This verse has been a keystone in my life ever since college.  I can remember reading it one night and the words popping into my head differently that they ever had before.  It wasn’t about me and what I thought should be right or what my own understanding was.  It wasn’t how I saw the situation or even how I understood it to be.  My own understanding was so small in comparison to the understanding that God had for all of the circumstances surrounding me.  And so the focus flipped from me trying to understand circumstances to me trusting.  And in a way… that’s how I ended up here.

Someone reminded me this last week that my year mark was coming up.  Infact, it is now past.  They talked about how going from the first to the second year is the hardest… and I thought….  this first year couldn’t have been any harder.  In a way, maybe it’s like this last year was a second year to me.  Over the last year I’ve watched several friends head off to foreign lands and new experiences as well, but I feel like the experiences they had during that first year were different from what I had.  There was little newness and yet all was new over this last year.  There were adjustments – sometimes monthly, sometimes weekly.  There were situations that were rewarding and situations that I thought could not get any harder.

Not having consistency.  Not knowing about the future.  These can cause immediate stress because we as humans are wired to want to have schedules and plan and know what is to come.  And so really, as I reflect on this last year.  As I reflect why is was that I came here in the first place.  As I ask myself what this last year has been all about… it can be summed up by saying I only knew I had to be obedient to what had been laid on my heart.  I knew that I was needed.  I knew that I was a piece of the puzzle that God was putting together here.  And I knew I had a choice.  To remain where I was comfortable within the security of the boundaries of my life…. or to not lean on my own understanding.  To step out into the unknown and cling to a reliance on trust with all of my heart.  One day… the path will be straight!

Fear often grips us from making any decision.  And fear I definitely had last summer not knowing what to expect.  But fear is just a distraction that keeps us from living at our potential.  A friend is here with us this week who has made a decision in her life that requires a lot of faith in Christ as well….. and as we talked over the decision she made and moving forward…. we were reminded that staying where we are because we don’t know what it will look like on the other side is not really an option.  Sometimes we are only asked to take the next step… and in the next step God will reveal to us what the step after that looks like.  This has been life for me and I have been in constant change over the last year.  But what I seek each day is simple… to be available and used by God how He intends.

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