Surprise! I’m blonde!!
What a journey 2016 has been so far already! I’m really learning to trust God and His plans.
God told me towards the end of 2015 that this next season would be filled with surprises, blessings, and gifts. I was anticipating what He would do, but He’s already been doing it way differently than I anticipated (isn’t that the point when He says ‘surprises’?)
First surprise was that I got to go to Wollongong for our church’s Frontline Retreat. I was also surprised that I ended up leading the photography team there! And until day before I left I didn’t know where I was staying but God provided the best blessing possible for me and a few other friends, too! It was a huge blessing to get to return to Wollongong for the second time after a year, I loved being there. God also showed me that the things I learned in my 3 years of college are now a part of me. I am different. I lead differently. He truly is doing a good work in me. That was really encouraging.
The next surprise was the decision to not start Degree yet, but to do working holiday for 6 months and start in July. This decision in and of itself was pretty easy for me to make. God was the one who told me to do Degree in the first place, so delaying it a few months I didn’t mind.
However, the sad surprise attached to that is that I now have to move out of my house. I seriously love my house and I love my housemates. I’ve lived in this house for 2 years – which were pretty much the best 2 years of my life- and it’s hard to imagine any place better.
God told me at the end of 2015 in a dream that I’d be moving out, but I didn’t want to face that truth until just last week. I was scared. Of the unknown, of such a big change. I still am. But learning what trusting God looks like in every season.
The next surprise was a spontaneous trip to Bali, Indonesia with my two friends Tamara and Tabea. I’ve known these 2 European girls since the first day I arrived in Sydney and it was a fun holiday and adventure we spent together! We had zero plans and at first didn’t have anywhere to stay – but He provided, abundantly more than I could ask for. All our accomodation was free and we stayed at a beautiful villa! It was so amazing. While I was there I got my visa plus had a sweet holiday enjoying a different culture. While I was on this trip, my new house opportunity came up unexpectedly. I’m so thankful that God is working even when I don’t see it. That all along He was preparing a place for me as I kept walking in obedience (even if it is shaky steps).
My new house will be a mixed house (guys and girls). I know I’m entering a unique season, an uncommon, set apart, stretching season. And though it wasn’t what I would have chosen for myself, I see time after time what a waste my worry is and what a treasure it is to close my eyes and trust God to lead.
So here I am, January coming to a close, and God’s surprises slowly unfolding. I’m comforted by what the Lord told Moses in Exodus before Moses led the people out of Egypt, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ I can keep moving forward simply because I know God is going before me.
I think of Numbers 9 and the cloud which represented God’s presence:
vs 17 ‘Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out: wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. At the Lord’s command they set out, and at his command they encamped…whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.’
Even though at first I resisted what in my heart I knew to be true, I see for certain that the cloud has lifted off the house I’m in and the season I’m in, and it’s leading me somewhere else. All I know is, wherever He is, that’s where I want to be, regardless of my comfort.
One thing God really spoke to me about this month as He began setting me up for whatever I’m entering into is this:
“I will give you everywhere you set your foot.”
God is calling me (and I’m sure you, too) to cross over and possess another land. A new land, one that He wants me to inhabit for His purposes, His Kingdom, and even my blessing.
In this story Jesus basically is anointing his Twelve Disciples, through His words He equipped them with everything they needed to do His will – spread the good news of Jesus – bringing the kingdom of God to every person they met, and healing anyone who needed it. So he sends them out, they return, and what happens is more ministry time. So many people want to see who this Jesus is and He shows them. Then the disciples are like, Okay I think it’s time for everyone to go home now. It’s late, they’re hungry (we’re hungry), ministry time over, Master.
I think it’s so interesting how God equips us, calls us, gives us EVERYTHING we need to do His will, and then two seconds later we start living in the flesh, living weak, living victimised, living selfish, living faithless.
And right when these Disciples think they’re going to go off and have a lunch break, Jesus throws it back on them, and this is what He has said to me as well,
“You give them something to eat.”
Ok too often now it’s become normal for me to live life like the 12 disciples, ‘send the crowds away so they can go get themselves some food’… this is safe thinking, it’s ‘logical/worldly’ thinking. It requires nothing of me. But God challenges me here, ‘you give them something to eat.’ Because for me, that’s impossible… (as I’m sure the disciples were thinking as they looked across the lawn at over 5000 hungry, irritable people). I would HAVE to rely 100% on God to act in faith and step out of my safe comfort zone.
Can you imagine if the Twelve had sent the crowd away? they would never have experienced Jesus and the power of God. They wouldn’t have been involved with Him and this miracle.
Miracles He wants to use ME for.
So many miracles and opportunities I have missed out on due to remaining comfortable. Every day I’m met with that same challenge to step out, it’s my choice to do it or not.
But oh, when I actually do it – when I actually set my FEET where my FAITH is, the miracles that take place – the intimacy with God I have, the LIFE that is brought to OTHERS (many for the first time).
It’s interesting then how in the passage afterwards Jesus asks Peter ‘who do YOU say I am?’ and Peter says confidently, ‘You are the Messiah.’ Peter knew without doubt or hesitation WHO Jesus was because He had experienced Him.
We will know God as we experience Him at work, and we will experience Him at work when we give feet to our faith, leave comfort, and set our feet where HE has already blessed and prepared for us; every day, with a kingdom mindset, eyes of Christ and the sensitivity of the Spirit.
Now that I have the assurance that God is with me and He has great surprises in store, where will I set my foot? Because He’s already said He will give me everywhere I set my foot. It takes courage, and more than just an enthusiastic start, but a determination, a deep trust in God, and a willingness to do whatever it takes. But blessing is on offer, and awaits those who will take Him up on His invitation to be a part of something more.
Where are you setting your foot? Where do you NEED to set your foot but it’s just idle right now for whatever reason? My word for you would be to stop standing around, but actually begin to take ground. God’s given you THIS day. He wants it to be productive. He wants it to be blessed. He wants to fill it with joy and life and peace, for you and someone else. But we have to take part in what He’s doing, too.
I’m reminded that where I am is not where I’ll always be. And who I truly am now I cannot always see. Just trusting God with the process of becoming me. In every moment and every season, He is all I need. Looking up, stepping out, moving beyond present things; Oh the joys and the blessings that with each step closer to Him He brings. And it is for this that my heart forever dances and sings. One thing [I do}…