Wednesday, August 27, 2008


The countdown is on!!! I have less than 2 weeks to go now, and each day that gets closer I encounter a flurry of emotions. Thankfully, above all of the anticipation and anxiety I have such a peace that passes all understanding... The Lord has definitely given me this peace and I am so grateful! I know a lot of you have been praying for me in this area and I really appreciate it. I also thank you for keeping this in mind as the time leads up to my departure. It's not going to be easy to say goodbye to you all, but I trust that the peace I have deep in my heart will ease the pain.

As I've been gearing up to go lately, I've been thinking a lot about life plans. Deeper hopes that I have in mind for the future, that may not seem so realistic anymore, at least not for now. And I have realized that I have to let a lot of these plans go... I love to be a few steps ahead and anticipate what's next and dream... One dream in particular I share with my best friends Darcie and Vicki. We often get talking about having our own little apartment someday with stylish decor and hosting dinner parties together. We even buy each other gifts on special occasions to go in our future apartment! Just thinking about it makes me smile. I have other dreams too - dreams to travel, dreams to get married, dreams to buy a convertible... I guess some are more realistic than others! ;) 
But this commitment I've made to teach in Haiti turns a new page. The plans and hopes that I dream about here in Ontario must be put on hold, and only the Lord knows for how long. And this gives me an unsettled feeling in my stomach... I'm not in control. I often catch myself worrying about what will become of these plans... What if they never happen? Should I stop dreaming?

I feel like the Lord has been working on me in this area lately... My constant desire to be ten steps ahead doesn't seem as worthwhile (or possible) anymore. I just have to live one day at a time. The truth is, I have no idea what is going to become of me, or my dreams... 
I read a quote from my new friend Rachel (who directs the orphanage programs at the Mission of Hope), and it gives me a fresh perspective:

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

No doubt, it scares me to think that these hopes of apartments and cars and travels and marriage may not come to pass, at least not in my timing. And yet, I am compelled to trust and step to the drummer that I hear, even when everything around me is pushing in the opposite direction. And it's like I'm in a tug of war, giving up my plans and then tugging them back again... It's so hard to let go, but it's the only way. Because if I play it safe, or live to please my dreams here and now, I will never be truly fulfilled. No matter what temporary joy comes from these dreams, it will never compare to the joy that I will experience when I am in the sweet spot. And as I pursue the will of my Father and delight myself in His presence, I claim the promise that He will give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). My true desires. 
I've realized how nice and easy it would seem to be to travel along with the current, but how soon would my life become stagnant and complacent. If I stay in this place in order to secure and control my future plans, my life will die. I have to keep stretching myself and pressing on in order to stay real and alive. 

So who knows what will happen? Who can say what is to come tomorrow, next week - month - year? But for now, I pray that I may live for today. Live for the simple gifts of love and friendship and family... It's these moments that I miss while I am worrying about what's next. 
With this in mind, I choose to trust and believe that as the Lord takes me on this journey, He will provide what I need in His perfect timing... Thank you Jesus that you know the plans that you have for me and that they are for good and not for disaster... Your plans are to give me a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). Help me to trust you with my plans.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

He Will Do It.

The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24

I read this verse for the first time yesterday, and I took a moment to ponder it because it really struck a chord with what the Lord has been teaching me over the past weeks. It creates mixed feelings within me, both relief and resistance. 

Relief is probably easy for you to figure out... It brings me unexplainable peace to know that my Jesus has called me and is going to be with me every step on this journey, and HE will do it all... Even when my never-ending to do list seems impossible, and my weaknesses are too numerous to count, I can trust in this promise. HE WILL DO IT. Praise the Lord!
Now, on the other side of the coin, let me explain me resistance:
I had expectations of God teaching me some important lessons this summer. Lessons about trust and peace and contentment... but that has only been the tip of the iceberg - It turns out that the Lord has had much greater refinement in mind for me before I go. While reading Mere Christianity (by C.S. Lewis) a few weeks ago, there were a lot of things I felt the Lord speaking very clearly to me about... Things like - dare I say it... my pride.
I began to realize how much I credit my own 'goodness' to myself. I think to myself, I am a nice girl... I don't do 'bad' things... I am a good Christian... People should be like me. But while reading C.S. Lewis' perspective about 'niceness', I understand that I cannot take the credit of my own temperament or actions - no matter how admirable I think I am. In addition to this, I cannot judge other people for behaving differently than me. God has graciously given me immeasurable blessings that I do not deserve, and how I use those gifts do not make me better or more loved than anyone else. 
This has been a HUGE thing for me because it's so easy for me to glorify myself for the way I live. And yet I wasn't created to do good for my own satisfaction, I was created to give glory to my Maker.
It is NOT about me.
As C.S. Lewis writes: There is nothing that I can give Him that isn't His already. 
Let me just write that again for my own benefit... There is NOTHING that I can give Him that isn't His already.
That has been a massive idea for me to wrap my mind around lately, and believe me, I haven't even gotten close to the mark, but as I've said before, it's a process... It's the only way that I can live as He intended, so I don't have much of a choice but to give myself up.
So getting back to that verse... Yes, it does bring resistance because I want to be called by God, but I want to do it and then - can I be totally honest for a minute? - When it's all said and done, I want the glory, I want the credit, I want people to look at me and say - "Wow... Look at Diana! Look at what she did in Haiti with those kids... She is so wonderful for leaving her home and serving. We should all want to be like her."
I know it's so utterly selfish and awful... it's pathetic. I am disgusted with my pride! And I desperately need to break free of it. I know I will never become what the Lord made me to be as long as I hold onto glorifying myself. And really, what good is it to do something for someone else when the only reason I'm doing it is to make myself look good... How much more pointless can you get?

So that's what I've been processing lately... I am sharing it with you so that you can pray for me. I thank the Lord for exposing this area in my heart, even though it's painful, and I pray over these upcoming weeks that the Lord would remind me that 'it's not about me'... That I would have opportunities to practice humility, understanding the strength of the Lord only as I lay myself aside. 
It's easy to get discouraged about all of this, because I was just starting to nail down the whole trust thing, and then this pride issue comes up, but I am reminded about a promise - He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. I am trusting that even as I take one step forward and two steps back, the Lord would continue to mold me and make me more like Him.
And above all, that I would glorify Him - not me - in every aspect of my life.