At the beginning of 2016, I completely disconnected from my normal life in South Africa. I packed up my apartment, resigned from my job as a veterinary nurse, threw caution to the wind and left for England.
Now, it is almost a year later, and I am summing up the courage to throw even more caution to an even stronger wind as I embark on the next adventure that the Father has called me to – The call to connect to the unknown; the call to connect to myself as I claim my purpose.
This past year I connected so deeply with the Father in a way I had never experienced before and in a way I wasn’t expecting. Prior to moving to England, I lived alone for a number of years, and I loved it! Outside of work, my time was my own and it was there that I began to cultivate an intimate relationship with God; and then I moved to England.
I went from living alone to living in a house with strangers. I went from living in a space that was entirely my own, I could sing and dance around the kitchen while cooking. I could pray at the top of my voice if I wanted and I had free reign to do as I pleased in my own space.
In England, however, this all changed. Gone were the moments of dancing freely or praying loudly. I had less time on my hands and had no idea how to have a deep relationship with Him when I had so little time to myself.
In the months that followed, guilt showed up. All the ways in which I had connected with Him in the past were no longer options for me here in England. I had no idea how to make it work with the Father. I had no idea how to make it go back to the way it was, not realizing, that was never what He wanted. What came after months of struggling was joyful surrender as I lay it all at His feet and there it was, in those sweet stolen moments…ultimate connection.
It’s now that I see that God was using every experience from this past year to better equip me for the journey that lies ahead. He was teaching me to connect with Him even though there were people around and even though I didn’t have as much time to myself. It is a lesson that will serve me well as I take a step of obedience and enter into my calling.
I am beginning to realize that so much of life is about connecting. Connecting with a new season, connecting with a new culture and connecting with people who were once strangers; and the Father has shown me so much of this, but more than anything, I am so grateful that He taught me to connect with Him.
For many years, I have felt the call to go and serve cross-culturally. I never knew when it was going to happen; and after some disappointments, bouts of frustration and at times being ridiculously impatient, God has shown me grace and mercy, and this year I will step onto Ethiopian soil for the first time. With this realization comes a massive mix of emotion. I am so excited and thankful and fear that if I put it off any longer I may explode, but with this joy of realizing my dream, comes some doubt, a whole lot questioning and great feelings of inadequacy.
Growing up, I was never the person who knew what they wanted to do. I didn’t spend my teens and early adulthood studying and acquiring skills that would be useful on the field. I’m not a doctor, teacher or social worker, ironically, I’m in the business of animals and not people. Yet, this desire to do His work burns so strongly within me that I cannot ignore it anymore.
So, as I call out to the Father with desperate cries of how and who and when, He leans in close and whispers, “Connect. Connect to Me and I will show you the way. Connect to Me and I will make a way. Connect to Me and I will show you great and marvelous things. Connect to me, because with Me, all things are possible.”
Afterwards, I breathe a sigh of relief. It was never about me and my limitations or inadequacies. If the Creator of the heavens and the earth says that I can, then I better believe it with all my might. And so, like a phone with a poor battery life who knows where its source of power comes from, so do I, and I’m choosing to stay connected to this life-giving Power.
How has the Father used past and unexpected experiences to better equip you today?
How do you stay connected to God when life feels impossible or it feels like you can’t even get one moment alone?