As I started typing this post back in February, I couldn’t fathom what I would write that could possibly describe my feelings as this journey came to an end. I can’t say that the months of reflection have made my words ‘better’, just longer in coming to you.
This has been an incredible, life-changing experience to be sure – but of what benefit?
Was it of benefit to Hope Chapel Missions and my other charities? The financial results are difficult to quantify, so I’ll probably never know. I gave up the need to know long ago, leaving it in God’s hands.
Was it of benefit to the people who I encountered along the way – those who supported me and prayed for me – and to my friends and church family? I hope so! My prayer is that this journey has inspired and encouraged you to step out and do something for the Lord that scares you a little bit. 🙂
Was it of benefit to me? Truth be told, I needed work. My faith had grown rather cold over recent years, and our church-wide Daniel Fast a few years ago had brought me back to the realization that God is ever-present, and if we seek we shall find. I have devoted these past years to that ‘seeking’, and have found the search to be immensely fruitful.
So yes, this was beneficial to me. God made his presence known almost daily, in ways that many would consider to be coincidence or luck. I, on the other hand, saw them as little miracles that he did not take credit for – but for which I cannot stop singing his praises.
Coincidence and luck cannot begin to explain what has happened to me during my year on the road: Host homes that became available in the eleventh hour; phone calls that came through in areas where I had essentially NO cell reception; bible verses and sermons that spoke to me just when I needed them; refuge that appeared out of nowhere when I felt vulnerable; ‘provision’ in so many ways when I despaired; confidence and joy in the midst of uncertainty and trying circumstances. Coincidence? Luck? Those words are no longer in my vocabulary.
I’ve learned that if you keep your heart and mind receptive to his leading, it becomes remarkably easy to feel God’s presence all around you. It seemed at times that the God Moments were coming faster than I could comprehend – and I guess you could say that the more I saw, the more I was able to see… I began to see his hand in the smallest details of life: A hawk hovering above me, the sunshine through the trees, a cresting wave, a rainbow, or the smile and generosity of a stranger.
Another profound revelation that this journey had on me is that when you find yourself depending on God on a daily basis for your very life — including the seemingly minor decisions about which side of the road to walk on in any given minute — you become acutely aware that your life is not your own.
I don’t know what my future holds or where I go from here in his service, but I do know that I don’t want the powerful impact of this experience to wane as my life gets more ‘comfortable’ again.
I’m so incredibly humbled and grateful for your support. May you dance in His love, under His wings, and in His steps…
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9
In closing, here’s a video about my journey that was made by one of our talented church members, Mark Jacobs, who also leads our Swaziland mission team – he and his wife Jocelyn came down to San Diego to document the ‘finish line’:
And… my ‘anchor’ song, against the backdrop of my home beach and my ‘finish line’ shoes:
Now is the shining fabric of our day torn open, flung apart, rent wide by love.
Never again the tight, enclosing sky, the blue bowl or the star-illumined tent.
We are laid open to infinity, for Easter love has burst His tomb and ours.
Now nothing shelters us from God’s desire – not flesh, not sky, nor stars, not even sin.
Now glory waits so He can enter in. Now does the dance begin.
~ Elizabeth Rooney, The Opening