Faith

Standing at the Edge

At some point in every person’s life, they stand on the edge of a cliff, faced with a life-changing decision and wondering whether to take the plunge. Over the past few years, I’ve been faced with such decisions several times. I’ve literally taken that jump in the form of bungee jumping, and that was far easier than what I’m faced with now. Now I’m at another edge, shuffling my feet towards the drop-off, wondering if I can stand to take the plunge yet again. There are no safety cords, keeping me connected with the home I’ve created: it’s all or nothing. But more on that later.

The biggest leap I’ve taken in my life was packing up my life and moving to Africa for two years with the Peace Corps. I left everything I knew behind, and stumbled off the 16 hour flight with 2 suitcases and anticipation of the unknown. The Lord told me to go, and against all reason, I left. I didn’t know why He was sending me to Africa, let alone with the Peace Corps. I asked and asked to be shown the reason, to no avail. So stepping off that plane, I had no clue what God had planned for me. It would have been easy to say “No, not know. I need to do this, or this…” or “No, that is an insane idea!” But oh my, looking back on the past year and a half, I understand what the Lord had in mind. I’ll never forget the long, hot ride in a cramped car from Kuruman when the Lord slapped me upside the head and told me what I was doing here. Nor can I forget the long morning walk when the Lord whispered into my heart, prompting me to start this blog and share my walk of faith.

If I had said no, I would never have found the passion that I will base my career path on. If I had caved into my fears and stayed in my comfort zone, I would have never heard of the village that is now my home. I wouldn’t know, I wouldn’t have seen, and I certainly wouldn’t have understood life in Africa. I wouldn’t have seen a glimpse of the amazing future the Lord has planned for me, one which scares me in its grandness. I know that this is my God-Sized Dream, to create a ministry of service that teaches people to provide food for themselves through gardening. Whoa. I don’t know how to get from here to there either

Now I stand at another cliff, fearing to fully commit. I believe the Lord is challenging me to commit to a third year here, to uproot myself and move halfway across the country. More student loan debt, more time away from my friends and family, more loneliness, more frustration, more exhaustion, and more time fighting off tears and anger: I know what the costs are. What do I stand to benefit? Once again, the Lord is asking me to leap without telling me why. Perhaps He’s just testing my obedience.

I know in my heart of hearts that I can’t say no. But saying yes is still scary. In the process of writing this post today, I found a quote off the blog which inspired this post, by Holley Gerth. She mentions that embracing my God Sized Dream means saying “yes” to whatever God asks.
“It means choosing faith over fear. It means moving forward instead of holding back. It means believing God can accomplish His purposes for your life-no matter how hard things are right now.”

Gulp. I think the Lord is trying to tell me something. Maybe to stop dragging my feet and commit already.

Ok, I’m all in. It’s time to jump. I’m still terrified, but I’m trusting the Lord is there to catch me. Hello Year Three of the “toughest job I’ll ever love.”

PS. Oh how the Lord provides! As soon as I saved this, I received an email response from Peace Corps staff about my extension opportunities. I think that was the Lord saying “about time already!”
-Jen

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