"Lord, make me decrease that You may increase and keep me small and humble. Cause me to embrace that simplest of truths - that all wonder and worship can only grow out of smallness." - Ann Voskamp
Time is ticking, no faster than usual, but how it does seems so. Next week, I'll traveling south ...as in South America... with Marty and 16 other students and adults to minister to the people of Quito, Ecuador. I am scared to smithereens! I am scared to be in a country that I've never been to before. I'm scared to be totally unable to understand the language. (French and Japanese aren't going to work.) I'm scared to be possibly put in charge of one of the groups while there. I'm scared to leave my girls for so long. Tears flow spontaneously at least once a day just thinking about it.
One evening when the thoughts became overwhelming and fear wanted to overtake me, Marty reminded me that fear never comes from the Lord, that I needed "to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). There are verses after verses encouraging us as believers to not fear, to not be discouraged or anxious.
On another morning when I was unable to go back to sleep, the worrywarts began to consume my mind, even more so because I wasn't able to write anything down. But by His grace, the Holy Spirit brought back to mind the verses in Philippians 4, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
"Anything" encompasses a lot! There are so many important words within these verses, but I want to focus on "thanksgiving." How thankful I truly am to be given this gift of accompanying my husband on this mission trip! Over the next 8 days, it will be so easy to allow my eyes and my mind to stray to those worries and fears. But if I can focus on "thanksgiving," remember the millions of blessings He's already shown and given, then by His grace, God will be glorified through all of this.
Next week, I hope to share how we are handling leaving our girls (in the capable hands of my parents and sisters) for the week. Some will be ideas my parents did for me as a child going to boarding school as well as some ideas from others. Tears will most definitely be shed (by me!) over this.