Ahhh my head is full! Four weeks ago I was checking into a flight at Heathrow airport. From there myself and two others, Anika and Leah, were headed to Cape Town South Africa. I have already shared the story of ‘Sallie’ in a previous post but those two weeks were crammed full with connections, meals, conversations, penguins, workshops, Chuck, research, movies, fun, really cold weather…. From there we traveled
back to Heathrow and flew on to Greece where we spent a few days by the sea in Leptocorea with other team leaders from Fusion Europe. At this point we separated – Anika and Leah returned to the UK and I headed north to Albania for a fantastic weekend with the team there. I have been back home a week now, having been sick for the last 10 days of the trip, its been all about recuperation, transition and seeking God’s face in a fresh way.
I am still not back to full strength physically but its been very much a ‘God’ time. The trip to Africa and Europe was a chance to get stuck into mission, to focus my energy in service of others and join God’s work with them. It was a ‘breather’ from some of the unresolved issues that form the reality of my life at the moment. Coming back home was to face these realities again, a difficult and painful thing to do, but somehow easier from the perspective of returning from having immersed myself in God’s kingdom work elsewhere.
Since being back I have been reading Edith Schaeffer’s account of the incredible ministry that God called her and her husband into, L’Abrie. A remarkable story of learning to simply trust God and follow him; a story of faith and prayer, of God’s leading as he unfolds part of his master plan; a story of countless lives transformed as God’s will is sought and carried out. I have felt challenged and reminded of the summer of 2003 when God called me into full time ministry, called me to trust him for all my needs.
God has been speaking to me in other ways, over the months our team have spoken of the dream that God seems to have given us for a community of hope, founded on faith and prayer. There are things we say we will do when we ‘get there’ but gentle Holy Spirit has been nudging and asking whether its likely we will then, if we aren’t now… In the last few weeks there have been devotions brought, verses from Daily Light, facebook postings… and a growing clarity in what God is saying.
I realise that beyond the ache that I carry for a home base, a place of peace and hospitality from where I would travel Europe and Africa supporting and encouraging those in front line mission, beyond that sometimes desperate longing, is a deeper longing to know God’s will and be found in the centre of it. For months and years I have been praying ‘Father let your will be done in my life, align my will with yours, work in me to do and to will according to your purpose’. And he has been doing that, I can see it as I look back, but I sense there is more he wants.
When David commissioned Solomon to build the temple he commanded him ‘get to know the God of your ancestors, worship him with a whole heart and a willing mind.’ When Paul writes to the Romans he tells them ‘ I beg you…offer yourself as worship… let God change the way you think… then you will know what he wants you to do…’ . I am realising in a fresh way that if I want to work in partnership with God, not just busy doing good things, but actually working with him on the things he directs me to, then I need to set myself aside to be with him and get to know him. I need to allow him to change the way I think.
The last six months have been crazy busy, I have experienced a level of burn out even though I have seen God do great things. I sense God calling me to change the way I do things, to get to know him and learn how to walk with him in a new way.