“Where are we going, God?”
I asked God this question on a Wednesday morning back in late March while walking through the woods in Tyler, Texas. For months I had been contemplating my next step in life and what I was supposed to do. And for about 5 months…nothing. Absolutely no answer (at least not an answer that satisfied me). And of course when I ask God a question I want him to answer it immediately. The funny thing is: it doesn’t always work that way (duh). And while those 5 long months of waiting just about drove me insane, the whole time constantly questioning what I was doing in ministry and if I was supposed to continue on or go down a different path, I am beyond thankful that I (somewhat) patiently waited for God’s direction before storming my own way through life.
God answered with only those 2 words. But those 2 words? They grew into so much more.
Let’s back up just a bit here. Back in March, we took our students down to Tyler, Texas to work with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) for our spring break mission trip. Initially, I wasn’t even supposed to go on this trip because I was supposed to help lead a women’s backpacking trip instead. Long story short, the backpacking trip fell through and I found myself committing to head to Texas. And let me tell you, this change of events had God’s name written all over it.
Upon setting foot on the YWAM base, I fell in love with it. The community, the people, the land, the beauty, the love, all of it. I felt a deep connection with this place and had this sense of belonging there. And the more we continued to learn and work there, that feeling grew. Striking up conversations with other people who worked or went to school there enticed me and fueled my excitement. Hearing the teachings from experienced missionaries filled me yet left me wanting more. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit was whispering an answer to my long sought after prayer of “what next, God?” But it took a bit more of an obvious encounter for me to understand exactly what God was laying on my heart.
So there I am, wandering through the forest up to a large field, talking with God and telling Him that I feel like He is leading me to this place. That I feel like He is telling me to come back to Texas and complete a Discipleship Training School (DTS)…
“But God, I don’t know if this is all you or if I am making it up and going off of my own feelings. If you want me to come back here, make it obvious. Send me someone who knows nothing about what is going on in my mind and give me that confirmation.”
I prayed this bold prayer to God, crying out to him for help and guidance. And God, in His great love and mercy, answered me. And He answered my prayer in the form of an incredible and obedient woman named Brecken.
I sat next to Brecken at lunch that same Wednesday, just a few hours after asking God for further guidance. She had worked with our group a little bit and we were able to hangout a couple of times. Anyway, towards the end of our lunch, she turned to me and said, “I have a word for you.” She went on to tell me that while she was washing dishes earlier that day she was praying for our group. And when she got to my name, the Lord put a message on her heart to share with me…
“If God is asking you to do something or leading you somewhere, then follow Him.”
Brecken went on to express that she felt like I needed a confirmation in something the Lord was telling me.
God gave Brecken the EXACT words that I had used in my desperate prayers for guidance. And in that moment, I was wrecked. I can’t even begin to describe the intense emotions that coursed through me…gratefulness, awe, wonder, excitement, nervousness, surprise, astonishment. All of those and more flooded through me, leaving me in complete awe of the incredible God I serve.
Thank you, Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you.
After that moment, affirmation after affirmation rolled in through various people and situations. God continued to root His plan into me, knowing I would need His assurance in the months to come. And not only that, but God grew my desire to faithfully serve Him above all else. Saying yes to God often leads to a number of great sacrifices. But isn’t living a sacrificial life obedient to God our greatest calling as Christ followers? I say yes. And while it is not easy and definitely not comfortable and certainly not financially secure, knowing God and making Him known is more important than anything else I can ever accomplish on this side of eternity.
With that being said, I will be traveling back down to Texas in a few short weeks. I have to be there on September 24th, where my next adventure begins. I will be there for approximately 5 months, deepening my faith while learning to share Christ with others. I know God is going to completely wreck me and turn my life upside down while there (in all the best ways), as well as open my eyes even further to His great power.
Will you please pray for me as I set off on this next adventure with Jesus? Leaving my home and family is not easy for me, especially with my grandparents in poor health. But again, being obedient to the Lord is greater than anything this world has to offer. Please pray for strength, guidance, and protection as I walk the road He has for me. Also, please pray for my fundraising. Ministry and missions is typically a career that relies on the support of others, which is an enormous blessing because it forces me to trust and rely completely on God.
If you feel led, I would absolutely love for you to join my financial team. I will provide a link below in which you can donate to my Missionary Fund online. Also, checks made out to Tarah Eitrem can be sent to the address provided below. Prayers are beyond powerful, though, and I am in great need of them. I will post on my blog often, giving updates while I am in Texas on my life and the ways in which God is moving. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. God is good!
Visit this link to learn more and donate online:
Please don’t hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or concerns or encouragement! And subscribe to my blog to stay up to date with all the neat things God does in me and through me!