Prepare me, Loving Father, to hear
Let my desire for my future
be Your desire.
Excite me for Your plan
that I may joyfully follow.
Challenge my plan
so I follow Your course skillfully.
Your purpose for me
May I bring glory to You
and Your Kingdom.
Light the path to Your heart
with torches of discernment.
Whisper Your plan in my heart-ear.
Let me not be discouraged by
the answer but instead
praise You for creating a purpose for me-
a messy, fumbling daughter.
I am unworthy of such
a task as You set before me.
Your trust in me leaves me
All I can do is praise You for
the path You have forged.
Prepare me, O Faithful One,
for Your plan for me.
I love twitter because of all the wonderful things that people share in their tweets. I follow pastors, speakers, mothers, friends, organizations…you name it. Over the weekend, Lisa-Jo, who blogs here, shared the YouTube World Cup Anthem video. I absolutely loved it. It’s so joyous. It’s a song that celebrates. I wanted to share it with you today for you to celebrate your differences, your similarities, and your experiences.
The past few days, I’ve been watching the World Cup as often as I can. I may have even contemplated taking off work to watch some games. I saw part of the Mexico vs. South Africa game. I watched the entire USA vs. England game (and could not have been happier with the outcome. Seriously). I loved watching the South African team do their victory dance. I loved watching the British team celebrate their goal. I loved watching each team enter the stadium and sing along to their national anthem. I love reading the tweets about the World Cup where people from all over root for their home team- no matter where they are. It almost seems like the World Cup is getting more coverage than the Olympics.
And I love it!
Watching the World Cup has exponentially increased my excitement to go to South Africa this summer. Learning more about the country, the history, the culture sets my heart ablaze because I know I will be entering all of that to serve with Thrive Africa. I know I will be working to make an impact in South Africa. I know God is using Thrive Africa in HUGE ways in South Africa. I am humbled to be a part of it. And sitting in front of the TV watching the World Cup reminds me of the power of God, the plans He has for me, and His heart for all people.
God is so good, guys.
On Thursday night I met up with my small group and told them some of the planning I still need to do before I go to South Africa this summer. By the time the meeting was over, I had an idea on what to do with my car for 2 months, where to move before I go, and someone to talk to my family about South Africa! Those were my biggest concerns- the things with which I was struggling the most. These ladies just stepped up to the plate, no strings attached and problem solved with me. They met me right where I was, without judgement, and selflessly offered their perspective, insight, and resources. When I told some co-workers at lunch the next day, they were amazed at how quickly everything is coming together. They were impressed by my ability to pull it all together in one night.
All I could do was thank my Father for His provision. It is humbling. It is illogical. It is loving.
I’m thankful for the doors He is opening. For the ways He has planned for this to happen. For the leader He is.
I’ve come to accept
that everything I thought was possible
I’ve said my good-byes
wiped the last tears from my swollen
My wishes won’t be reality
because you aren’t ready to be who I
I must look to others to fill the
part you should play in my
My wishes lived a healthy, long life
in my mind until I realized they were flawed,
My expectations took a turn for the worse
when the diagnosis came and I knew they would never be
I laid the white sheet over the face of
the life I thought I’d have, shaking with sobs of
I looked around my empty heart and felt
the self-pity flooding the rooms that had been carved for
But now, now that I have understood
there are others who want to take that spot, I can only feel
You have greater dreams and wishes for me
then I could ever
My life might not look like all I had thought it would
but it is becoming full of
And that’s all this girl wants.
A heart overflowing with Your love, grace, and
The pastor on Sunday briefly mentioned 1 Peter 3:15 in his sermon. He focused specifically on verse 15 which says at the end. ‘always be[ing] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you’. I was able to sit in church and know that I have an answer for my hope-I can honestly tell people why I am different.
I love that.
In this time of sharing my plans for the summer, I’m going to be (and have been) asked why I would waste spend my time and energy in South Africa. I have the opportunity to tell them about how God is using Thrive Africa to impact a nation. I get to explain why I have hope for South Africa, for the AIDS pandemic, and for developing leaders in the church. My answer is prepared. I finally have the courage to confidently speak truth to those I encounter about the active role my Father is playing on this Earth.
And I couldn’t be more excited.
Yes it’s a risk, but it’s a chance to embrace the illogical. A chance to step out in faith and impact those around me with the hope of Christ.
As 1 Peter 3 continues, I am encouraged by the comfort and promises given to those who are slandered for doing good. And with the reactions I’ve been getting, I am clinging to the promise that Christ is with me in all I do- illogical or not.
Now that Thrive Africa is definitely in my immediate future, I have been vigorously spreading the news (whew, that was a lot of linking you all to different pages!). I’ve told co workers, family members, friends, some strangers. I’ve told those I’m close to, those I’ve only known for a short while, those who support me, those who are skeptical. And I can say that the reactions have really surprised me. Some people I thought would be encouraging have been anything but. Other people I thought wouldn’t care at all have expressed deep interest.
Forest Gump was right..life is like a box of chocolates…you really never know what you are gonna get.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how I want to live an eyebrow raising life. I now have the opportunity to jump feet first into living illogically (at least for two months)- and the reactions have been incredibly revealing. It’s a little scary, and very risky, for me to share my heart with others. My heart is pumping excitement for South Africa right now. To reveal to people (especially strangers!) my plans for the summer is not like me. I would normally cling tight to my news and only sparingly tell my plans. Now, I’m blabbing to everyone. I can’t contain my heart- it’s spilling over into my work, lines at the store, and phone conversations with family.
I’ve had the opportunity to experience reactions to an illogical life. The old adage ‘be careful what you wish for’ has entered my mind more than once. And while I don’t regret my decision to serve with Thrive, or my wish to have an illogical life, I’m not sure I understood all the implications of following God- especially when it doesn’t make sense to the world. Not only have I been bombarded with the realization that many Americans do not know much about Africa, but I have also had other’s junk thrown onto my excitement. Some people don’t understand why anyone would spend their summer serving in another country. Some don’t understand how I could walk away from my job for two months. Some are concerned with my safety in South Africa. Some don’t know what I mean when I say South Africa and think I mean southern Africa. Some wonder if I’ll have electricity and windows.
It’s been interesting to say the least.
If I’ve learned nothing this year, I’ve learned that oftentimes, the way someone reacts to me has more to do with their own heart than with my words. I’m clinging to that as I continue to risk and talk about my heart for Thrive.