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It was the people.
God didn’t call me to YWAM Tyler because he thought I would enjoy the base. He didn’t send me there because he knew I wouldn’t like it.
He sent me there because he knew the hearts that were already there and he knew that those hearts were what I needed I my life.
Personal. He doesn’t just care for us as a whole, but also as his individual children. It in the last week of YWAM when I was about to head home that God opened my eyes to this. It as dinner time and we had all found our seats to eat at. The translator and host gave announcements and prayed, then let us all go up for servings. When I had come back to my seat, there was this weird lady sitting in it. My initial thought was, “Oh great, now I have to find a new seat.” (Let me add that there was a conference going on at the time and hardly any seating. I thought I was going to have to eat in my room.) But thankfully my friend gave up her seat since she wanted to sit elsewhere and I ended up sitting right next to this lady. As dinner went on, I asked her a few questions about why she was here, thinking she was here for the conference. Turned out, she was here to help debrief with the Greece team since they needed a therapist. As soon as she confessed of being a therapist, God spoke to me, “You need to talk to her about your attack.”. At first I thought, no way was I going to bore this lady with my problems. But when dinner was over, she hadn’t moved a muscle and I couldn’t get myself to leave. I finally caved in and spoke with her. “Do you mind if I take advantage of your expertise?”. She smiled and replied, “Of course I don’t!”. Her response threw me off guard. I was not expecting her to be so…willing I guess. Anyways, I opened up and shared with Lisa. She gave me paperwork, that I still have to this day, to help me overcome my fear. She prayed for me and before I could leave she said she had something to share with me….”While I was in my room waiting for dinner, I felt that God had someone he wanted me to talk with tonight. Someone that needed help. I prayed for God to send and direct me to the table that he wanted me to sit at and then God said to not leave until the person spoke up. I want you to be encouraged that God had sent me to you.” Well, that really blew me away. After having been sent all over Puerto Vallarta for Jan, I wanted to be a Jan to someone. And to this God-loving woman, I was her Jan. God had sent her to me because I was still struggling with the attack and my fear that it had implemented in me. God was so personal to me and showed me that he loves and cares for me by sending her. Even with my Jan story, God cares for his children. When we are hurting, he sends us help either through other people or by His Holy Spirit. God is truly personal.
A Protector. After the attack, I never thought the sayings, “God is my protector.” or “God protects his children.” would ever come out of my mouth or that I would even believe it. For a while, I truly thought that God had left me. That I was alone. That he didn’t protect me the night Sam and I got attack. That he doesn’t protect me at all. But now, after much prayer and bible studying, I can honestly, without a doubt, say: God Is My Protector. He protected Sam and I on March 13, the night of the attack. He was there. He was the reason that Sam didn’t get stabbed with an infected needle. He shield me from the attacker. He was the reason I was able to run away. He was the reason the guy ran away from Sam and turned down a street into the dark. He was the reason for the safety of Sam and I. He was there with me. He is always with me. I know and am confident that God is with me wherever I go, that He is holding my hand. When I’m walking down a street and get scared, I remind myself that God is my protector and that He with me. Yes, I still get scared sometimes, but that is perfectly healthy and normal. But what I do when I’m scared is what counts, and I lean on God when I’m scared or uneasy.
Good. It seems so simple to say, “God is good.” But I’ve said this before, the word GOOD has such a huge meaning. God created the world and said…it is good. He called his creation, his masterpiece, good. So just visualize the creator calling his creation, good and that is how much that word means. Anyways. I’ve seen a lot of poverty, a lot of darkness, a lot of unjust situations but in all of it, God showed His goodness. To the woman we met that had not been called beautiful by her husband in a long time, we were able to be used by God to speak love and beauty over her life. She had this different look to her after we had spoken and prayed for her. God is good in that by how he uses His people to show His love and glory. God brings light and life into situations that might seem like all hope is lost.
A Father. Abba, the most personal name we can call God. Translated to the same meaning as Daddy. Who still calls their dad, daddy? It’s like a little 3 year with their arms reaching high, calling out ‘Daddy!’. Which is exactly what we can do with God. He is our father. He provides for us, he cares for us, he loves us. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “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.” To me, that verse describes a father. God takes GREAT DELIGHT in you. How awesome in that? The part of the verse that says, “No longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” is my favorite. I think about a dad at a sports game that is cheering on their kid and when the kid messes up, he’s not angry, but instead he is saying “It’s okay! Get back up and keep fighting the good fight.”. Well WE are that kid and GOD is that dad. When we mess up in sin, he’s not angry with us. He gives us grace and continues to love us. He picks us up, brushes the dirt off us, and encourages us.
I could go on and on but for now I will leave it at this. The 5 months in YWAM will truly be cherished in my heart. I really believe that in those months is when God really captured me and I handed over my heart to God for the first time. My whole view on Him is changed and I see Him more has the true God that He is and not through my small view of Him.