If you haven’t read Part 1 of this story yet, (my previous blog entry), please read it first. Trust me, the following will make much more sense to you. I would also like to apologize in advance for the lengthy post that follows. When I wrote this, I prayed that God would use my story and these words to inspire others and awaken their faith. Therefore, I took my time and tried to include as many details as possible. I wanted to be real in sharing my story and my heart. God is writing a beautiful story with my life. I pray that the journey blesses you.
“In January, I found myself continuing to pray for God’s will and plans to be evident in my life, but I was also already praying for the upcoming summer. As a teacher, I have about 8 weeks off during the summer. In an effort to follow through with my commitment to seek God first in all things…even the small ones like what to do with my summer vacation, I prayed. I felt the Lord calling me to serve this summer in any capacity that I could. “Have a servant’s heart and go!” was the melody that kept playing over and over in my heart and my mind. I took this as a message from the Lord. So, I began seeking Him on how I should serve. I already direct VBS and Middle School Camp. I attend Centrifuge with the students at my church and for the past 3 years, I’ve served on staff there too! This makes for a pretty busy summer schedule already. So, what else could I possibly do? Almost as soon as that question crossed my mind, the mission trips to the Philippines and the orphanage came back to me. I’m bearing my heart when I say that although it sounded great, having the faith to actually do something like that seemed a little too far-fetched for someone like me. I’ll be very authentic and transparent in sharing this with you. I struggle when it comes to stepping out on faith alone. I’m used to having others there to take the leap with me. There’s not one time in my past that I can remember having to take a leap of this magnitude alone. Not one! I questioned if what I felt in my heart was really God saying, “Go!” or if I was just making it up to fill the time. Above all else, I really didn’t want to be going just because it sounded great to say, “I’m going on a mission trip with the Tebow’s this summer.” That is not what it is about at all! I examined my own heart and my motives and asked God to do a check-up as well. I wanted nothing more than to be in His will. I wanted my motives to be right and I knew and felt in my heart that God had given me this desire. However, there’s just something about being human that causes us to ask, “But, how do I know for sure?” I don’t think that I’m the only person to have ever battled this before. This is a collective human inclination to have to have everything proven to us. We feel a need to ask questions, either verbally or nonverbally, such as, “Are you really who you say you are? It this really what it looks like it is?” For me, I questioned God’s voice. Is this really you, God or is this Kindall making up what I think God may be trying to say, or better yet, what I want to hear? It may seem silly, but I actually struggled with this, for two months. I prayed and prayed for God to make it real to me. I wanted Him to plainly show me what to do. I shared my prayers and struggles with my sister, Kari and my prayer partner and friend, Traci. Both encouraged me to go for it! They’d tell me, “What a rare opportunity to travel and see God’s hand at work on the mission field. Not everyone has an opportunity to do this. Better yet, God may be planning to use you!” In this process, I discovered that my faith was greatly lacking if I couldn’t trust God to help me take the right steps. How can I have faith that God is real and can do the impossible for me like He did for Joshua if I can’t have faith to go on His word when I sense so strongly that He’s leading me and speaking to me? I came to the realization that if God’s plans were any different, I wouldn’t be accepted to go and that would be my answer. Otherwise, I’d take the acceptance as God’s way of saying, “This is part of my plan, Kindall…see, I told you so!” After much prayer and the obvious reluctance on my part, the process of applying to go to the Philippines for a 2-week mission trip to share the Gospel began. Finally, two weeks before the due date, the paperwork was mailed and yet again, I found myself praying that God’s will would be done concerning my life and my future. Little did I know the ride was just beginning!
On February 28th, I received an email from BTEA’s (Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association) mission coordinator. Due to an overwhelming application influx, she wrote to inform me that there wasn’t room for any more people to go on any of the Philippines trips this summer. She stated that typically they have around 100 people apply and this year they’ve received around 200 applications. At first I was sad and a little disappointed. The only thing that came to my mind was, “Maybe this was God’s plan. Maybe He was wanting to see if I’d take that difficult leap of faith.” I stepped out on faith. I expected for things to go a little more smoothly than they did at first and honestly, I expected God to honor my faith immediately. That didn’t happen. However, I had no clue that He was using this turn of events to “spice up” the story! At the end of the day, I was okay with the message in the email, but I found myself desperately searching for more answers. There must be a reason for all of this.
Another email came the very next day. It was an email explaining the application process and how their staff fills positions for the trips. Ok. So I got all of that, and the information was helpful in understanding the predicament they were in as well, but what about God’s plan? Was there a lesson for me in all of this? At first thought, I believed it to be a learning experience teaching me not to procrastinate concerning the things of God! I thought, “Okay God. I’ve got this! Never again will I be slow in working through your plans for me, no matter how hard they may be!” Little did I know that this entire experience would prove to teach me a very valuable lesson in timing, specifically God’s timing!
On March 1st, another email came. This is the one that really got my attention. I was teaching piano lessons at the time and heard my phone ring. I thought it was a text message but soon realized it was an email. So, without really giving it much thought, I picked up the phone to see whom the email was from. It was from BTEA! I hurried to open it and quickly read through everything just trying to hit the high points. (After all, I did have a piano student) I read on to learn that although I technically wasn’t going on the trip…yet….I was invited to attend the first mission trip meeting. There was an invitation attachment. I expected the meeting to be held at the BTEA office, but what I found when I read the invitation blew me away! I was invited to go to the Tebow’s house for lunch and to discuss the trip!!!! Oh wow. Okay. Now I knew the Lord was in on this! Needless to say, it was a little difficult to focus for the rest of the piano lesson! It is amazing how He opens doors and interjects surprises for us along the way! At first I was unsure if I should go or not for fear of being the only one there who was not going on the trip. (I think my insecurities got in the way a little bit here…) But, after talking with Mom and Dad, I soon realized that if God had opened this door for me and I refused to step through…especially after praying for the door to be opened… I could be withholding some of the greatest blessings God had for me in the future. So I responded with my RSVP and the anticipation began to grow. I started getting more and more anxious. I had only told a few people about what God was doing and what my prayers had been. None of my church friends knew about this giant step of faith in my life and I wanted so badly to share, but God urged me to give it some time and stay focused.”
Stay tuned for Part 3! The story continues!!!