Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Twelve Midnight.

It would be an understatement to say that some progress has taken place since my last post. Nearly two weeks have gone by like months. They have been so full of stress, anxiety, excitement and disbelief.

I have since been enrolled into Hillsong College, received acceptance to acknowledge prior learning and skip all of first year. What a privilege to join my favorite community of second year students! What a challenge it will be to jump right into leading teams of other students. Also, I have generously been blessed with financial support for the first payment of this semester's tuition. 

It would require writing a book to talk about all these little battles that have been fought through every step. The most important thing is:

God is SO good!
He is unwaveringly faithful.

As I have experienced these last couple weeks, Matthew 7 has developed a whole new depth like I have never seen before:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
(Matthew 7:7-8)

The thing about faith is, we have to have enough of it to actually knock. It is so easy to pray and pray and pray; hope and hope and hope, but never move from our position in front of the door to actually lift our fist and make contact with the surface of that door. Until we have the courage to knock, seek, or ask, nothing will be opened, found, or received.

To my relief, I had the support of people around me to be encouraged enough to knock until the clock struck twelve. When a new hour finally came, God came through to say, "My mercies are new every morning."

There is provision for every minute and every hour. There are battles to be fought, but every battle for believers should be won. We can walk in confidence with our heads held high because we know we walk in victory through the blood and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

Faith will never grow until it is exercised. If no one is around you to encourage you, let me do it: step out. Don't hold back. There is more for you on the other side. God is faithful to respond to your desire to please Him. Walk in His will. What else is there to live for, really?

With every hour passing, a day ends and a new one begins. His mercies are new every single morning; in every chapter of our lives.

PRAISE THE LORD, there are more victories to come!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The 11th Hour.

I thought it had come and gone by now – that very last moment of holding onto any ounce of hope left inside.

Honestly, looking back has made me realize that, in the past, I have typically done everything possible to avoid the tension of this hour... It is far less painful to choose the options where the doors swing open wide and I just step on through.

This time it feels like I am waging war against something, even against my own self at times.

But I cannot ignore it any longer. The future is too valuable. The cost of this vision too high to let go of.

I am doing everything I know to do – the paper work, e-mails, applications, order forms, planning, research and praying (more like begging at this point) in faith that God will come through for me.

If I have any faith at all, I constantly wonder if it even measures up to a whole mustard seed. Hopefully it does not fall short at half a mustard seed or three quarters.

"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" is the scripture echoing across my brain. (Mark 9:24 NIV)

Here it is: I have been going back and forth, up and down since January to figure out whether or not to attend vocational ministry school. Truth be told, it has been more like a battle between courage and fear... and simply working into a solid vision.

Some of you reading this may be thinking, "Oh boy, there she goes again... always so indecisive about ministry school." My only response to that would be: yes, it is annoying that I have been 'heehawing' around it for a few years, but I once read a very wise statement which said "The right thing at the wrong time is still the wrong thing." I can truly say, I do not regret any previous step that has brought me here.

"God has made everything beautiful in its time." (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

My season here is only just beginning.

I am settling into this call and clinging to it with all my might.

Life has never fit in such a tailored way like it does right here, right now.

Through this church, I get to come alongside women and remind them of their worth. I get the honor of telling them how valuable they are and how capable they are of accomplishing their dreams. Few things are more rewarding than watching each woman break out from shells of insecurity or shed her baggage from difficult circumstances. I love seeing things shift in my life as a result as well. This is only the start of strongholds I want to see broken down around the world for the rest of my life.

This is where faith steps in...

Man, I hate money.

The one and only thing I regret about this year down under is the student loan that came with the package.

I realize this is super personal and I am a bit uncomfortable about sharing it so publicly, but my hope is to praise even more publicly when all is said and done.

Logically, I should not even bother updating my application or ordering transcripts to be sent to Hillsong College. Enrollment is one week away and at this present moment, I still have this student loan to be paid back and no job to pay the $5,000/yr tuition fee.

But I am doing it anyway. Why? Because God is bigger than my student loan and any need I will ever have. He is not dictated by the economy or the fact that I have yet to gain employment.

Though I have been shaken, brought to tears and down to my knees in so much discomfort and resistance to this call, I am finishing the process anyway. I feel like a fool every step of the way.

Do I know for a fact that God will miraculously come through for me with a massive breakthrough of tens and thousands of dollars all in one week's time so I can go to College debt-free and financed like I believe He wants me to?

All I know is that He is faithful. His name is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord Provider. He is steadfast, full of grace and mercy. Abounding in love. He says He is a good Father who knows how to give His children good things.

I call Him Lord.

In light of that, I am braced to honor, love and serve Him no matter what the outcome.

Though honestly, my greatest cry is, "LORD, for your name's sake, set me free from this! Let me step into College and into all you have put on my heart to accomplish. I know I am entirely at fault for choosing such an unwise resource and I don't deserve relief through your provision... But Father, the one You love is in debt; and I have no other way out from under this without your great mercy."

For your name's sake, Lord Jesus, be glorified in me.

Until the clock strikes twelve...