For my missions training at Missions Training International (MTI) in Colorado, each of us gave a 3-5 minute testimony at the end of the three weeks. It was to express specifically what God had done/been doing in our lives during that time period. A few lines came to me, then I decided to write it all out in (somewhat of a) poetic form. There is much terminology from the classes, some inside jokes, and other points meant specifically for those I spent those 3 intense, vulnerable weeks with, yet I wanted to share it for anyone to see. One thing I will share that I learned is that life is full of paradoxes; at MTI we saw a paradox as a “pair of ducks.” Sometimes we have “yay duck!” times/feelings and others we have “yuck duck!” ones. This will make one part of what is below clearer! (: In this transition of going to Ecuador long-term, emotions are great and mixed, so it is nice to know that this is normal, and that I’m not the only one experiencing this! Hope you are blessed and encouraged!

(May 2013)

A full heart holds both sorrow and joy
Today it overflows
God has confirmed his plans for me
To love the lost, the least of these
And here I learned the most.

I begged the Lord to show his face
To meet me now, with unending grace
And this He did, with that thorn
Removing the veil
It leaves me dazed.

Before I came, this I prayed,
“Lord, remind me of your will for me
I’m human, frail
With doubts and fears
That threaten to consume” and
“Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am
For your kingdom’s cause.”

Day one began
Plans fell into place
The snow came down
To God be the praise!
He has asked me to have
A life of thankfulness and of faith,
In all circumstances.

With singleness I struggle
But for now, He’s all I need
His ways are best
I can be content and rest

I have learned that we all
Hate saying goodbye
Leaving our homes
Knowing others will cry
And I have comfort
Since we can relate
And it’s never too late
To cry, “God, help!”
And fall on our knees
Praying together
For the world and our needs

Before some have called me
Which means “one who cries”
And here at MTI
The tears did burst forth
Day after day, night after night
God tilling my heart
Washing away much from my sight
Yet where went my might?
The ducks, they did bite.
Still I discovered
Class after class
As my weakness grew bigger
His strength in me continued to last.

The conflict, it got me
Confrontation I don’t like
But some people, they told me
To take a stand, to fight
To fight for what’s right, a cause
For what I hold dear
To stay within boundaries
Stop saying sorry (so much)
Take responsibility for only what’s mine
My points, too, are valid
I have some issues to face
Once I go home.

It isn’t all serious
I’ve laughed a lot too
Driving in cars with Australians
Single lady chats
The deep and profound game
It doesn’t end with that!
Noah’s night on the mandolin
Walmart and dessert with the ladies
And then, Noah again,
With mascara on his face.

I loved to see the interactions of husbands and wives
Children and parents
I have a lot to look forward to

I have so much joy
That the work He has started
Will not end
This He has said
I thank you for sharing
Your stories with me
Not just the happy
But the broken
The sinful
The times full of despair
And still the Lord met us
To transform, heal and redeem
And here we now are
All together and free!

Expectation, reality
They’re not the same
But my focus should be
To feed on the truth
Of the Scriptures
To spend time with Him
Alone in his presence
My hope put in Him

My values may not be the same
Where I am going
But I can be at peace now
God will help if I need to change
I need to die to myself
Be okay with mistakes
To exit and enter
Easy? It is not.
Yet I can think on the words
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future
To a known God.”

I have suffered much loss
Had quite a bit of pain
Yet here I stand and
Can remember, in Joel,
How the Lord promised to “restore
What the locusts had eaten.”

To this and many more words
From the Lord do I cling
Spending more time in the best book of all, his Word.

The more that I cry
The more that I gain
Nothing in my past was in vain!
Because I am here
And in Him I remain.
And deeper will He take me
As I move forward
Facing some giants
Walking on water?
(Translation: fundraising?!)
Guarding my heart
Yet not isolating
The pain I’ll still feel
The love STILL even greater.

I need to take care of myself first
Not let stress dominate me
I belong to the King
Can’t let the lies shake me.
His voice I must hear
And quiet all others
Not please a man or a woman
But an audience of One

I will be authentic
Enter the new world and culture
Learn the language, eat the food
Remember my purpose
My life is for more than empty pleasures
But to know, glorify Him,
Share with others this story!

And last of all,
I want you to know
My life has been enriched
Made better
By each of you (in this room)
Because the Lord uses people
Even “crazy” people like us
To teach us lessons, patience,
Grace, how to encourage,
Pray, and to love.
Without each other, without the team
Where would we be?
Probably outside of his purpose
Fulfilling no dreams
But today let’s delight in Him.

Now, I thank You, Lord
For making my calling sure
Because my story would be
Nothing without You
It is your work
Your plans and mission
And this
I join.