Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Colleen's Post

Awesome post from Colleen, a friend currently on a 1-year, around the world, missions trip...

One by one, I see them come...these monsters to be named.

My friend Cody has a song called Monsters to be Named....it is a song that I listened to a lot around the time of deciding whether or not to go on the World Race. Something in me knew the risk of going on the World Race was huge, but worth it. Something in me knew it was going to take everything...cost me the things I hold so tightly. The lyrics resonate in my heart as God continues to pull out these monsters from my closet, name them, and remove them from my life. Looking back on the past seven months, I can't help but reflect upon all the Lord has done.

Our team is currently staying at a place called Alabanza, outside of Pretoria, South Africa before we head to Botswana. During this time here, I had the pleasure of meeting a girl my age from Indiana. Last night we talked and she shared with me about her experience as a first year missionary. She shared with me that when she first arrived at training in Africa she realized as God started poking at her wounds, that she allowed a lot of her pain to heal in a very unhealthy way. She compared it to a deep scrape on a knee, that is scabbed and infected. She was used to her pain, she was used to her bitterness, she held onto her unforgiveness. As she said these words, I knew exactly what she meant because it is exactly what the Lord has been doing in my life this year.

One by one, I see them come...these monsters to be named.

God has used my team mates, leaders, host families, songs, sunsets, miracles, Scripture, fun, horrible days, amazing days, sickness, restless nights, confusion, pain, tears, hugs, prayer, frustration, fear, His still small voice...to bring me to my knees and face who I really am, and name these monsters in my life that I have deceived myself into being comfortable with. He's healing my heart, He's showing me it's possible to live without bitterness, unforgiveness, and anxiety...and He is instilling in me a passion to share with people that this is possible. It's not an unrealistic goal in life to live freely...He offers it and we can either walk in it, or walk away from it. I don't have everything together in my life, I certainly don't have God figured out, and I don't put myself above anyone else...all I know is God offers this as a gift...an abundant life.

When I read in Jeremiah about God's promises to His people, I am in awe that these promises thousands of years ago are still offered to us today...every moment of every day.

Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the prosperity and peace I provide for it. (Jeremiah 33:6-9)

It's a scary thing to pray for God to reveal the dark parts in our hearts, these monsters that cause anxiety, distrust, insecurity, sin, fear. These monsters that keep us from living the lives we are meant to live. It's a scary thing to throw it all away and run full force towards the unknown. But it's worth it...because He's there. Because He knows what He is doing. Because He loves us.

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