This weekend has been rather momentous. I’d like to focus on one of the reasons for this; one that probably seems a little silly. Stick with me though, ok?
I just wrote the in the last page of my journal that I took to DTS. And my DTS best friend (Mackenzie, who went with me) is about to leave. I guess maybe it’s time to let go of my YWAM phase and continue moving on; to really step out of the “ugh, I’m in re-entry still” and go forward.
But what good is going forward if we can’t also look to the past and learn from it?
I want to share with you a quick list of things that happened through the whole YWAM process. It’s from an entry that I wrote near the very end of January, while still in Cuba..
So it’s almost February. Wow. In October, February seemed like it was ages away, and now I’m almost there. What have I learned? What has happened this month? How have I grown? What has God shown me?
- I’ve been in Mexico-outreach with different groups, doing different things, and constantly on the fly/in a schedule. And now I’m here in yet another country. More language work, teaching, new ideas and forms of outreach and impact.
- I said goodbye to my family for a month and haven’t talked to them since January 14th
- I’ve taught in Spanish, completely, and translated someone’s teachings into Spanish too
- I rode in many types of transportation: Mexi-bus, sketch van, airplane, cross between mexi-bus and tourist bus, old taxi, horse-drawn wagon taxi, cattle truck with 70 people in it, and a rickety old Cuban bus called a guagua (pronounced “wah-wah”).
- I have been used by God to give words of encouragement to those in need
- I have had fresh, natural, non-processed Cuban coffee form the local mountains.
- I have eaten the same food for weeks and lived with 5 girls in rooms that just progressively get smaller
- I’ve reconciled relationships, and discovered more about how God has wired me to teach
- I’ve sat on a roof in the middle of a dark town, in the middle of Cuba, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea – for one of the best star nights in my whole life
- I have felt what God sees when He’s pleased and smiling down on us.
- I have dreamed dreams that God used to speak to me or others, as well as learned to practically walk out what it is to seek His will in everything.
- I’ve let down my walls and really let people in – in a way differently than ever before.
- I learned more about who I am – how I should see myself as well as others.
- I have been able to learn to accept things I don’t understand, as well as be more flexible.
- Spoke in Spanish over a mic- leaning on Him for words and taking practical steps of faith.
- Really truly decided what I believe and what I stand for; for myself, not because my parents believe it.
- Matured a lot. Spent four months now away from my family, without visits.
- Lived off of rice and beans and bread. Like a Cuban.
- Adjusted to Cuban culture, Mexican culture, Danish culture, as well as Spanish and Venezuelan and Canadian.
- I have learned how to listen to God’s voice in a way that doesn’t depend on myself or my own ideas- but distinguishing what He really wants to say to me.More to add. Always more to add. The processes and lessons have been so many more than just this.
So in a way, yes; this post is about a silly little leather-bound journal that I have. So childish sounding, and yet it’s so important. I wrote in this journal every single one of the 143 days that were my Discipleship Training School; and every day since. Lecture phase: 87 days. Outreach phase: 49 days. Cuba: 31 days. Debrief: 7 days. And yes, I kept track of what day number it was, I guess I’m just a nerd like that.
My point is that everything in DTS that really meant something to me is in this book: the heartache, the freak-outs, the intense and insane moments, the “I’m so blown away by God” times, the quotes, the memories..everything. And now I just finished it. What does that mean for me going forward?
I’m heading into a new phase. One where I can’t hide behind the blanket of “re-entry is tough” and make some excuses. I can’t hang onto the experiences I had. I have to learn from them and move on; embracing what God has for me next – not just focusing on what He had for me then. Everything that He did in me wasn’t just for the moment, or for the sake of my time in Mexico and Cuba. They were all building blocks for life going forward – for the processes going forward. Life changes; things that have forever molded me.
So where does that leave me now? Confidently leaning on Him and living in the present, while being so excited for what He has for me in the future.
Well. That’s the ideal goal at least. I’m not perfect, but this is what I’m striving for: to be able to really be all-in in the moments that God has for me in the here and now. And to carry with me the memories that I cherish and the lessons that I learned.
And besides.. You never know what you might catch when you’re really enjoying where you are…