Friday, November 25, 2011

Thinking back. Being Thankful.

Think back. What were you doing eleven Thanksgivings ago?

Eleven Thanksgivings ago, I was with a campaign group. We were on the island of Cozumel, Mexico helping the church there put on a gospel campaign preached by Bob Brown. My Spanish teacher, Ava Conley, had invited me to come along. I was seriously committed to the mission efforts in Venezuela, so for me this was just a chance to do some work in the kingdom and see some place new. For me, I was just along for the ride.

We rented jeeps and rode around the island with our hair blowing in the ocean's wind. We snorkeled, saw schools of fish and a barracuda. We dodged sea urchins as we headed out of the water. With a friend we grabbed a conch shell, cracked it open, and ate its meat right there at the edge of the water. (Ew. I know.) We went to a pitiful little 'zoo' that someone had that their house. It only had a few skinny little animals. We ate at a church member's house who was serving chicken soup. I held out my bowl for my spoonful and saw something horrific looking plop into the bowl. Ava confirmed that I had, in fact, received a tiny bit of broth and the whole chicken neck. (Ew. I know.) :) I tried to drive the stick shift jeeps and it took me 25 minutes to drive across to the street and pull up to the gas station. The gas station, who had been watching me approach from 30 feet away for as many minutes (and everyone else in my jeep) started applauding when I finally got close enough to fill up and stalled out for about the 95th time.

On Thursday of that week, we bought tacos from a street vendor for lunch, then for dinner we went back to the house, and made make-shift Thanksgiving dinner and pumpkin pie. We ate and were thankful--it's hard to be anything but thankful when you are on a mission trip.

For me, I had received a paradigm shift--I wrote a little bit about it here--when I met the Waldron family who were missionaries helping the church in Cozumel at the time. They had small children and I didn't know families with small children could even be missionaries. I thought that job was for old people and single men! I came back home, told Jon about it (we were only a 2-month old dating couple at the time) and he was impressed too. Well, we went on with life as usual from there.. Dated. Married. Jobs. Kids. Etc. Then God had a bigger plan for us. I'm pretty sure He had it all along; we just didn't see it coming.

Flash forward to yesterday:

The Waldron family had dinner at their home in Western Honduras. And they invited US. Because we're working with them. On their team. We're partners. Eleven years later. They still have 3 kids, but they're not little anymore. This time it's us with 3 small kids. Talk about a Full Circle Moment. Wow.

We are here because it's where God has a job for us now. I'm praying that some young college kid may see us and realize that ANYONE who is willing can work for God in the kingdom. He can use anyone who has a heart for Him. Who knows? Maybe in 11 years we'll be somewhere working with someone who visits us on a campaign and decides that they, too, can bring souls to the Father somewhere. Who knows? Or God might have an even bigger idea. Something that will wow me even more. I'm wayyyyyy over thinking something's too big for God.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are
my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As
the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to
it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it
yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out
from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:8-11
SO. My life is a daily reminder that my God is meeting all my needs and has also provided so, so many of my desires as well. He has over-filled my life in such an exceeding way that the only way that I can respond is with thankfulness. Humility, gratitude and thankfulness.

I hope that you had a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope that you were able to spend it with friends or family. I hope that you were able to reflect on what God has done in your life.

Be blessed. And be thankful.

1 comment:

  1. That is wonderful how God has provided such amazing blessings for you!