Ireland has captured my attention and heart more than I thought it would, and seeing God’s beauty in numerous ways has revealed things within me I never realized. For instance, while in Dingle, by far the most beautiful location I’ve been in my life, I felt a connection with the Lord in a few ways that made me appreciate Him more. Visual appeal from the luscious green colors all around me, then the variety of blue colors the ocean displayed made me see how vibrant and creative God is.
There was a time one day when everyone in our group split up to just be alone. I walked down to a cliff near to the house where we stayed and sat on the rocks listening to the water flow in and out of the cracks. I thought much about life, how far I’ve come, what I’ve accomplished, what I’ve screwed up, about my future, family, friends, but something the Lord kept placing within me were the words “Trust in me more.” I didn’t quite know yet what this meant to me personally, and it still lingers in my mind. “The voice of truth says do not be afraid, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.” These song lyrics by Casting Crowns came to my mind multiple times throughout the week. It made me think, I’m so selfish. I try so hard to do things on my own and without the help of others, especially God, whom I need to listen to the most. Various situations this week have made me realize how much I need to trust in God’s plan. I have so many questions, and not near enough answers, but knowing that the Lord cares about me and won’t ever leave my side helps me push myself further into believing His will for my life.
Bonding with the team, whether praying, laughing, or crying together; heck even when Josh gets on to RL and I all the time for being too loud and crazy…these are a few ways I’ve felt the presence of God, not just with me, but with the people I’ve grown close and special to in just a few days. Getting to spend every hour every day with these people has been exhausting at times, but rewarding as well. I’ve loved growing and learning alongside with them and will be sad when we have to leave.
Last week we helped at a ministry organization called Storehouse, located in Belfast. Storehouse offers food, clothes, rehab, community, and most importantly, staff who love Jesus towards all sorts of troubled people. Getting to learn about their ministry made me eager to step in and help out as I could. We made food for a while, and then engaged with the people there. I felt nervous and awkward at first, probably because I could barely understand their deep Irish accent, but also because they were total strangers to me. But why did that matter? Isn’t that what we’re called to do as believers and followers of Christ? To show the love of Christ to all who are able to receive it? After talking with a few people, I felt encouraged by simply engaging in a totally normal conversation with them. Not shoving Jesus down their throat, but just offering myself as someone they can listen and talk to. Getting to share my life and pour into these people was a blessing and helped clear my mind from all the distractions I tend to have.
Hope everyone is doing well. With love,