Today during my quiet time with God I was reminded how it had been a long time since I have written an update letter to the people who have diligently prayed for and supported me through this season in my life. As I sat down to write this I looked at the date in the bottom right hand corner of my computer and chuckled at God’s sense of humor as today marks exactly 9 months here in Missoula, MT interning for Teen Challenge Montana Outreach Women’s Center!
Boy oh boy what I ride!! This has been the best and the hardest 9 months of my life thus far! I am learning that when you start a prayer like I did so very long ago asking God for more than just a basic Christian life that I would have to strap in for this ride and hold on tight to His love, grace and provision. He has a way of working, the twists and turns can sometimes cause butterflies in your stomach that won’t go away until His peace fills you and reminds you that its never in your strength but His alone!
So that is what He has been teaching me these past 9 months. First He has taken me on a healing journey that has helped me to identify the ways that I had misjudged His love, grace and hand in my life for that of a strong angry judge based on the Old Testament God that I had learned so much about growing up. What He so lovingly has been showing me is that when we go through the fires of life that He is there, it wasn’t necessarily Him that put me through the fire but usually my own rebellion and sin, that He never wastes any experience but instead uses it to purify us, cleanse us and make us extremely effective for His Kingdom work through it all!
I know I had arrived in Missoula thinking that I was going to spend all my time ministering to others and demonstrating God’s love but as I ran headlong into the walls of my own building, I learned that before I could effectively minister to others I had to let God truly minister to my broken and mangled heart. When I arrived I had been told to set up boundaries so that I wouldn’t get burnt out working in ministry (especially when living on site) however I had never been taught how to set up boundaries or what that looked like. So instead of a gate that would allow others to come and go as I deemed, a deep mote with a broken draw bridge went around the walls I had already erected unknowingly to protect my bruised and battered heart. As God lovingly wooed me with his grace, mercy and tenderly ministering to the one who so desperately wanted to be used, I could feel that brick by brick I was dismantling the protective shell I had placed around myself. God has shown me what unconditional love is and through 1 Corinthians 13 I am learning to effectively walk this out each day. Im definitely not perfect at it, nor will I ever attain perfection however I no longer fear that. I no longer have the attitude that there is no use trying if I can not be perfect in my actions, thoughts and deeds. Instead God is showing me that it is in my weakness that He is strong and uses me for His good and glory!
As my internship comes to a close, with only 3 ½ months remaining it is with anticipation and a tiny bit of trepidation that I look to the future and wonder what God has for me next. A normal life is definitely not what I prayed for so long ago, which can be both an adventure and a challenge all at the same time. At age 34, I know that I have done more than some and yet there are many things that I desire that I have not done like be a Godly wife and mother. I know that as I remain focused on furthering His kingdom that he will one day honor the desires of my heart so I will not rush ahead of Him or lag behind dragging my feet in the feeling of defeat of the what might have beens. I will know that as my Heavenly Father who loves to give good gifts, He will in His time bless His faithful daughter with a life better than she could ask or imagine! While living in South Carolina I had started writing a book of my life and all of its twists and turns. My adorable loving Momma keeps asking me if I have wrote anything in it since then and I would continually tell her no. She would ask why and I couldn’t always answer her but now I know… Its not the end yet! I know it will never be then end until I pass away but with this book I want to show people and be an example of how God can take a messed up, mixed up felon of a person and redeem their life story to one that honors and glorifies Him. The story is unfolding and I can’t wait to see where He is taking me! Maybe I will pick the proverbial pen back up again as this season has taught me many things!
As a prayer warrior for me during this time in my life I can offer up several specific ways that you can direct your prayer time.
I may have a couple opportunities with different Teen Challenges in several different states and I am praying that God will guide and direct whichever is the one that I need to be at, if that’s the direction that He is sending me.
I also ask for prayer as long repressed dreams of having a coffee shop/art studio/ transitional housing place keeps surfacing but nothing tangible is presenting itself. It may be God is bringing it to the forefront of my mind and dreams as a vision for the future down the road so I am praying for contentment with that and give it to God knowing in His timing He will work wonders!
As some of you may know I don’t have a vehicle right now as it just wasn’t workable to have here during the beginning of my internship. I know God can provide above and beyond what we can ask or imagine so please pray that God, in His perfect timing, will provide the perfect vehicle for me that will be a beautifully dependable, low maintenance, good in adverse weather, good on gas and last me for a long time!
As I finish that God will give me the strength and stamina to run the race well and give Him the glory through it all!
I know I am horrible at writing snail mail letters, or these update letters for that matter =) but I do love to get an occasional note or letter of how others lives are and how I can pray for you as well.
If you want to correspond my address is 3815 S. 7th St. W. Missoula, MT 59804
I would love to hear from everyone but I also know how crazy busy people’s lives are now a days!
An email or facebook post would be just as good too! =)