Everything will change. A Ministry of WorldVenture.
Here’s what I’m learning: God knows what we need even when we don’t. He knows where we’re going even when we have no idea.
When I left for Cote d’Ivoire in October of 2010, I had decided to put aside a year of my life for God. A year. That’s a lot, right? At the time, I thought so. Well, a year has become 17 months….Does that compute? Last I checked, there were 12 months in a year. No, I haven’t lost all mathematical ability. Yes, I’m aware of how much time has passed. Was it my choice? Not necessarily.
I know what you’re thinking. Stop. Let me explain.
When I left for Cote d’Ivoire (CI) a year and a half ago, I had my whole life planned out - or at least the next 3 to 4 years. Going to CI forced me to look at the bigger picture. First Corinthians 6:19 tells me that I am not my own because Jesus bought me and redeemed me with his life. Second Corinthians 4 says that anything that I hold is from Jesus, and I am only a clay jar.
Have you ever worked with clay? It is finicky, pernickety, persnickety, meticulous, and demanding! (Yes, I did just pull up my thesaurus. Did you know that pernickety is a word??) My professor used to say, “you have to babysit your clay.” Constantly checking the dry to moldable ratio, knowing when to cover it, when to build upon it, when to let it rest a few days. Then you put it in the kiln, and it comes out refined and un-moldable, yet very breakable. Any way you swing it, clay is useless if it’s not in the artist’s hands. If I simply put a block of clay on the table and walk away, in a week it would be stiff and unworkable.
Why am I rambling about clay? The more I reflect on the clay process, the more I feel like a clay jar. Which also means that I’m finicky, pernickety, persnickety, meticulous, and demanding. Thank goodness Jesus is willing to take my pernickety self and use me, no matter how much I refuse to be still and listen, ask to know the future, or resist uncomfortable molding and refining.
I came home to the US to see some family members and friends who have supported me, to encourage them with what God is doing in Cote d’Ivoire. Before I knew it, four more months of support were provided. At one church, two months worth of support were physically brought forward after I shared. The response that I received is not one that I can accredit to myself. I amNOT that good!
As I look forward to returning to Cote d’Ivoire, there are a lot of unknowns. Yet there is one thing that is sure – right now, God wants me in CI, not the USA. If this weren’t the case, I wouldn’t have the financial means to do so. God, the one who created me from clay, knows what He’s molding me for. I find strength in this truth.
Why was it not my choice? Quite frankly, I would rather choose the most comfortable and natural path. That would be living in quiet, suburban America. Instead, I'm going back to bustling, hot Africa. Yet something in me feels more natural there. I would have never said that 17 months ago. And now I'm ruined for quiet, suburban America. (Gee thanks, Jesus!)
It's about time that I give Jesus my whole life, like Romans 12 says, as I see Him already "transforming (me) into a new person by changing the way (I) think," (v. 2). This way I can continually "learn to know God's will for (me)."
So here I go. I put aside all worry, all uneasiness due to uncertainty. This uncertainty is my own human fear and my mistrust of Jesus’s leading, my own desire to perfectly organize my life. I repent of it, and walk forward in confidence, not of myself, but in Jesus. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” I echo Psalm 23. With the knowledge that, “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength,” Isaiah 40.
Father, bid my anxious fears goodbye.
I am still raising support! To see how to support me in Cote d’Ivoire, visit www.worldventure.com/sverenski