I went on my third mission trip this summer and I was still nervous leading up to the trip. Before I go on these trips I spend time praying and part of my prayer is for God to reveal to me what my purpose is for going on this trip, besides loving on others. If you allow God he will work on you as he's working through you to help others and that is what I wanted to know. What was God going to do with me?
He was trying to tell me what he was going to do long before I accepted it. God kept using two words, either someone else would speak them or I would say it and finally it sunk in. God wanted me to get out of my comfort zone. You see, last summer my life changed drastically after my first mission trip to Honduras, but as time went by I allowed him to change me and then I stopped allowing that change because I was comfortable with where I was at. I didn't do this intentionally but let's be honest, we only like to change so much before we crave the past, the safety of knowing what that life was like. When you change you have no safety because it is unknown. This is false thinking, our safety and our hope comes from God. I can say that now, but I couldn't last month when I was preparing for my mission trip. It's not that I didn't believe it, but I didn't want to accept that I would be okay if I stepped out of my comfort zone even more.
As I loaded a van to go to Houston earlier this month I was stepping out of my comfort zone and subconsciously accepting that God would take care of me. I was nervous about this trip, because I spent no time outside of church with the other people going. I allowed my thoughts to consume me, I was one of the youngest on the trip so what would they think of me, what would I have to say to them, what do I have in common with them; are just a few of the questions that ran through my mind. As the week went on I found out I had more in common with some of them than I thought. One of the ladies in the group even grew up in a neighboring town to where I grew up. I still didn't talk much, but I did speak. I was able to talk to Genesis, the pastor's wife, most of the time without an interpreter. We managed to communicate with her knowing just enough English and me knowing just enough Spanish to get our points across. After a while, I was comfortable enough I initiated conversations with our host missionaries, Max and Jennifer Kennedy.
The entire time in Costa Rica I kept asking God what do you want me to do to get out of my comfort zone while on this trip and it hit me as we sat at the airport ready to head home. I was out of my comfort zone the entire trip, from the day I loaded the van, because I went with a group of people who I did not know, I worked side by side with them to do good for others, but more importantly it made me pray to and rely on God not only daily but every minute of the day. He opened my eyes in the airport and revealed to me that when you trust Him you can survive outside of your comfort zone. I can't wait to see what else He does to grow me as I trust Him when I'm out of my comfort zone. Until next time remember, “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” (2 Timothy 1:7)