Friday, February 23, 2007

Forgiveness and Faithfulness

God is so faithful.

That's something I should remind myself of every day and something that I don't reflect on nearly often enough.

God is faithful to me.

I had an experience yesterday that humbled me to the point of tears. The story goes back to my senior year in high school, to a friendship with a person who meant a lot to me. Literally overnight, that friendship was gone because of a few silly words and some serious awkwardness. Overnight, I lost one of my best friends, and I was sitting there, trying to pick up the pieces. I cried. I prayed. I wanted to forgive, but I also wanted to hold onto all the hurt that I was feeling. It was six months before this person and I talked again, and even then, nothing was the same. We couldn't talk in the way that we once had. Our friendship wasn't the same. I'd forgiven him for the hurt that I had once felt, but there was never an apology, and we never talked about what had happened in our friendship.

Yesterday, out of the blue, he e-mailed me with an apology. He apologized for blaming me for the demise of our friendship. He apologized for throwing our friendship away and told me that I'd been a good friend to him. This meant a lot to me, because I'd convinced myself that we hadn't been that close, that it was all in my head, that our friendship was simply casual. It touched my heart, this two-year-old apology that I'd given up waiting for. I cried because I'd already forgiven him, and I didn't need an apology to make me feel better.

"The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works." Psalm 145:13

When I give my pain to God, He is faithful with healing my heart. I don't understand how his faithfulness is so great and I am so often able to ignore it.

I stayed healthy during the performances of my musical. God is faithful. I'm doing well in my classes. God is faithful. I'm going to San Diego this weekend with dear friends to spend time with other believers. God is super-faithful.

God loves me, and He is faithful.

Friday, February 9, 2007

I'm Going to Namibia?

After nearly half an hour of trying to figure out what I'm doing with this whole "blog" thing, I've finally gotten it to work. So here we go.

At the beginning of August, I was presented with a booklet of summer mission trips and asked to pray whether or not God was calling me to go on a trip. "Namibia AIDS" was the first trip that piqued my interest. I want to help people, especially in the field of healthcare. I prayed about Namibia, asking God to work things out financially. A week later, I received a contract for a musical that I was in, saying that I would be compensated *very well* for my time spent in performance.

A few months later, I was back in school, back in rehearsal, back in the world of worrying about my needs and not trusting God to meet them. I had given up the idea of going to Namibia because I told myself that I needed to work this summer. I needed to pay rent. I needed to keep a steady job. I needed to do all kinds of "important", "adult", "responsible" things. I had started my application in November, well ahead of the December 1st deadline, but on the last day of November, I was nowhere near ready to turn it in. Val, a woman who has been discipling me this year, encouraged me to apply anyway, even if my application would be a few days late. When I went on the internet to begrudgingly finish my application, I found that the deadline had been extended to January 31st. I felt God smiling at me in the way that He always does when He wants to show me something and I try my hardest not to pay attention.

Midway through January, I still hadn't finished my application. In my own mind, I'd stopped thinking about Africa, and about summer mission trips in general. But God had other plans. He kept putting people in my life to remind me about applying. Finally, I gave up and decided just to go far. My application was a few days late, but at least it was done. I felt like I'd done my part by applying. I wasn't sure why I applied, but I only knew that God told me to do it, so I better follow directions.

Yesterday was the 8th of February, and I got an e-mail saying that I'd been accepted to go this summer. "You're going to Africa!" my friends screamed, full of joy. I was terrified. "I might go to Africa," I said, trying to avoid the very real possibility that I might board a plane in a few months and fly halfway across the world. "I still have to get a passport, and fundraise, and besides, I might go to training in March, and they might decide that they don't want me anymore." I was terrified. I AM terrified. I have to fundraise a ton of money. I have to trust that God will take care of not only the money for the trip, but also my rent, my car payment, money for textbooks in the fall.

I hear God, and He whispers the same phrase He wakes me with every morning: "Trust Me." He extends His hand. I place my tiny hand into His, and although I'm still nervous, He is there to calm me. I'm not sure what this summer will bring. I know that it will be difficult, and will very likely be more difficult than I could ever expect. But with my Father's track record, I can fully trust that His plan is perfect. I'm trusting in you, God. Here we go, Abba. Take me to Namibia.