Last month was one of the most unique experiences of my life. I went on a pilgrimage of sorts that most people will never have the opportunity to do. My work gave me a couple of days off to explore the home of my childhood – St. Louis. I spent two days by myself exploring the place I lived for 6 years (the longest I’ve lived anywhere and lived during my most formative years). It’s so interesting to see the past and future collide. Seeing old places and people showed me how much I had grown, who I am now, and the relationship I have with God.
As a child, I had some negative images of God due to things I witnessed. In graduate school, while I was doing my own thing, God brought Tirzah and a Godly professor from my university into my life. I learned to study the Bible on my own. My faith became my own. Eventually, I decided to expand my writing skills by writing for Tirzah in the Word. This lead to me writing articles for Tirzah. From there, I somehow ended up as associate editor. It was a dream I didn’t know I had and memory I will always cherish. These last months have been amazing!
The best part of it was Yelena. Through being an associate editor, I was able to see a young woman’s heart for God. I discovered even more about using the Bible to answer all of life’s questions. While in St. Louis, I had the opportunity to spend an evening of my journey with Yelena. I will forever treasure the evening we spent wandering around Union Station. It was like meeting an old friend. No awkward pauses and conversation until late in the night.
Through the conversation, we both felt like God has new and amazing plans in store for our lives. I’m sure you have read Yelena’s decisions behind closing Tirzah. I wholeheartedly support Yelena and her dreams and endeavors. You better believe that the two of us will keep in touch for years to come!
Tirzah is an amazing community of people that I’m privileged to be a part of. I’d love it if y’all would find me on my blog: godsgypsyblog.wordpress.com or find me on Facebook! I’ve enjoyed the months of conversations with writers and meeting amazing women from all over the world. However, God has lead me into a new and unfamiliar territory.
Some of you gypsy’s or wanderers may understand. I’ve always been a traveler. In 26 years of life, I’ve lived in 6 states – some more than once. Over the past couple of months, God has shown me a new path. One of this girl with Southern roots staying in a place that freezes for about 6 months of the year. Building relationships and keeping them. Falling in love with a place I actually told God and my family I would never come back to. There is a beauty in community that I have never been a part of. The thought of staying in the same place forever is terrifying, strange, and exciting all at the same time.
God placed me in a church and community full of people that I have grown to love. He has called me to “bloom where I’m planted”. Tirzah led to me having a heart for women’s ministry in the church. I recently accepted an invitation to be on the women’s creative committee at church. God’s given me a place to help have a community with women in my church’s unusually large young adult group. He’s placed Godly teenage girls in my life so I can pour into theirs. God’s given me a job that I’ve had for 2 1/2 years working with ladies in unplanned pregnancy – a passion that only grows stronger for me.
More than that, Tirzah’s shown me a new avenue for telling these ladies stories. For using my voice to help others understand the problems in the world and how they have the ability to make the world a better place. I’ll actually be revamping my personal blog to tell stories of people who have helped others, organizations making the world a better place, and those who have overcome their own trials. Also, it’s been about two years now since God put a home for a teenage mothers on my heart. There was a part of me that thought I was too young. Only people in other countries do things like that. Missions in the U.S. is a thing of the past.
Not at all true! Since truly surrendering my dreams to God, He has cleared a path. Ever since I spoke this dream aloud in the spring I’ve watched doors open. Organizations have offered me grants. People have offered me furniture. Friends have rallied behind me. The latest offering, a home to put the girls in, has me still floored. I’m honestly still processing the fact that someone just offered me what I’ve spent months praying for!
I tell you all of this because I want you to know this truth. If there is anything I’ve learned from all of you – a community of faith-filled women on fire for God – it’s surrender is key. I can’t tell you the moment it happened but somewhere in the past couple months, I surrendered my plans to God. Gave up control and placed it back in His hands. The moment I did there was relief.
That did not mean my life was easy. Your seeing my current journey but haven’t seen the struggle that led to this moment. There was a time of depression. Nights on end where anxiety was so bad I couldn’t sleep. Days I didn’t know how I would afford doctor’s bills that happened because of the stress of work. Periods of time where I almost walked out of my current job without a good-bye. We are on earth and there will always be struggles.
God is with us through these struggles. Drop your plans. Embrace the now. Live where God has planted you. Surrender your dreams to Him. That’s what Yelena and I are doing – surrendering our desires to help women follow God. The only thing I have done is follow God. He is the one that completes the plans. Even gives the ideas and dreams. This is a girl who originally wanted to be a pediatric oncologist your talking to. However, I’m happy to report God’s plans were better.
God’s plans for you are amazing. You are loved. Don’t let anybody ever tell you that you can’t do something God’s called you to do. Struggle through it and follow His plans. Seriously, feel free to find me on Facebook or my blog and tell me your dreams. Tell me the amazing and horrendous moments of your life. As Yelena said, this is not a goodbye. It’s a new journey for me – one that will always treasure each one of you. Also, if you are ever in the Milwaukee area, contact me and we will have coffee at my favorite coffee shop:)
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17
In His grace,