LOVED.

Tomorrow I’m off to Pemba, Mozambique for nine weeks. And never in a million years would I have dreamed I would be headed to Africa for missions school.

When you truly surrender your life to Jesus, you just never know what to expect. And I’m living proof.

As I packed all my belongings for storage, I wondered how on earth I could have so much stuff, all of which fits in my Blazer. I chuckle at the fact that all of my stuff once occupied a 2,200sqft home.

And as I go all by my lonesome, what comes to mind is when I broke up with the last boyfriend I had (ten years ago) with an explanation that went something along the lines of, “I just need some time on my own for awhile…”

To think that at the age of 27, I was debt-free (excluding my mortgage) with rock star credit and feeling pretty proud of the $40,000 I had in my 401k. Now I’ve got a significant amount of debt, a non-existent 401k and my credit took a big hit a couple years back when I had to short sale my home.

I imagined that I would be married with a family, overly comfortable financially and settled…

Instead, I am single with no children, relying on others for financial support and living out of my car.

It’s all pretty humbling and needless to say, my life at 34 years old is just not what I imagined… Not. At. All.

But the beauty is it is so much better than I ever could have imagined.

Along the way, I experienced the depths of Jesus’ love for me. And I have never been the same.

He has changed me in ways I can’t fully articulate, but I am different. I am completely different.

I know I am loved beyond all measure no matter what I do or don’t do. And that has changed EVERYTHING.

There’s such freedom in love.

And I’m here to say that as I get ready to head out, there’s still parts of the old me. The old me that feels she has to “make the grade” at missions school. The old me that needs to know what is to come when the nine weeks is up. The old me that is terrified of failure. The old me that can be completely debilitated by her concern with what others think. The old me that feels like no matter what, she’ll never measure up.

Sometimes I don’t experience the freedom there is in love.

But that’s ok because it doesn’t change anything. I am loved always and forever.

And so are you.

We love, because He first loved us. -1 John 4:19

The joy of a sandwich

As I get caught up in doubt, anxiety, and fear… it’s just like my Heavenly Father to pour out His grace on me and bless me in every way imaginable.

When I doubted that I would receive the financial support for my trip and missions school in Mozambique, within four days, the amount I was lacking was fulfilled!!!

Big sigh… and really?

But, OF COURSE!!!! Oh me of little faith!!!

The checks I received and words of encouragement that came with them blessed my heart in ways I cannot even put into words. I’m just humbled, so very humbled by God’s love for me through the people He has placed in my life.

And while I will return to Colorado on December 8, it’s unclear how long I will be here, so I want to make sure I make the best of the time I have in this great state.

This past weekend I climbed my first 14er – a mountain that is 14,000 or more feet high and Colorado boasts 58 of these peaks in six different ranges – Mount Bierstadt 14,065ft.

The climb was tough, but I was so grateful to have a dear friend to keep me going!  At the beginning of the hike, she casually stated, “We’ve got this, we’ve so got this.” And she continued to encourage me along the way, as did many others we passed!

Sarah and I basked in the beauty and vastness of God’s creation the entire day, while also sharing the parallels of our hike and faith. Good stuff and great times.

And just when I thought the summit was in sight and I gave everything I had to get to it, I collapsed on this boulder when I realized I still had a little further to go… poor pathetic me!!!

I saw the following quote after the fact that seemed so fitting for this picture: The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens. Don’t give up.

Though exhausted and feeling defeated, I pressed on and was soon sitting on the mountain top enjoying an egg salad sandwich. And life in that moment could not have been better. My profound words to Sarah were, “I’m sooooooooo happy right now eating this sandwich and sitting on top of the world!!!”

I love Jesus so much. No doubt all things are from Him through Him and to Him.

So as I am completely overwhelmed by the wonder and amazement of His love and provision…

And His creation and glory…

I don’t EVER want to take anything in this life for granted… I want to be in awe of Him in all things… to experience the fullness of life He promised…

So an egg salad sandwich enjoyed in His presence with gratefulness makes me the most blessed of all.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36