I love to see how people can be brought together for something great. Love can conquer generations, from 1985 to 2010.
For the past few months I have been reading – Revive me, by Brent Cantelon. Which is a bible in one year, daily devotional. As I’m reading about Moses and the Israelites in the Old Testament, every so often I read about a man who happens to be traveling. Almost everytime someone travels in the Old Testament they seem to have a revelation about God and build an altar. Since I have been hearing and taking little steps towards what God wants to teach me in Africa, and have had great confirmation from the Lord; I felt I needed to build an altar.
When I started this journey of listening for what God wants for me this “school” season, I have often been very discouraged about finances and how i’m supposed to provide for myself to go eventually to Africa (it’s alot of money). God has tried to show me that it’s not about what I can do for myself but what God can do for me. But sometimes I can’t help but worry. One day God told me to make an alter, to lay on my stress about finances and declare Jesus is the provider. Since I live in friendly Manitoba and there’s no place to put an altar I decided a painting was in order.
After a few weeks of putting it off I finally got down on my knee’s and built my altar. Placing a cat’s eye green marble on the right side signifying my past notions of God and lighting a fire as a proclamation of Jehovah Jireh. Jesus the Provider.
With my altar built I’m able to bring my worry to the cross and simply lay it on the altar for Jesus to worry about. Simple stones and a humble heart is what the men had to give. As I trust in the promise of old, keep building altars and laying things down, I know there are good plans for me.
Recently I came back from a canoe trip in Ontario and in my opinion I did not have that great of a time. I wouldn’t say it was bad but I was cold, worked really hard and had very little down time. Sometimes I need to learn that It’s not all about me. Wait. . . Everything’s not about Robyn Pruden! What’s going on!
I have been taught as a leader to do a “check in” to see how the group is feeling emotionally. We do this at the beginning and end of each day, calling it First and Last Lights; A simple number out of 10, a low light and high light. As we were doing the final Last light, the trip summery. I heard two people comment about how the trip would not have been as good if I hadent been there. Here I felt so miserable about my trip and thinking that it was a failure, and they said that it was important that I came. I just wanted to go home but God had me there for a purpose. To speak into a respectable, influential man’s life and to show love to a 10 year old. We see life so much from our perspective when maybe we should be thinking and being thankful that God’s perspective is the one that wins.
I wanted what I wanted. This trip was not for me to be nurtured, but for me to do the nurturing. To my embarrassment, I ask myself why It took till we were going home for me to figure it out. Thank God for grace, that allows us to be used even when we don’t know it.
Let me then ask you, Is there something in your life that He is trying to use you for? Maybe you aren’t reaping the seeds that you have sowed right away but you will eventually harvest them.
I’m reminded once again today of how we need to fix our eyes on the creator instead of the creation. I keep planning about the do’s and when’s and what’s about Africa. When I need to be focused on the do’s and when’s about God. If I was to put all my energy and effort into Africa and leave out God; then if the Africa plan disappears, where am I? It would be me saying to God – You gave me this awesome gift so I don’t need You anymore.
After all these years of being taught and studying the word, I am humbled at how much I don’t follow. Oh sweet grace that I am so thankful for. In my life it’s not about where I’m going or what I want, I want to know where God is taking me and what He wants through me. It seems I need to remember “It’s not the gift, It’s the thought that counts.”
“Headed, I fear, towards a most useless place. The waiting place. . . for people just waiting” Dr.Seuss
Contrary to popular belief waiting is one of the hardest but most important skill that anyone needs to learn. Not in fact useless. Harnessed right and you can have peace about every single aspect of your life, dating, marriage, travel, school, kids and death. Waiting to know that when you make a decision it’s the right one at the exact time.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am in the waiting place and not very happy about it. I tend to be impatient. But how sweet would something be if we did not have to wait for it. Anything good is worth waiting for. All this to say – Be encouraged as you go through waiting periods of your life, that as you wait God is preparing something very good for you. Use that time to help yourself, sharpen your skills and prepare your heart. I have started painting and sharing my story with others. The waiting is hard but you will not stay there forever. Have faith and you will find the bright places!
To continue the story. Ever since I had done a Dts with Ywam 2015 (Youth with a mission), it was always my desire to go back and have some time with one of the families in Ontario. So when God told me to go back because i wouldn’t have time later I hardly even gave it a second thought. I jumped on a plane one week later. Have you ever experienced those people who just make you glad you’re alive? The Chimaican (Chinese + Jamaican) mother of this family one day was talking to me about doing missions in Africa, and something about Africa hit home. I didn’t want to get too excited that it might be the where I had been looking for. I needed more conformation. God reminded me a couple days later about a painting I had done a year before (see adjacent picture) that I until this point had not known why I painted it. Jesus said to me “That painting is a picture of you in Africa. I had you paint it for this moment” I was astonished at how God uses things in our past to bring clarity to the future. That is when I knew my where. My heart became filled when i Started to pursue information and look at pictures of the country. My mother-friend questioned me as to where in Africa i would go. I had no idea, and still don’t. I’m trusting in God to show me the specific place but am grateful and thankful for the country.
I can’t help but praise the Lord for the call from small-town country girl across the world to a place with some parts with no running water. I really believe this might have been the reason that I have dreadlocks. God is always preparing us for what is next.
You must have figured out already that I want to go Africa. I have recently figured this out to so were pretty much on the same page, this is the beginning part of the story.
This summer I served at a camp leading canoe trips. This was a big step for a small town girl but I knew this is what God had me doing. When I finished all the trips and looked back at the experience I saw so many things God had brought out in me. It reignited my love for teaching young adults and the outdoors. I gained some valuable tools but said to God that I did not want to go back to my normal boring life. A short while later He answered my plea to not be average.
Some people are taken aback by my outright trust in what I hear from the Lord. I have mentioned this story to a fair amount of people and I usually get the response “well okay then” in that lovely sarcastic – you’re insane -kinda voice. But its honestly not that big of a deal. So I wanted to do something useful with my life besides the normal ‘Thank you, come again’. So I asked. God responded with a word that made me excited but impatient. He said “I will take you somewhere but I won’t tell you where or when just be ready”
How excited can I be about something that I know nothing about? A few weeks later nothing had come about, so I started to get discouraged; maybe I heard wrong. I decided to go to a worship and teaching conference because surly I would hear somthing there. After the conference had finished I got a call from my mom. She gave me a plethora of information for a job working outdoors with youth. I had a job number, telephone number and a contact person. This seemed like a golden nugget but so outta-the-blue. I was following up with the job untill I heard God say that this job wasnt for me. This job was only to be an example that God can make something outta nothing, So I wasent to lose heart about the words He spoke. I was encouraged but getting impatient, I wanted to know what was next.
Lesson learned in the first part of the story was to not doubt when God says something. I know that God wants to give us the desire of our heart but sometimes we need to be ready for them.