In every nook and cranny

Trying to find those “just right” words to sum up my struggles and my not-so-great days. The words that reassure you that you aren’t the only one fighting the good fight, but don’t paint me as a down-in-the-dumps, joyless being. Don’t let the words in past posts fool you into thinking I have my life together; I don’t, nor have I come close to leading a well-put, orderly way of life. My hair is split at the ends, my floor needs swept, shoes are falling, disarrayed, out of my closet. I forget to answer voicemails, books are never fully read, my bed is rarely made, and I’m living a messy, messy life. But when I say messy, I’m not referring to the dust on my furniture, or the growing to-do list.

My struggles and my not-so-great days remind me that I’m nothing short of needy. Needy for a refilled cup; more Jesus. Needy for Truth; more Jesus. Needy for love, and for a push in the right direction; more Jesus. Here I sit, yet again, writing about what my missionary heart is at odds with. I have big plans, and hopes that are high enough for the both of us. Big dreams, but a bigger God.

You see, I’ve grown up in the average state of Indiana, in an average home, in a below average town. A so called “world changer” isn’t something expected to come from your every day, average. I think “world changer” and I picture a Harvard graduate with inspiring quotes painted on their walls, and a recycle bin filled to the brim. I think of someone who only eats organic food and walks from place to place, rather than burning fossil fuels by driving a car.

But changing the world and changing the world for one person are two different things. And through scripture and movies and music and books, God has set a desire in my heart to do the latter, understanding that as I carry out His will, little by little the world as a whole will be changed.

I want to be the world changer in a sun hat with sunscreen covering the brim of my nose, hauling water from a newly built well miles away. I want to hand wash clothes, find my way by candle light, and feed growing children. I want to smuggle Bibles underground where thirsting people wait to be quenched by the Living Water. I want to wash feet and hold hands. I want to enter war zones and defend innocent people with no leaders. I want to share the good news, in every nook and cranny of this earth.

I’m reminded by someone new everyday that being a missionary or a relief worker doesn’t pay, that it’s not practical. I can’t afford it, I have to have a plan, I have to think about my safety. Oh my does it pay. It pays in joy and it pays in lasting relationships. And does God call us to practicality? Or does He call us to love and to give and to serve with every ounce of what we have to offer? I can afford it, knowing that God will be quick to meet my needs as I meet the needs of someone else. I don’t have to have a plan when Jeremiah tells me God has a plan for me. The way my heart is weighted down by the burdens of others I’ve yet to meet, gives me all the assurance I need that this is His very plan for me, that I go and speak of His love all over. If I made my own plans rather than following the ones God has laid before me, who knows where I would be. Thankfully, God’s plans never seem to be affected much by my own. Safety is a touchy subject for me. Of all the things I wish people grasped, it’s that safety is never guaranteed anywhere, whether you’re in your backyard or the slums of India. Just because one place is riskier than another, the people inhabiting them all share the same needs. Each individual needs Jesus just as much as the next person, and as Romans 10:15 says, “Who will go unless they are sent?” He is sending me, please know that. Shots can ring out, doors can be knocked down, but my God will stay the same. If I were to die sharing the Gospel, I’d thank the Lord that of all the ways I could go, He blessed me with the opportunity to go serving.

No, a little dust here and there isn’t what makes my life messy. People near and dear, who I want to understand the pulling at my heart before anyone else, don’t. Satan crowding out God’s voice, growing statistics, distant lands only being pictures in my mind, not stamps on my passport. These things make my life messy, these things are what remind me that I too, am needy. By the grace of God, I’m not needy for things of this world anymore, but rather I’m needy for change in this world. I need people to understand that God isn’t ushering me into this life of discipleship only to leave me hanging. My heart has been shaped by God in a mold foreign to most. My “average” life isn’t all that average after all, but that’s the kind of change Jesus brings.

“The pain you feel in your heart over the desires God has put in you, (them being yet unfulfilled) is your gift from Him, because it causes you to wrestle with Him for the fulfillment of those desires.” – Corey Russel

I leave for Africa in 66 days, and I’m still in need of $750. If you’d like to partner with me by donating, you can donate at http://www.globalexpeditions.com/donate using my ID 2700920. I need prayer just as much as I need the funds, please consider praying for me over the next couple months as God prepares my heart. Let me know if you choose to do either, I’d like to keep you updated on things through pictures and mail. Thank you!

 

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15 thoughts on “In every nook and cranny

  1. Hi
    This is such an amazing post. I have been so challenged as I read you post. There are a lot of things that stood out in it. I will just share one thing though. I loved the quote you shared,

    “The pain you feel in your heart over the desires God has put in you, (them being yet unfulfilled) is your gift from Him, because it causes you to wrestle with Him for the fulfillment of those desires.” – Corey Russel

    I needed that to hear that. Let me say this, God has great plans for you. God has heard your prayers and not only that, He is with you in all that you do. Africa is an amazing continent, I should know cause I live in Africa…hahaha Be prepared to be blown away and to see God like you have never seen Him before!

    Rolain

    • God knew I needed your kind wordss. You reminding me of His great plans for me is such encouragement. I’ve been desperate for a heart like yours to come across, you lifted me up just at the right time. Thank you, sweet girl!

      • Hey Sara.
        God does work in amazing ways. He is the One that brings what we need when we need it!
        So this so embarrassing for me to say but I will say it. I am actually a guy!! Hahaha
        Is it the profile pic? If it I am going to change it!! Hahahaha…

        And please keep me updated on your trip. I look forward to hearing all God has shown you and spoken to you about. I will keep you in my prayers my friend.
        You are a world changer…..!

        Rolain

  2. What a powerful overall statement from our Sister Sarah. If only every Christian had this perspective on living the Christian life; there would be much less work to do in the kingdom of GOD.If the Apostle Paul were alive today, I am certain he would have asked this loving sister, Sarah, to go on his missionary journeys with him. Thank you Jennifer for posting this blog. A true blessing to whoever reads it. GOD Bless you, paul m.jjourney’s with him. Thank you Jennifer. for posting this blog. A True. Blessing

    • I’m so touched by your words. I really needed your encouragement, you have no idea. Tears are surfacing as I reread it over and over. I desperately needed this comment as I struggle to remember this is God’s calling for me. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough.

      • Praise GOD for His goodness and faithfullness. Sara, your blessing is my blessing. What you wrote truly has ministered to my life. What I am going through right now in life, is something no parent should go through. Your post has certainly helped me to desire to remain faithful in all things. It reminded me again that,”My grace is sufficient for you; My strength is made perfect in your weakness. ” Thank you Sara,for being a blessing to me. The LORD bless you, and continue to make His face shine upon, and through you. paul m.

  3. I’m so excited for you, and can’t wait to see what God has in store for you in Africa! I’ve gone to Nicaragua a few times – and had little more than love to offer. They soaked it up like parched land. When I asked a fellow if he wouldn’t rather have the money it cost for us to come, he said, “No, Senora. When you come we know that God has not forgotten us.” That blew me away!

    May the grace of God go before you, making every crooked place straight, every rough place smooth, and as you shed His light abroad on their hearts, may you be granted a great harvest for your labor of love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

    \o/

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