It has been a while. I feel as if there's probably a lot to explain, as though there's some agenda I'm following. How bizarre.
First, I suppose, is a story of how God works through everything, even when we don't realise it (which for me is most of the time) to fulfill His plan for our lives.
So, on my heart for years now has been this longing to share love with people. Here, there, UK, abroad. The more I get to know God, the more my heart is burdened with the beautiful weight of His. I've often thought of going abroad on a short term mission- not only the past few summers, but few people know I strongly considered leaving for Africa instead of taking up my place at college. It's quite common knowledge that I came ridiculously close to a gap-year involving mission abroad before university too. I love God, people and the world. They're all incredible. But in the past, these considerations, when put to prayer, have been stamped by God, "wait". Frustrating, but each time that which I took up in the UK instead was integral to the building of relationships and faith. When I conceded (for I am so stubborn), and came to uni, I felt that this was the year. Finally. I was meant to be in Sheffield, and the past had been leading to this. Getting here was fulfillment. Phase one as it were. Obviously this was for a purpose, but I can't divulge this yet, because it's not all clear to me yet, but it's all exciting. God's got it all going off.
But yes, once I was in Sheff, and roots were in September trusted to be put down eventually, I felt it time to make plans for the next summer and God no longer said "wait" but "go". I would get abroad, show love and serve, and grow in God. So I decided to go to Namibia. I know an organization out there that took over from YFC Namibia and I would stay at the orphanage I have connections with and serve in their "choose to wait" ministries and with the local kids. I was excited.
But then, a change came in the situation, and to all extents and purposes, I freaked. This change made me doubt my own heart, and as a result I became scared that although my motives had been pure and Jesus-focussed in the beginning, that developments would change them to more selfish ones. That I would go with my mind conscious of keeping up with other people, sort of along the same line of "God points", not wanting to fall behind in the stats of service and experience, that I would become more concerned about what certain other people thought of me going out than I was about the mission itself. I would not go if this was the case. How could I? Motives had to be right.
So I put the application on hold. I should point out that this all happened the day I was going to book flights to Windhoek Namibia. I put it all down, laid it all down and asked God to sort me out. To humble me and turn my face to His. So I took a few weeks, praying, trying to get my heart in the right place. To focus completely on God and serving Him and others. I couldn't make any decision until this was the case. Only when I felt at peace with the whole thing, that I was going to serve, that it didn't matter who else was doing what, that God was the only thing my eyes were set on, did I make any firm decision on Namibia. It wasn't ideal. I'd be alone, when a team would have been much safer and provide a more wholesome experience...but I trusted God would provide that and protection within the orphanage.
However. God works in amazing ways. And the day after I felt my heart was firmly on track, I went for coffee with my cell leader, who, after hearing a flippant mention of my Namibia plans, asked me if I'd like to go to Mozambique instead with some students from church. It had been organised a while, but he said he could try to get me on. I said yes please. Am I sure I don't want to go alone? Yes, quite- I was terrified alone. The timing was perfect. Absolutely. I realise now that God had to let me go with my own plan for a little bit, had to get me to go through that phase of preparing my heart in terms of leaving and not being affected by other things, get my motivation right...before He could put this opportunity in front of me. Otherwise, I would have just had to leave it because I wouldn't be able to seek Him alone.
So that's long. But it's exciting and comforting. He's got it all sorted and we don't even know it most of the time.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28