If you were to tell me that, in my life time, I would be doing surgery, in a tent, in an underground emergency field hospital, in Ukraine, during a war, I wouldn’t believe you! But, that is exactly what happened a few weeks ago, and it was an experience that I’ll never forget. Not only because of the opportunity to serve others in ways I never imagined, but because of how God took me to a place of obedience and trust, and showed me His power and ability to do amazing things that I could never think of.
I, along with many others, have the mentality that I am more capable, more independent, more in control than what I actually am. In reality, I am dependent, I’m not capable, and definitely not in control. I have been a Christian my whole life, and my walk with the Lord has had it’s ups and downs, like any relationship. But over the last few years of living comfortably in my faith and walk with God, He decided that I needed to wake up and get in the game, rather than being a spectator on the sidelines.
I had all the excuses. As a wife, mom, and a nurse working full time, I got really good at saying ‘no’ to God. After all, I was busy, it might be hard, I might mess up, my husband and kids need me, I might have to take time off work…the list was endless! After many nudges and excuses, I finally surrendered. I realized that what was getting in the way of deepening my relationship with God was….me!!! Duh!!!! Isn’t that always the case? We are always in the way of letting God use us to do amazing things!
After I said yes, I felt a weight lift and God’s hand rest on my shoulder, walking along side me saying, “I’ve got this, let’s go!” What an amazing place to be! It didn’t take long for God to put me in the game, and I headed to Ukraine with Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). I was amazed by the amount of people that responded on the DART, from all over the world, coming together with a shared vision to serve those in need, to heal their hurts, and to share about the love of Jesus. I have never witnessed the body of Christ in action like that before. I was honored to care for the hurting in such a vulnerable time and humbled that God asked me to help be a part of His plan of restoration, to be a light during such dark times.
What I wasn’t prepared for was all the blessing that I have and continue to receive from going on this adventure. My small mind thought “I’m going to Ukraine to serve in the capacity that I know how.” But God has used this trip as an incredible witness to so many people in Silverton, and beyond. I had no idea that through my obedience, there would be this ripple effect. Like throwing a stone into a pond, and the wake that it creates, so broad and ongoing. I have never had such an opportunity to share about Jesus. It is exciting and I am overjoyed!
2 Corinthians 9:6-15 talks about generosity, which I used to think of as giving of money. But now, I see it as time and sacrifice. I used to think of sacrifice as a negative, like it was going to hurt me in some way, but as the message says in verse 12, that the service you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Sacrifice shows thanks?! I have so much to be thankful for! It continues on saying that obedience to God is a confession of the gospel, and that God will be praised. Being generous with obedience is a sacrifice, but it is also an indescribable gift!
I know that God is amazing! But He has taken my faith to a whole new level and I don’t want to lose momentum. I encourage anyone reading this to “go for it,” in whatever God is asking of you. Your eyes will be opened and you will finally be able to see what he has planned for you. Was going to Ukraine during a war scary, uncertain, risky, crazy? Sure! But that is not the point! The safest place to be is in the will of God! Eph 2: 10 says “for we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God has plans for you, get out of the way and let him do it! I am, and I’m ready for more…what’s next God?