Moving to the Dominican Republic for this season in my life has challenged me in so many ways. Deciding to GO felt like jumping off a cliff into murky water. Free fall. Wind in my hair, whipping my face, shutting my eyes as I dove into the unknown. If you had told me years ago that I would be choosing to go on the mission field after graduation college, I would have laughed. When I imagined my future post-grad life, it looked something like this:
I wanted to have a big career.
I wanted to live in New York.
I wanted to be engaged.
Big dreams, right? And some of those things I could have had. But as a freshman in college, when I chose to surrender my life to Jesus, I made the decision to pursue Him first. And it’s never easy. In my case, following Jesus meant ending a relationship, moving across the world with no income and living with complete strangers. Your future undoubtedly looks differently. (None of our futures or choices are better than another. If we are looking to Jesus as our rock, He will guide us to many different pursuits. How beautiful is the diversity of the church!)
I don’t know much, but what I do know is this: letting God lead brings the most peace. We were designed for worship, for intimacy (shalom) with the Father. We were designed to surrender to Him, make Him known, and give Him the glory in our short human lives. If we believe He is sovereign and works things for our good, then we must also strive to trust His lead. If God is truth, light, and love; then who are we, mere mortals, to question His direction?
Jennie Allen writes about the surrendered life in her book, Anything:
“Something about stepping off cliffs where God lead allows God the opportunity to move in greater ways. When we step off and he shows up, we see him differently than we would if we were standing safely looking over the edge.
If you feel like you’re free falling and have no idea when you’ll reach land, you’re in good company. Many Christians feel that way. Following Jesus, though rewarding, is NOT EASY. Living in the DR has been challenging, and it’s only been eight days. But we must trust in the sovereignty of our God. We must trust that He is ultimately guiding us for our good. If you’re questioning making that leap, I say run to the edge and jump without looking back.
It’s been easy to get frustrated here when the power goes out, or you’re constantly dripping in sweat, or overwhelmed with work. But I’m praying for an eternal perspective. For eyes that see the good in spite of challenges. For peace in the midst of chaos.
I may not have everything I ever wanted, but I have all I need.
May this be the testimony of my life. May this be the anthem that I cry out when I want to weep. May this be the refrain on repeat when all I want to do is clench my fists.