point, I couldn’t bring myself to do it and I wasn’t really sure why. The book’s title was “Sun Stand Still” by Pastor Steven Furtick. I’d first heard about it from a friend during my teaching internship in college. She talked about how straightforward it was and to be honest, I was a little afraid to read it for fear that it would just be ‘too out there’ or too honest with me. Nevertheless, I did brush off the dust and open it. After Chapter 1, I was hooked. I can remember thinking to myself, “This had to be from God! Maybe He’ll use this book to answer some of the questions I have about my future…” And that He did! After reading “Sun Stand Still”, my eyes were opened to a brand new outlook on life. I’m getting excited just thinking about this! It taught me how to pray and believe for God (THE God of possibilities that is…) to do the impossible things in my life. Ok. So. The impossible at this point was: A. finding a Godly husband with a platform in ministry and B. living out my dreams…to travel and inspire young girls in their relationships and to share my story. How in the world was God going to do this? I had no idea. And to be honest…I still don’t. But, He does know the desires of our hearts. As long as our desires line up with His will, the answer will be yes. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (MSG.) says,
“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.”
I started thinking about these things that I’d learned and how my eyes had been opened about my own prayer life and my belief that God could do the impossible. I felt like I needed to make audacious leaps of faith to get God’s attention and let him know that I was serious about allowing Him to work in my life. (Although, I knew all along that His eyes were on me.) I wanted to lead a meaningful life, a significant life. I felt the need to say, “Ok, God. I’m yours. Make these impossible things become possible; not so that I can receive the praise, but so that I can praise you and lead others to you!” That has been my heart’s cry all along this journey. I want so badly for everyone I meet to be able to see how God has moved in my life and then know unquestionably that only God could write a story this good! “
I’ll send more of the story your way soon. We haven’t even gotten to the exciting part yet!