Week Eleven: Just Breathe

Yeesh, things are starting to get busy around here.

Week eleven, the last week of our lecture phase and beginning of some more serious outreach preparation, was fast and furious.

And as we hopped from lecture to meetings to shopping for outreach supplies to work duty to sleeping to beginning to pack and clean… I was left with a few questions:

1. How in the world did we manage to accumulate SO MUCH STUFF in just three short months?
2. Where in the world are we going to put it all?
3. When are we going to have time for all the stuff we want to do, anyway?

And the answer to all those questions is…
“Who knows.”

Because really, I don’t.

But anyway.
Amidst all the craziness and busyness of the week, some really, really wonderful moments happened.

Exhibit A:

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That’s right, folks! My friend Dominic came to visit! Well, not quite. He was sort of in “gummy skeleton toy” form and had been sent in a box for a couple weeks… But what a blessing it was to receive the most lovely care package from my friend Michelle! Perfect for a movie night, complete with popcorn, candy, iced tea, and the presence of an awkward friend. SUCH a lovely idea, and I cannot wait to use it!

Exhibit B:

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I’ll miss Kona’s gorgeous sunsets. They’re so fast and yet so beautiful! Definitely worth the quick fifteen minutes to watch. 

Exhibit C:

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This cute little guy joined me during one of my homework sprees! Even with all the busyness, I still had some time to take a photo or two before he dashed away. :)

And there was a lot of homework! And especially a lot of personal journaling, as this week marked the last lecture week of our DTS’ lecture phase.
It’s crazy how time has flown! Seems like just a few short days ago that I sat in our first class, wondering what all this would be like.
And now… it’s over, as fast as it began.

But, lucky for us outreach’ers, the fun isn’t all over yet! Two more months of outreach are coming up fast.
(More on that in my “week twelve” post, so stay tuned! :) )

Our speakers this week were Don and Donna Tredway, from the good ol’ state of Oklahoma, sharing with us their personal stories and about their ministry, “Resurrection Ministries,” working in healing and deliverance, as well as about their professional lives, as they’re a physician and a nurse respectively.

Along with many other things, one of the themes I learned about this week was the faithful love of God.

It’s interesting how God met me in ways I exactly needed this week.

When I had a lot of doubts and fears coming up about the future, specifically outreach and then what’s to happen after that, God ever so patiently led me back to several things.

First, He reminded me that He is GOOD.
He is good, and do you know what phrase often follows that description of God in the bible?
“And his faithful love endures forever.”
(Check out Psalm 136 for some good examples)

Hmm. What does that mean, anyway?
Well, God showed me this week that “faithful love” means keeping promises.
It means that I can trust God to keep his promises, to be faithful, not because of anything I’ve done, not because of who He sometimes is, but who He ALWAYS is.
He is love. He is faithfulness.
And those things manifested together, as they often are, are such a good thing.

God also showed me that not only is His love faithful, but His love is personal.

A HUGE theme in this DTS for me has been intimacy with God; growing in relationship with Him and discovering what that looks like, in big things and in little things.

And this week He poured out His love on me in big ways and in little ways, reinforcing to me that He loves ME.
He doesn’t just love “the world” as I sometimes generalize (although He DOES love the world, hence John 3:16), but that He also loves “Jenn,” personally, deeply, and extravagantly.

Such soul food for a hungry heart.

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I’d like to remind you, fearless reader, of this photo for a couple of reasons.

One is that, if you live in Canada and it’s STILL snowing, remember that there is hope on the horizon for the snow to fade and summertime to be here again!
And the other… is that this week I was reminded of hiking.

I love to hike the mountains, and last summer on our multiple trips out to Tumbler Ridge I fell in love with the alpine all over again.
And the thing about mountains is that you have to climb up them, and down them, and sometimes the way is tough.

As you hike, it’s important to find yourself a good path – a good place to put your feet so that you don’t fall, or kick rocks onto the people climbing below you, or manage to soak your hikers and your socks all the way through with glacier water, so that your steps sound more like “squish, squish” for the rest of the day.
True story.
But, I digress.

Paths are important. You need good eyes to see the path, but you also need a good guide to help you figure out which way to go.

God is such a good guide, and He gives us good eyes to see the path, if only we ask.
And as we follow the path, He continues to lay it out before us, one faithful step at a time.
And I need to remind myself to just breathe.
I won’t get to see the whole path right now, so I just need to trust the Guide more than I trust my own, very human and very untrustworthy, eyes.

Because even if the path is sometimes confusing, or seems impossible, or is just downright scary… I can trust the Guide, who sees right to the end of the path, and knows what is best and what is good.

God’s way is perfect.
    All the Lord’s promises prove true.
    He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
For who is God except the Lord?
    Who but our God is a solid rock?
God arms me with strength,
    and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
    he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
You have given me your shield of victory.
    Your right hand supports me;
    your help has made me great.
You have made a wide path for my feet

    to keep them from slipping.
(Psalm 18:30-36)

I can’t wait to see how He shows Himself faithful as I follow Him.
Especially in these next few weeks, on outreach on a whole new continent, and then beyond as He continues to show me where to put my feet on the path, both literally and proverbially.

Thank you, Lord. You are good, and your faithful love endures forever.
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