Lean In & Tuck Under
“Lean into Him in the sadness…” She tells me often.
The mentor I spoke of in my last post has spent a couple years telling me this….to lean in and tuck under Him. I don’t cry easily and most of my friends have never seen me shed a tear. I wish I could cry easier, but that’s just not who I am. All that went out the door when I found myself in the moment I had not been looking forward to – the tearful goodbye I said to her last Wednesday night. I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t want to go and in that moment the faces of the lost that I will be ministering to in the future were no where to be seen in my mind. It was just me – someone who has seen loved ones die and is tired of saying goodbye to those she loves. I sat next to my friend on the green, velvet-y couch in the basement of our church and choked back tears as I thanked her for what she has done for me. She not only taught me how to be a disciple of Jesus, but she showed me through example how to disciple other women. She has been one to imitate in learning how to go about teaching women about God…..this is how the church spreads. We take one or more people, disciple them, and then they go and do the same. It’s just beautiful and it’s my turn to be on the discipling side of things.
I sat next to her, knowing I had to leave, but not wanting to. Yes, I am now a missionary, but does that mean I have it all together? Absolutely not. I still struggle with the same things everyone else does. And in that tearful goodbye, I did not want to go. I was tempted to hold onto the things that I love at the expense of others….others who will live and die and go to hell because no one told them about Jesus. As I write that, it sounds crazy to not want to go, but my heart is delicate during this transition stage, and well, I didn’t want to go.
I shared with her that I see “us” in Paul and Timothy in scripture. That even though I am only 10 or 11 years younger, I most certainly feel like her daughter in the faith. There were hugs and she encouraged me that I am ready. And I am, but it’s still hard. We said goodbye and I walked out the door of the church so very sad. In fact I couldn’t stop the tears from welling up and spilling over. That night, we were texting back and forth and she said…
“You are ready, and you know exactly what to do and Who to trust to battle this sadness…”
The first thing I thought was “lean in and tuck under” and then I remembered the scripture I had read that afternoon! It described her perfectly! I had never seen in scripture where we are told to “lean into Him” until that afternoon. How perfectly timed!
“Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not,[I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]
So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified].What can man do to me?
Remember your leaders and superiors in authority [for it was they] who brought to you the Word of God. Observe attentively and consider their manner of living (the outcome of their well-spent lives) and imitate their faith (]their conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, and their leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness).” ~Hebrews 13:5-7
I went to sleep, knowing we would wake up and leave it all for a new life of following Him. I woke up around 5 am and as the rest of my family slept soundly, I laid for the last time on the bed that I love and tears soaked my pillow.
“Lean into Him and tuck under” is all I could think of in that moment
I decided to open the Bible on my phone and start reading. I couldn’t go back to sleep and when my emotions rage, I know the best thing to do is to go to scripture! The Word is LIFE and it always changes my perspective from myself to Jesus. I know satan hates what we are doing and I knew that I was in a battle. Was I going to follow Jesus no matter the cost, or decide I would rather just live a happy and comfy life like I had been. Was I going to follow Christ with my actions, but allow my heart to grow cold and hard? No, I want to follow Him with my actions and I want a heart that is tender to His voice and open to His plans. I opened the app on my phone and it happened to be in 1 Timothy. I started reading and I couldn’t believe it. It was Paul instructing Timothy…
“Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.” ~1 Timothy 1:18-19
I then checked the same scripture in the Amplified version and I could not believe it. God is so faithful with the way He speaks through His Word…
“This charge and admonition I commit in trust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with prophetic intimations which I formerly received concerning you, so that inspired and aided by them you may wage the good warfare,
Holding fast to faith (that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence) and having a good (clear) conscience. By rejecting and thrusting from them [their conscience], some individuals have made shipwreck of their faith.”
There it was again – LEAN on God in absolute trust and confidence. This was Paul instructing Timothy to Lean on God. The tears didn’t stop, but joy flooded the sorrow of leaving the friend who has taught me well, and the now joyful tears flowed from a heart that thrives off the thrill of hearing God speak. Her words that I had heard for a long time – to lean into Him in the sadness – were the words God wanted me to hear too. The Lord is so sweet to continually encourage me and to confirm the God ordained nature of this sweet relationship He has allowed. I am ready. I know this is His will. I am sad. I am homesick. But I am leaning on Him in an absolute trust and I am confident that He who calls us is faithful and He will do it. These days of transition will get easier and I am filled with hope. I am trusting that He is always working and always refining me and I know that as He prunes me to be a more fruitful instrument of righteousness, my joy is being made complete! There is joy in the journey!
We are still on the road – our possessions in our car – the wide open road ahead of us – trusting that we are indeed on our way to fulfilling our role in the Great Commission.
The kids have been wonderful and things have gone smoothly! We’ll be on the road until next week! Thank you for all the calls and messages, and I look forward to answering them soon! Thank you so much for praying for us during this transition stage! We are excited to watch His plan unfold, and we are leaning into Him every step of the way!
Here are some road trip pictures!