If you ever want to discover just how broken and imperfect and wounded you truly are, sign up for missionary training school and then buckle your seat belt for one heck of a ride.
And I’m saying that after only being here for a mere week and a half!
Writing helps me process through my thoughts and feelings and emotions and experiences and all that other good stuff that occurs when a person is living a life. And while I can keep this writing to myself, I think it’s a vital part of my healing to be open and vulnerable with people who know me (or don’t know me, that’s cool too).
Ultimately, I want to be used by God and love others, but in order to do that, I need to first be able to let Him love me. And I’ve recently learned that I have not been letting God fully love me. I thought I knew the Father. I thought I had this great intimacy with Him. I thought that as long as I claimed to love Him and make a (somewhat) effort to be obedient to Him that I would be sitting pretty and everything would be all good.
I was wrong. So very wrong. I have not been living in all that Christ has for me.
I don’t know for how long now I’ve been living with this, but there is a void in my heart. A God-shaped hole that I have not been allowing Him to fill. I can’t think back to a particular moment in time where this hole first started to form, but it has grown into a deep-set canyon. I’m assuming that it began forming in the time after my dad passed. Yes, God blew me away with the way he ministered to me and provided for every need I had, but there came a point where I started walking more on my own, rather than walking with Him and relying on Him.
Here’s the thing with the Father: His deepest desire is for us to know him, to have a relationship with him, to seek him, to love him, to trust him, and to have open conversation with him throughout the day. And somewhere along the way, I lost sight of this. Here I was, grasping and clinging fervently for him, yet at the same time keeping him at arm’s length. What a conundrum!
Finally, after too many months of letting the hole grow, anxiety and fear starting worming it’s way into my life, plaguing almost every aspect. When I came home after the summer of serving at camp, I broke. The stress of coming home, fundraising, leaving for Texas, my grandpa’s health, my grief, and probably a million other things I managed to freak out about overwhelmed me to the point of doubting my purpose in life. I kept asking myself: “God, what the heck am I doing?”
“I can’t do this.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“What if I have this anxiety for forever?”
All these lies kept flooding my mind and chased out all the peace that God wanted to freely and joyfully give to me. Have you ever felt trapped? Like you’re in a room that has no windows or doors, but somehow, you managed to get locked in it? That’s how I felt.
And that’s how I felt as I set off on a Monday afternoon for a 5-day trek down to Texas. I took it moment by moment and as I made my journey down, (thankfully) my excitement did grow. And not only that, but the more miles that separated me from all the people I loved, the more peace that filled me. I can’t explain that one other than God, in his loving kindness, protecting and guiding me. God never ceases to amaze me with his faithfulness, even when I’m being a big idiot.
But the first week? It was hard. Real hard. Especially because on Friday, just shy of a week of being in Texas, I received word that my grandpa was not doing well. None of the doctors thought he would survive the next 24 hours. PRAISE THE LORD my grandpa is still here and slowly recovering. It truly is a miracle that he is here and that is completely and undoubtedly due to our healing God. God gets all the glory on this one and it’s a testament to his mighty power! (side note: Will you please lift up my grandpa in prayer right now? He still has a long way to go, but I am trusting and believing that God will again continue to heal him.)
But before I knew all of that, so many thoughts raced through my mind as I sat 1,344 miles away from where I wanted to be.
I don’t think I can do this again.
God, where are you in this?
I was so scared and my heart fought a battle between letting unrest and fear fill me, or letting the peace of God guide me through. But through my constant worrying, God kept whispering to me, “do you trust me?”
Do you trust me, Tarah?
It’s one thing to say we trust God, but another to walk in that truth. It’s interesting to think how our faith changes from season to season. Over a year ago I would have undoubtedly said, “Yes God, you know I trust you.” But now when he whispered that to me, I had to pause a moment and think.
What changed?….I did. Because God certainly didn’t. He is the Great I Am. The Alpha and the Omega. The Beginning and the End. And He can always be trusted.
I don’t understand how I go to this point, but here I am. And here is where the healing continues. I may have inadvertently put it on pause for a bit, but I believe that God wants to continue to heal my heart and teach me more about His unconditional, Fatherly love. Regardless of what lies satan is trying to deceive me with, I do have a purpose. God has made that very clear to me. And He has also made it very clear that He wants me to be in Texas doing a Discipleship Training School. So while right now it might be a little hard and new and challenging and stretching, I know and trust that God is doing a good thing. I certainly don’t have a handle on everything, but I do have a Savior that is inviting me into His arms and asking me to draw nearer to Him.
If you’ve made it this far in my post, thank you for reading. It’s not easy for me to be so open and vulnerable, but God has been laying it on my heart for a while now. And being obedient to Him is more important than my pride. Life is not easy, nor is it supposed to be. And God has given us other people to encourage us, love us, guide us, speak truth to us, cry with us, laugh with us, and do life with. And thankfully, I have these people scattered all over the world. So while being away from my physical home is a new and challenging thing for me, Jesus is teaching me to make Him my home, where rest and love can always be found.
If you’d like to keep me in your prayers, I’d greatly appreciate it. Here are some prayer updates and requests:
- healing for my grandpa, Joe
- continued guidance in healing & listening to the Lord’s still, small voice
- my outreach team; I will be traveling to South Korea for roughly 4 weeks in January/February
Thank you for partnering with me in prayer & this adventure God is leading me on!