Today I've been thinking about Nigeria because I get to share at CBNW Women's camp tomorrow. It is amazing to think about all the things that have changed since then but that God is still the same faithful God who walked me through that part of His plan for me.
Right now the part that is jumping out at me is the change in me that happened from constantly needing to KNOW that God was with me and sent me, to coming home and forgetting that the truth of that still applies. ( I just had my first oppourtunity to talk to a co-worker and I feel like it was botched... But it is what God does in her heart...Please give me the words Lord!)
I want to live with purpose where I am!
In the end so much comes down to prayer. I think that is what I will talk about at Tadmor tomorrow. I was living with purpose as I actively sought God's heart for each situation. It was intensified of course because I could see my need in a clearer way. I couldn't fall back on security of my family, Josh, knowing my surroundings, or even knowing what I was supposed to do in a situation. At this very moment I am a woman who loves Jesus and desperately wants to love Him more, I'm getting married in 15 days, and I spend most of my time answering phones and doing busywork as a receptionist for a job that God obviously gave me. I don't want to slip back into "knowing what I'm doing," that is when I strike out on my own and mess things up. That is what I've learned. What I will share is the journey God took me on to learn that, and that He used to remind me of it today.
About Two years ago I was working at a greenhouse watering plants and praying and started thinking about and praying for women in prostitution.
Two years ago this weekend I went to women's camp and was encouraged with how God "packs our bags" and slowly prepares us for what is coming. I sat out by the lake and talked to God about where he was preparing me for and I knew I needed to go to Nigeria.
Six months later(FEB)(when I thought it should have only been3!) I was preparing to go. I prayed SO specifically. One prayer was that God would give me the next step in the preparation process when I had time to do it(School was crazy)... and every single time something would happen so that as soon as I had the next step I could move forward. Classes were canceled, work shifts were changed, and people were there at exactly the right moments.
I ended up going home on Feb 15th to speak to my church about going to Nigeria and to ask for their prayers and support. In God's perfect plan, my parents werent there because Levi decided to talk about martyrdom in my intro... thats right " So Holly is going to Nigeria and she could die! Give her money!" Anyway, Since it was the day after Valentines day we got to hear about marriage. And I (being incredibly single) was incredibly frustrated. To top it off, I lost my keys during the second service so I got to hear TWICE instead of going home to pack and coming back to talk with people at the end. In the middle of it all I was journaling and God asked me a question. What if you only had a year to be undistracted? (From Corinthians "A single woman is undistracted") What would you do? And my honest answer was everything that I'm doing now- I would definately be going to Africa, I would definately be leading Salt... and on.
Two months later (April) I started dating Josh out of the blue. Phonecall home= Hi mom... I have a boyfriend.... What? who? I've never heard of him!?
We had s tarted getting to know one another walking around at SALT doing street ministry. I was so focused on helping the team be sucessful that I had no idea he was interested in me until he asked me out. The only thing that could have kept us from seeing if it would work out was because I was leaving the country for 4 months.
A year ago (July) I was in preparation to leave the country in 35 days. God had promised to provide in striking ways- and carried out His promises. My Parents and Josh had all started to realize what it really meant that I would be leaving for 4 months. I am absoloutly convinced that I knew I would marry Josh after a conversation we had about how he had to trust God with me since he wouldn't be there to take care of me. His favorite phrase during that time was "it is well" from the song, and meaning that God was giving him peace about seemingly letting me go.
August 20th when I stepped on the plane it suddenly hit me, but God comforted me in a way I'll never forget. As we started to gain altitude and tears welled up in my eyes and I tried not to cry on the plane i heard as plain as day " I love you my child' and I knew I would be ok. God taught me a lot about his adoptive love as he rescued me and made me his child and I am still mulling over that often...
I only have a few more minuted to write(I'm at work with NOTHING to do but practice my typing skills :P) and this went a completely different way that I expected. I expected to talk about how God gave Karis and I the same heart to be part of a ministry to prostitutes in Nigeria. How the ministry I thought I'd be joining hadn't existed in 5 years. How God brought Karis and I and Missy Camiola ( a 4 month, 2 year and a long term missionary) into the brothels and prisons of Nigeria. and how God is sustaining the vision to rescue these women, not only from their situation but to adopt them as daughters. Would you love them like a daughter?
I think I planned to write that because it is what I DID, but the important part is who Jesus has made me be.