On the GO again … This time God said, “Swaziland, Africa!”
As many of you know, God started to shift me out of my comfort zone in Mandeville, La and into HIS zone in the Spring of 1996. It was then when I surrendered my life to a new Master. I experienced the futility of serving myself and the world. It only left me in a deep, dark abyss. The moment I laid my life into the hands of Jesus Christ, the shift began. I started to let go of the grip I had on “my life”, one metacarpal at a time.
A big shift into God’s zone occurred in 1999 when I spent my second winter surrounded by the Teton Mountain Range. Two weeks before I was to return to Louisiana, I rode a snowmobile into guide wires attached to an electrical pole while traveling 45 mph. During my recovery, God called me to let go of ALL I had worked for apart from Him. I walked away from my teaching career, business, my home, and close network of friends and family to follow Him back to Teton Valley, Idaho.
For over a decade, God grew me through many valleys, yet they offered opportunities to empty out more of me to make room for more of Him. HE bestowed many blessings from literal and spiritual mountaintops. Following His path gave me a chance to discover gifts waiting for me to open and explore. God unveiled the gift to write stories that touch people, and rhythm and coordination to play the drums, allowing me to help lead congregations into worship. He also allowed me to experience challenges that I survived only through His grace. Through many steps of faith, I’ve learned that I can! I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me, and with a greater depth of joy and mercy and grace from a well dug deeper from the hardships we call “life.”
And after twelve years of serving God amid the Northern Rockies, I approached His altar again, but this time with Teton Valley and all that it offers. In the summer of 2011, I told him, “I’ll go wherever you want me to go, to do whatever you want me to do, to be whoever you want me to be, to have that spiritual void thriving back inside of me. Nothing in the physical world is worth being without your spirit full inside of me.” God made it abundantly clear that He wanted me in Baton Rouge, La. This required more letting go than any other time than before, and definitely walking by faith and not by sight!
In 2008 I fought for my life and restoration of my health after an adverse reaction to an injection into my knee. After four years of prayers and extensive alternative medical treatment, my health is stable. I would’ve never thought I’d ever be well enough to live and thrive outside of the pristine air of the Rockies, much less consider traveling to a Third World country. So when God put Swaziland, Africa on my heart last year, it seemed a stretch. Yet I felt that deposit go into my heart like a coin in a piggy bank. But I didn’t know how, or when, or if, I’d ever go. But I wrote and shared other people’s Swaziland mission stories on Inspire a Fire. I thought that may just be all that heart deposit was about. But God said, “There’s MORE.”
In the Spring of 2013 I will travel to Africa with Children’s Cup International Relief to write and share the heart of their missionaries and the vulnerable children, orphans, and population they serve in Swaziland and Mozambique. I am thrilled because I know that when God wills something, and I obey, His favor and blessings far exceed anything I can measure.
Living on God’s whims has opened my heart and life up to more than I could ever have imagined. He’s a big God who knows how much I need Him to just breathe.