First, isn’t it amazing to have the sun shining?? It truly is amazing how much joy can come just from seeing the sun create a bright day!

Well, time has come where we are now down to days in the single digits until we leave for South Africa! NINE days from today we are heading to the airport to travel to another continent! It’s quite unbelievable!

While there have been a lot of things that I have been doing to prepare for this journey, prayer is something that I am trying to improve upon. I am finding myself getting anxious about this journey as I am putting myself in a position where I have no control over what happens. Not that I have control over my life when I am at home and completing my “normal” daily routines, but the idea of being in an airplane, not having knowledge of what is occurring with the pilot, what our flight plan looks like, how much fuel we have, and so on…is all a little unnerving to me. The battle within myself is currently: how can I surrender these fears? We are going to be somewhere where it takes almost 24 hour travel time to reach the door of our home. This fact seriously blows my mind at times! My over-processing brain loves to continue thinking about scenarios of our time in South Africa, but ultimately I must remember to continue praying for guidance and a calm heart and mind from my Lord. With all of these thoughts and fears running through my mind, it seems God loves to remind me that HE is the one in control!!!! It is HIM who I must lean upon for true security.

I just completed a class last week, which fortunately gives me opportunities to begin reading books I have been “storing” in order for me to fully concentrate on my textbooks and class lessons. So, the other day I began reading The Dance of Life by Henri J.M. Nouwen. Nouwen has so many amazing writings, and the Dance of Life is a compilation of some of his great works. I began reading one evening before turning out the light for the night, when God brought one of the most pertinent and wonderful passages to me, written by Nouwen. The passage state:

“…It takes courage to move away from the safe place into the unknown, even when we know that the safe place offers false safety and the unknown promises us a saving intimacy with God. We realize quite well that giving up the familiar and reaching out with open arms towards him who transcends all our mental grasping and clinging makes us very vulnerable. Somewhere we sense that, although holding on to our illusions might lead to a truncated life, the surrender in love leads to the cross… It is a sign of spiritual maturity when we can give up our illusory self-control and stretch out our hands to God. But it would be just another illusion to believe that reaching out to God will free us from pain and suffering. Often, indeed, it will take us where we rather would not go. But we know that  without going there we will not find our life. ‘Anyone who loses his life…will find it’ (Matt 16:25), Jesus says, reminding us that love is purified in pain”. (Dance of Life, pg.41-42)

Isn’t that amazing? It seems to be so applicable to my fears. I have found it easy to talk about how God will work through us and guide us, yet I know that it is even more important for me to fully believe this principle.

My prayer is that I continue to walk with Him and FULLY rely upon His promises.