“[The Lord is faithful in all His words and kind in all His works.] The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works.” Psalm 145:13-17
Unfortunately today I am writing with some sad news. On Thursday, I got a phone call from the regional headquarters of Cru and they decided going to Italy for this year would not be the best option for me. I know different variables went into this decision, none that I am truly comfortable writing here on the internet, but if you want to know more, I would be more than happy to share personally. I am sure it is just as much of a surprise to all my faithful friends and family as it is to me. However, I can say with confidence that I trust their decision is from the Lord and this is His way of clearly leading me in a different direction for this season of my life. I am thankful for that.
To describe how I am feeling is a bit difficult, because I am all over the place. Much of me is very heartbroken over the loss of something I had put all my hope into, made plans around, and worked hard for 3+ months for, and not to mention the driving force behind the work: seeing God move in Italy. Some of me is angry at times, wondering why it had to be now, right before everything was supposed to be finished, wondering what I could have done better. A bit of me feels like a failure, like I didn’t do enough, like I do not measure up, like you need to be a certain kind of person or have certain talents to be in full-time ministry overseas, and I just don’t have them. A lot of me is wondering, “What the heck am I going to do now?” And the most dramatic part of me is saying, “Well, I guess that is it for Italy and I. It’s just not ever going to happen.”
Then I remember who I am in Him and the promise of Psalm 145:17: “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works.” This is not beyond God’s kindness or sovereignty. Was it a pretty big blow to me? Most assuredly. Was I expecting it? Definitely not. But that doesn’t negate His kindness in this. He has always been, is, and forever will be faithful to us. While I can’t see the full outcome right now of His kindness in keeping me where I am, He can be trusted to abide with me and provide me with all comfort and hope that He is doing a good thing in me.
A couple weeks ago I read some tweets from Louie Giglio that really reminded me of God’s grace in my life, just how beyond my understanding it is, and how it covers me even now
Grace: Jesus is more than enough in every situation before you even realize how insufficient your abilities/resources are.
Grace: seeing in each moment that Jesus is willing to serve us/save us long before we make any grand promises to Him.
Grace: realizing in every circumstance Jesus is already in motion/working before we know what the problems and needs are.
Grace: realizing in every situation Jesus is already there long before you arrive.
I am seeing the truth of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 in a different light: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I am fully convinced His grace is what decided this for me, and is providing the strength to move forward. Being in the center of His will is what I want, regardless.
I am sure there is much more to be blogged about that I can’t wrap my head around for now, but I want to thank every single person who has been with me on this faith-stretching journey. You, my friends and family, have prayed for me, encouraged me, donated your time, energy, and resources to make this happen, and I could not be more grateful for you. Nothing in this process was in vain, for I believe God worked in so many ways (some that are unknown to me), and He is still enthroned and glorified; that is what it is all about. He will continue to do astounding things in Bologna, Tampa, and all over this earth, and I am grateful to be part of it no matter what. Soli Deo Gloria.