It is amazing to look back on my life and see all the pieces that were brought together to lead me to His purpose. One of my favorite metaphors is that God's weaving of our lives is like cross stiching. To us, we only see the back side that looks all jumbled and messy. But on the front there is a beautiful picture that He had planned from the beginning. My sweet grandmoter, one of the strongest Christian influences in my life, was an avid cross-sticher when I was little. I was always amazed by how beautiful her creations were on the front, when the back was such an utter mess!
I think back to when there were times in my life that were messy and jumbled (and I know there will be more), but I am so grateful now for the beautiful picture that He is creating as He continues to build our mission in Haiti. I have some wonderful tales about how I can look back and see God's hand.... like how He led Jared and I to Northridge becuasse of dear, sweet Tom Jordan's passing. It was there that we heard the sermon that convinced us to go on that first Haiti trip with Soles4Souls. Or how he has led our Haitian friend Paul to worik with Soles so that he could make many more connections with travelers who would develop a passion for helping Haiti and continue to travel there. Travelers like my Soles friend April in Texas, and Amy in Atlanta. Even more amazingly, how He formed an even stronger bond for Amy and I through my cousin and his bandmate Justin, and now we are dear friends with a common mission. My testimony becomes more powerful every day, and I am so thankful.
So now, I don't think I'm such a planner. I have learned to let God lead and do my best to follow.
However, that doesn't mean that I don't get nervous or anxious at times. When we decided to take this summer trip, I was a litlle anxious about raising enough money for me, Jared, mom, and dad's travel expenses PLUS the money needed to complete the projects we want to accomplish. But of course, God has provided. I am so thankful for such generous friends and church family, and for the many fundraising opportunities that the Lord has shown us. What an amazing blessing He gave us in Karen Oakes and the bowling tournament! We are so very close to to our fundraising goal.
With most of the money raised, I have begun to be more anxious about the weather during our trip and the safety of my family members going with me. Just natural human nature. Once again though, the Lord has been speaking to me in the past 2 weeks. The sermon at our church last week was over Matthew 6: 25-34 and how we should give our worries up to the Father. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." This weekend I went to visit my best friend from college, and the sermon was over 2 Timothy 1:7 "For the Lord has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and sound judgement." This is one of my favorite verses, and it is easy for me to rely on this verse when it is just me traveling. But of course I still worry about my family and their safety, because I love them so much.
And then today, the Father leads me again....to Phillipians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God." I hear you Lord. You've taught me to leave the plan up to you, now you are teaching me to leave the follow-through up to you as well. So I lift to you prayers of thanksgiving for all you have provided, and ask you for safety and security for us all as we travel. And I know you will provide. Amen.
This is the cross-stitch that my grandmother made that won a 1st place ribbon at the State Fair when i was younger!