This has been one of the most influential sermons for the season I am in right now. Even though I didn’t realize it in the beginning, I’m so appreciative of the time I’ve had at Gateway Church and the anointing and impact I will take with me to Barcelona. I would HIGHLY recommend listening to it! “It Doesn’t Take a Rocket Scientist”
I’ve been so excited to start the process of preparing for Spain, and I feel so encouraged by all of my friends and family, and even STRANGERS that have been praying for me! I’m already seeing God’s provision through all of your support. Here is an update on where I am at with financial partnership:
Thank you to everyone who has given so far, and those who are praying about being a financial partner! I’m so excited for what God is doing in Barcelona, and that He’s bringing me into it. I would love to talk to you more about it over coffee or lunch!
“If you entrust all you do to Adonai [Master], your plans will achieve success.”
“Despite the obstacles, I felt a surprising level of comfort living in Uganda most of the time. I felt I was born to be there, and in many ways, living there seemed more natural than living in my native country. I had the unexplainable feeling, a settled knowing, that I was where I was made to be. I knew deep in my soul that I was home.” -Katie Davis
I have never found a quote that sums up my burden for the Spanish people more than this one. Really, for 12 years, I have had this inexplicable, down-to-my-core knowledge that I was not meant to live in in the U.S. Every time I returned to any Spanish-speaking country, I felt more at home there than in my own country.
God didn’t just “tell me” that he was calling me to be a missionary when I was 13 years old. It wasn’t a conversational exchange of facts about my future life. He reached deep down into the core of who I was, removed my own ambitions and dreams, and completely replaced them for His. It was like His passion for the Hispanic people became interwoven in my DNA. It’s not what I am to do– it’s who I am.
That’s what makes this all so exciting. Most people think of being a “missionary” as tiring and sacrificial. Of course, this time will have its difficulties, and I will be stretched more than I ever have been. But the passions HE has given me are so much more substantial and breath-taking then any barrier that may weigh me down.
…had many sons. And many sons had Father Abraham.
Here we are on Thanksgiving, chanting this song in a valiant effort to calm down my distressed niece after 3 hours of driving to Fort Worth, sitting in traffic, trying to find a parking spot to attend the Festival of Lights, failing repeatedly to find a parking spot, giving up, and making the trek back home. And as my mom desperately and hopefully serenades Skylar, my mind immediately flashes back to exactly one year ago– to my Thanksgiving in the Himalayas. We had stopped in a Tibetan village to teach 5 children at a local school about proper hygiene. Our wonderful leader, Chandra, suddenly asked us to teach the kiddos a song, and my mind dug deep into my Children’s Church years to give me one song: Father Abraham. As our little audience stared us with a look mixed with intrigue and shock, we continued through all 5 motions of Father Abraham. Eventually, I had the sense to INCLUDE the kids in the, well, KIDS song, and they joined in with giggles. Following the unconventional school lesson, we played soccer and passed out stickers– all while in the center of the most beautiful valley. Out of the whole trip, it was truly one of my favorite moments.
What a vast contrast between my past 2 Thanksgivings! I decided to go back into my journal and reminisce on my time in the Himalayas, which is where I found my Thanksgiving Day journal entry:
I begin to rouse out of my deep sleep and transition into reality. Cracking my eyes open, I see nothing. Wide open now—still nothing. It’s pitch dark, and I am unable to move. Panic strikes me. I reason with myself: I’m physically restricted due to my mummy sleeping bag, and I can’t see anything because I am in fact, in the Himalayas, and it’s probably 5am. But something still isn’t quite settling about those scratching sounds I hear all around me— and the fact that I can’t see or move isn’t helping. I check my watch, and it is indeed 5am. Great. Thank you, jet lag. Nepal is exactly 12 hours ahead of Texas, so I give myself some credit for being able to shift time zones as much as I have in 2 days.
But, back to those scratching noises… It sounds like something is running across the thatched roof above me. I almost throw out a quick, “Is anyone else awake?”, but somehow my frivolous insecurities hold me back. For the next hour, I simply lay there, going back and forth between praying for the children I will encounter that day, and praying that a rat doesn’t crawl over my face. Finally, it’s 6am, and I can’t hold back anymore. A soft, “Is anyone else awake?” was greeted with 3 desperate voices shouting “YES!!” Someone swiftly turns on the little, battery-powered light bulb hanging from our thatched roof, and all of us immediately begin to discuss the mental torture endured in the last hour (in which, of course, we were all wide awake). After a panicked conclusion that yes, indeed, rats were probably all around us, we decided to make our way outside to hit up the squatty-potty and watch the sunrise. We crack the door open and immediately see 4 people sleeping on the floor outside our room. Most likely, the family gave up their beds for us.
As the sun illuminates our surroundings, the fullness of our adventure began saturating my soul. In front of me is a magnificent snow-capped peak with a waterfall streaming into a river that cut through the village sitting at the base of the mountain. But the real sight is to my right, where the valley ripples with mountain terrain and graduated farming terraces. THAT was the real sight because of the stories it secretly held for my future.
One Thanksgiving in Nepal, one in Keller, and the next? Barcelona.
It’s very interesting to me, and not coincidental at all, that my 25th birthday is ushering in a year of preparation and change. I’ve reached a quarter of a century. For the past 25 years, I’ve been a child. Even in college, or the 2 years working post-graduation, I’ve still viewed myself as young and inexperienced– looking into the future as untapped adult “life” that will come eventually.
But now, I feel like I’ve reached a tipping point in my life.
I’m 25– officially past the line of “college student” or “newly graduated”. I’m not in my studying stage, or “finding myself” period. I know where God has called me. I’ve known since I was 13 years old. Yet, it has always been a dream– a far-off, almost unreachable calling.
But it’s actually happening. As my friend Carina said,
“It’s like you’ve been waiting for the proposal for 11 years, and now you finally have the ring! The next year is wedding preparation.”
So here’s to my 25th year. The year of preparation and new-found adulthood. I look forward to the moment I’m celebrating my 26th birthday in a place He called me to 12 years previously. I suspect it will be a very fulfilling day. Maybe I’ll blow the candles out on wedding cake.
I’m moving to Spain.
For those of you who don’t know me well, I’ve known since I was 13 years old that God called me to live, work, and share His love with others in a Spanish speaking country. The question has never been IF I’m going, but when and where. Since I first heard His voice so clearly in Mexico, I always assumed it would be Mexico! Or any other Latin American country…
But then I studied in Barcelona. And I met John and Brandi Carrano. And I became involved with the International Church of Barcelona. And God completely took over from there.
The funny part is, I studied in Barcelona to travel Europe since I “knew” I would be living in Latin America for the rest of my life. Because, when would I possibly get the chance again to travel Europe?
I can’t help but wonder sometimes… what if my Dad wasn’t stationed in Texas? What if my mom was never sick– keeping us in Texas for her proper healthcare? What if I hadn’t gone on that mission trip to Mexico? What if I went to UT? What if I hadn’t worked at Sweet Eugene’s, inevitably meeting Amber who first introduced me to the International Studies Degree? What if I actually ended up studying in Argentina like I had originally planned? What if I studied in a different city in Spain? WHAT IF SHE NEVER ENDS THIS PARAGRAPH OF QUESTIONS?
But in all seriousness, when I look back on how God so intricately wove the details of my life leading me to this place, and I’m only 25 years old, I’m overwhelmed with the thought of how much more He has planned for me. I remember hearing a pastor saying once, “God cares more about your destiny and calling than you ever could.” As much as that goes against my self-deprecating nature, I’m beginning to accept it. And it’s pretty fantastic, y’all.
So here’s to the start of a new season. Here’s to the next year of preparation. And I truly mean it when I say, thank you for being a part of it.
I know what you’re thinking. No, I don’t have the “movie-high” induced after seeing a great movie for the first time. There are just some incredible lessons to be learned that aren’t addressed in previous Disney movies.
1.) You CAN’T fall in love in one day
I couldn’t be HAPPIER that Disney made fun of the fact that Anna fell in love with Hans in one day. If the cheesy “Love is an Open door” song wasn’t enough to hammer in their point, Kristoff repeatedly proclaimed his shock when finding out that Anna got engaged to a man she just met. “Loving” someone after knowing them for less than a month is nothing more than infatuation. It’s about time, Disney. It’s about time.
2.) “True Love” is manifested through a sister relationship
Wow! You mean a Disney movie doesn’t have to revolve around the peril of 2 lovers being torn apart by an evil villain? I know, there are movies like Mulan and Tangled with lead female roles trying to “find/prove themselves”, and the romance is just a sub-plot. But this is the first movie that HIGHLIGHTS a relationship between sisters and the love that connects them.
3.) Don’t bury or run away from your hurt and pain
Burying or running away from your hurt and pain not only doesn’t help you, it will also affect everyone around you. The overflow of Elsa’s fear cursed an entire town. No amount of stuffing will ever keep the bitterness, fear, shame, ect. from seeping out and affecting everyone in proximity. You can’t hate yourself and love others.
4.) Your gifts and strengths can be used for good AND evil
There is a pattern in Disney movies: there is good and evil– no in between. The good people are good, and the bad people are bad. But that’s not how the world works. All of us are responsible for our own gifts and strengths. We have to be good stewards of our own characters. Elsa was using her gift in a poor way. I understand she wasn’t intentionally doing this, but in the end, she allowed fear to control her instead of walking in confidence and taking control of the situation in a healthy way.
5.) Ordinary men can be manipulative and evil
You don’t have to be a sorcerer to be evil. Past Disney villains were OBVIOUSLY evil and creepy with names like Scar or being an all-out sorcerer like Jafar. They aren’t humanized, they’re just evil. You don’t feel empathy for them. You can’t relate to them. They’re the “bad guys”, and of course, you’re on the good guys’ side. But Hans was JUST a man who chose to act poorly to work his way to the top. After getting past the ridiculously corny love song in the beginning, you actually grew to like him and root for him. I sure didn’t want him to fall to his doom at the ice castle! In fact, you probably know a Hans. You don’t particularly like him, but he’s still human.