Perspective, Trust & Obedience

As I share this part of my story, I can’t help but feel like I am a little behind for my age! Yet, when I look back and think about how I arrived at this point in my story, I realize that I am exactly where God had planned for me to be. I am a lifelong Christian that has had many opportunities to grow in my faith. Some good, some very trying.  I have experienced a lot of spiritual growth in the past couple years since attending NRC.  Some of which I totally understand, some I have yet to understand and some I need to just trust God in.

About 6 months ago I found myself at the beginning of a significant transition in my life and in my family’s life.  During this time, it seemed that every time I opened my Bible, or read a devotion, the word ‘perspective’ kept popping up.  This was a word that I had spent quite some time with a year or so ago in my first small group, Suffer Well, but the context didn’t seem to fit what I was going through now. I wasn’t quite sure why, or where this was leading me. A few weeks went by and then the word ‘trust’ mixed with perspective. I wanted to know why and where these fit into my life. What was I supposed to be seeing? The hardest thing for humans…patience & listening. At least for this human sometimes!

As I sat in Church one Sunday morning listening to the announcements, City on a Hill was highlighted. I nudged my husband and said, “We should do this.” He nodded and leaned over and replied, “I can’t. It’s my annual fishing trip, but you should go.” “Yeah, okay”, I thought to myself. I wanted to go, but I didn’t know if it was for me. I didn’t know if I was qualified or ready for this.

It took a couple of weeks to fill out the interest form and I was still trying to figure out if I could do this, which actually meant I was trying to find any excuse not to go.  Something inside just wouldn’t let it go.  I HAD to go, and I didn’t know why.  I know Holy Spirit was working there!  I paid my money and didn’t look back.

I cannot express the degree of AMAZING that trip was.  It was physically hard at times and they challenged us to lean in and dig deep into our hearts, sometimes uncovering things that were not pleasant.  They challenged us to use what God has so graciously given us and to test our abilities.  I had to trust that whatever was asked of me, God would walk me through.  There were 24 very different brothers & sisters in Christ, hand-picked from very different times in their lives.  Each one with a different perspective (there’s that word).  The individual spiritual growth that was witnessed and the bond made was wonderful!

As I returned and went through a decompression and unpacking of thoughts, I realized that the two words (perspective & trust) that had been surfacing, had been brought to light on that trip in so many ways. I also realized that it was not just the duration of the trip that they applied to. God had changed my heart, now I needed to apply it.

Recently my husband and I were at our cabin when we had to run into town. We decided to go have a nice lunch and run our errands.  We were turning into the Best Buy lot in Eau Claire and there was a woman sitting on the corner with a sign that I think said “homeless”. (I had seen many who resembled this when I was on my mission trip. In fact, I was one for about 40 hours!) I was concerned for her. I started looking around the truck, my purse, for something.  A granola bar, or something, anything.  My husband was confused about why I needed food, as we just left the restaurant! I saw her, felt her pain in where she was at that point in her life. I could not stop thinking about her, what she must be going through. I needed to help her.

You see, this behavior was not what my husband would typically expect from me pre-City on a Hill trip.  This incident, and my reaction, made me think of when we had a cabin up north many years ago. When you enter Superior from the Bong Bridge there is a stop that you must make to enter back onto Highway 2.  There were always homeless people sitting at that corner. I would see them and feel compassion for them, but never had a feeling that I could do anything to change their situation!  I wanted to look at them, but didn’t want to see them.  I didn’t want to feel sad or guilty for not helping.  It wasn’t that I didn’t have compassion or want to help, I just didn’t believe there was anything I could do. Fear and uncertainty played a part for me.  Am I doing the right thing? What will they do with what I give them?

I think differently now.

My perspective has changed in many areas of my life! The biggest is that I now love all people for people, for you don't know their stories. A smile, a kind word, or a pleasant gesture can make a difference to someone. God never stops loving us for the person He knows us to be. Should we not do the same?

I didn’t see going on the mission trip as obedience until a friend pointed it out to me after I returned. I didn’t see that my perspective of people needed more attention.  I didn’t see the safety I had in God until I fully trusted Him.  All things I knew and understood, yet didn’t see.

I am excited to see how God is going to continue to bless me and use me for purposes that are pleasing to Him.  My job is to trust Him and be led.  I am so thankful to God for being patient and continuing to speak to me until I get it!

I am loved.
I am saved.
I do have a purpose.
I can help people even if I feel like I’m not qualified. God knows what I am capable of, and will make it known to me if I am listening! He will do the same for you. I can’t wait to continue this story with Him.
Submitted by Theresa B. on 8/31/2022

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