This is my first ever blog. I am nervous. Please read my words with gentility and without judgment. I hope I spell everything right and that it all makes sense…it is 2:08 am, after all.
I’m not much for blogs…other people having them is fine. Me having one is way too much pressure. However, seeing as I’m leaving for Brazil in approximately 29 hours, I thought it was high time I get one of these things. Plus, my dear friend Rachel more or less forced me to get one. Well, not really. But she did suggest that I get one.
So here I am. And here you are.
And I’m leaving for Brazil in 29 hours. And I have been an emotional wreck for the past 72. Preparing yourself to fly away from pretty much everything you love is a lot harder than you might think. It’s probably because I didn’t realize until today that that’s what I would be doing. Sure, I knew that I was going to be in a different country…but I didn’t think about what I would be leaving behind. And the prideful, “strong” part of me is/was saying, That’s not what it’s about. It’s about the people in Brazil…it’s about obeying the Lord. And it most certainly is about that. But I don’t think it’s God telling me to ignore my feelings and just suck it up. That doesn’t sound much like God to me. So what I’ve been learning most over these past few days is that God cares about me – a lot. Like, He really, really cares for me. Revolutionary.
I think I thought I was supposed to be this super Christian (whatever the freak that is) and be resilient and aloof (psh) and not be hindered by my fears. But I’m still insecure, silly, fearful, naiive Tabitha Rayner. I’m not some super-aware grown up whose been through it all. I still get incredibly scared when I think of giving up what I want for the unknown of what God wants.
By the way, whoever thought it was cool to be aloof was wrong. Being aloof is perhaps the least cool thing ever. If we could all not care, I guess we all would be a bunch of stoney-hearted jerks…sorry, I’ll get off my lil soap box now. But serioulsy, go read Hosea 10:11-12. God wants soft-hearted people, not comfortable, bored know-it-alls.
Anyway, the thought of going to Brazil is at once completely exciting and entirely unsettling. So many emotions have coursed through my heart and mind in the past few days that I honestly don’t even think I could recall all of them. The most prevalent thing that I’ve been seeing lately is my sinfulness and unwillingness to trust God. I think I can and should and am supposed to handle everything by myself, with my own little feeble hands. In a moment of vulnerability with the Lord yesterday, I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9. His power works best in weakness. I am so expendable. He is so great. This trip is an honor; the fact that He even chose me to be a part of His family is an honor. I saw this today on one of my facebook friend’s statuses – it’s from Sarah Young’s devotional “Jesus Calling”:
“If you learn to trust Me – really trust Me – with your whole being, then nothing can separate you from My peace. Everything you endure can be put to good use by allowing it to train you in trusting Me. This is how you foil the works of evil, growing in grace throught the very adversity that was meant to harm you.”
Satan has been on my back since the day I decided to follow the Lord with my whole heart 2 summers ago. He really hates me. And sometimes he convinces me that his voice is God’s voice. But God always redeems me and I know that it is all a part of God’s plan to strengthen my faith and make me wiser and more faithful. What a blessing. So Brazil, really, isn’t going to change me. God is. He already has, and He will until Jesus comes back for me. Philippians 1:6.
So, if you’ve stuck it out this far, I have one more request. Please pray for me. For my team. For the beautiful, hungry hearts of the Brazilians we will meet.
Here are my prayer requests (they are not in order of importance, by the way):
1) That we would truly befriend the Brazilians and learn from them
2) That we would forget ourselves and be heavy with the truth of the Gospel
3) That we would be jealous for their souls and intercede for them with perseverance
4) That we would be absolutely overwhelmed by God’s beauty and grace
5) That we would learn to depend solely on the Lord and His identity for us
6) That we would not struggle with culture and reverse culture shock
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you.
Ta ta for now, fair readers.
You are all completely beautiful in your own, perfectly you way.