Stretching our Skins

Our habits and abilities shape who we are. To grow is to develop new habits and abilities which shape us into something with new capabilities. To do this we must step into areas outside our comfort zones as complete beginners.  Though these times almost always come with growing pains, the progression of self makes it worthwhile.

For the last three months, I’ve had my head in the Bible, reading through all 66 books, and intensively studying a portion of those books. I’ve never dedicated myself so fully to something until this course. I gave up nearly all leisure time, and focused on the Word of God all day, 6 days a week. My life outside of this was reduced to the essentials, eating, sleeping and taking a day of rest once a week.nawkmlp3tvs-samantha-sophia2

While this may sound extreme, I’m so grateful to have spent time laying this foundation of Truth in my life, and contributed to ending Bible poverty among the church. Some nights I simply wanted to blow off my responsibilities and simply give up. But each time I realized something new about God, or about myself, or humanity or any mind-blowing truth I felt the joy that only comes from the simultaneous experience of refreshment.

What struck me is the simplicity of it all. The truth is not something so complex that we must work and strive and reason to achieve. It’s something we can choose to accept and embrace. It’s not something that is so lofty that we can never see it, it exists in our reality and all who search for it with all they have find it. Truth is in each one of us, and it is all around us, it’s up to us to open our eyes and see clearly.

Through this challenging experience, I’ve can see so much more deeply into the character of God. He is not someone who is distant or petty, vindictive or spiteful. He is the uncreated creator, who has always been, and created us to be with him. The deepest desire in the heart of God is love, pure and holy, relentless and scandalous love. His every action towards us comes from a place of desire for us to know him. He never tries to confuse us and never acts maliciously towards us. He just wants, in full, he wants us as we are because he sees the full potential we have, to become like him.

This leads me into what I’m doing next. I’ve been doing all this practical spiritual education through an organization called Youth With a Mission. They focus on sending missionary team out to disciple nations while simultaneously disciplining the people who volunteer to do missions work. This is what I believe God is calling me into next, this time as student and a leader. I’ll be doing classes starting January 5th, where I’ll be learning how to do practical things like manage finances and other life skills, alongside disciplining a group of students. Helping them grow closer to God and leading a team of students on a missionary outreach to an unknown country. While I anticipate this to be a challenging 18 months, I have confidence that God will be stretching me into the person I am growing into.

To do this I need about 5000 Australian dollars within the next month. I must purchase a visa and health insurance and pay school fees to cover room and board. This may sound like a lot, but I know that it’s nothing to God, who is over everything. I have faith that God is calling me into this, and will make a way for it to come to be. If you would like to partner with me in this next season, I would love to talk with you, and if you’re curious about any of these things, feel free to ask me anything!

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Grace & Peace