Since I have been here, God has been teaching me and showing me so many things. Sharing my faith and what I believe has been an on going theme of this trip. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God has given me the boldness and a desire for those here to know the truth about Jesus. Yet, It is hard for me not to let my selfishness get in the way and distract me from God’s purpose of my trip. Having no expectations going into this trip has been a blessing because I don’t have an expectation to fulfill in my head. However, due to being in another country completely foreign to my own… my emotions can be all over the place sometimes. There are times when I love the reality of being immersed in a different culture and other times I just want to be in a familiar environment.
God has given us so many opportunities to see and experience the hearts of the people He has placed around us. Heather and I knew that God was going to use us on this trip, but we had no idea how or what that would like. God has not only answered many of our prayers but He has truly exceeded our expectations and all that we could imagine. God has not only given us various opportunities to speak the truth, but He has given us such joy and spontaneous adventures along the way.
God has truly been incredibly gracious to me over the course of this trip. Although I don’t know the language, He has provided me people and worked out situations for me that I could never handle on my own. A benefit of people not speaking my language allows for me to be able to silently pray to myself without anyone knowing what I am saying. During work, I literally just talk silently with Jesus sometimes and call on His name for power to help me understand those I work with. I have good and bad days with speaking Spanish but the most comforting thing is knowing I am never alone, no matter where I go. Though it is frustrating to not always be understood by those around you, to know I am fully understood by Christ and that He will always understand is a comforting truth. This truth about God has sustained me throughout this trip.
The condition of my heart after attaining an experience like this is complete gratitude and contentment. What I have learned about life and about people is an unending list. Before coming on this trip, I was apprehensive if going to Spain was what God wanted me to do this summer. After praying fervently about this trip and the intentions of my heart, I began to realize something. God desires people who are available to be used. So many times I’ve gotten stuck on hearing an answer from God about a certain path to take. I do believe praying, turning to the word, and seeking Godly advice are wise ways to know where God wants you. However, in the past I have become so adamant about wanting to know a specific answer. This is one way I believe the enemy has distracted me with. The fervent search for an answer would result in a worry and lack of peace within my heart. Asking God to answer your prayers about specific things is not wrong. Specific prayers are actually very good because they reveal the intentional nature of God when you see Him answer those prayers. I still found myself confused when God would not provide me answers, and I would always reference Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Why can’t God just tell me if He wants me to go to Spain or not? Why can’t God just tell me what college to go to, what kind of counseling I should do, what guy I should marry? I realized that I wasn’t just seeking an answer to these questions. What I was really seeking was security, security not only now but security for my future. God will never lead you to place your security in anyone or thing, other than Him. God didn’t want to keep me guessing about whether I should come to Spain or not. Ultimately, God desired for me to trust Him and find full security in Him. But I was still left with “what do I do? Do I go to Spain or not?” Just like I trust that God will guide me to the places He wants me to go, I realized I needed to trust that He will close doors too. So, I went for it. I filled out the various documents and applications, waited, and prayed. I prayed that God would close the door if I had selfish intentions about the trip. I realized that even my sinful heart and corrupted intentions can’t get in the way of God’s sovereign plan over my life. If God doesn’t want something for me He will close the door. So I applied and waited, attentively asking the Spirit to make me aware of any doors that God might be closing. Again and again and again God kept allowing all the pieces to fall together. Once I was finally accepted, my joy and excitement far outweighed the long months of waiting and trusting. I knew God had this trip planned for Heather and I.