Friday, April 17, 2015

Prayers for Fiji

When most people consider Fiji they think of it as being a resort destination, but did you know that it is actually a third world country? That means that the majority of the population lives in poverty according to American standards of living.

In just 7 weeks from now, I will be heading off for this country to become part of a team of interns with Evangelism Explosion. While there, I will learn how to reach people of different cultures and ages for Christ while building relationships with the locals. In addition, I'll have the chance to visit local villages and do service projects.

Here's a bit of my journey towards praying about going to Fiji...

In the past few months, there have been a couple of prophetic prayers from my church that have been directed for me.

The first one was "for a girl with long hair who recently lost a piece of jewelry. God wants her to place her trust in Him." with the reference to Proverbs 3:5-6

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths."

The crazy part was, I had just lost a favorite earring the day before and couldn't stop thinking about it.

Several weeks later, there was another prophetic word directed to me, it said,

"For someone who knows they are facing a huge change in their lives this summer and feels burdened because of it. The Lord invites you to come to Him and is saying I am always there for you. Find rest in my steadfast love for you."

I felt my heart tugged when I heard those words, because I knew they were for me. I had been praying for several weeks about my summer plans, but felt the constant financial burden wearing me down. 

It was through prayer and words of confirmation from friends and family that I realized God was calling me to go to Fiji for the summer. As I was praying about God's leading, it seemed as if everyone and his sister decided to start drinking Fiji water en mas. I kept seeing "Fiji" everywhere. I even found a bottle mysteriously  in the backseat of my car! (Was that a sign or what?)

So it is with excitement that I prepare for this next adventure that the Lord has for me. 

If I have learned anything in the past week from my eye injury, it is this: God works through prayer.

I want to thank each and every person who prayed for healing for me. As I write, my eye is almost completely healed, but I will find out for sure on Tuesday. In two days, the tear in my cornea went from being 8mm to 3mm and I know it's even better than that now.

So, as I look towards heading out of the country, out of my comfort zone and to a new nation and people group, I want to ask for prayer.

1. Pray that God would work in me to teach and grow me in new ways.

2. Pray that he would use me as his witness to the people I come in contact with.
3. For the team of people that I will be living and working with.
4. Pray that I would be able to get the financial means necessary for this trip(and be able to relinquish my control to God's plan for me)

I need a strong group of supporters and prayer warriors backing me up in order for this trip to be a success. So in advance, I thank all of you.

Questions or comments, feel free to leave a line or send an email! I'd love to hear from you!



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

From Blinded Eyes I See

The definition of  trust is the dependence on someone or something.

I thought I knew what it was, but I'm realizing I'm just at the beginning of this trust activity called life. Dependence means that you must rely on that other person. The ball is no longer in your court. You don't call the shots, but must completely depend upon that other person.

Having trust in the Lord requires so much more than saying, "Lord, I believe." It is possible to believe in someone and not really trust them. I believe that God has a plan for my life. From every mental capacity of my brain, I believe that God has my best interests at heart and He will provide for me.

The sad thing is, this belief of mine is often just head knowledge.

To fully rely on God, I not only need to believe him and what his word says about him, but I must begin to TRUST that he has a beautiful story he's writing about my life that is far better than my own.

I thought I could see, but sometimes it takes not being able to see, to begin to understand.

So friends, God is teaching me to trust him when I can't see the way. In fact, it has taken an temporary physical blindness of sorts for God to really show this to me. I haven't been able to see much for the past few days, so I've had a lot of time to think while I've been lying in bed.

I previously said, "Ok, Lord, I know you're leading me in this direction, so these are the plans I've made to reach that goal. I've saved a bit here, and budgeted there, and everything should work out just fine! I've got this under control."

Nowhere in my agenda did I leave room for handing the plans over to God for him to take control. It's taken time, but I'm learning to place my trust in His omnipotent will, instead of my weakly laid out plans.

This means there may be a whole lot of detours in the road map I made for my life. No doubt there will be plenty more bumps along the way, but I am just as certain that joy will come from those tough times.

How do I have this confidence? His word is a daily reminder that He's drawing the roadmap for my life, if only I let go and trust him.

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understandings, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths."

Proverbs 3:5,6

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

500 peppercorns

This is a post for those who may look at this blog and mistakenly come to the conclusion that Liz Tate has a pretty awesome life.

Granted, I have gotten to do some pretty amazing things in the past couple of years, but they're mixed with their hardships. For now, I'm sitting smack dab in the middle of one.

As I write, I'm currently sitting at my kitchen table eating my lunch. My lunch was supposed to be a burrito bowl of chicken and black beans over quinoa, but has turned into something I like to call "500 pepper crunch burrito bowl."

Let me back up a bit....

Last Thursday, during my last half hour of working, the baby I watch just so happened to reach back and poke my eye while I was holding her.

I am not the kind of person who will go to the doctors if I can help it, so I tried to forget about it, hoping the pain would be gone when I woke up the following day. Unfortunately, it was worse, so my sister-in-law sent over some eye drops that were left over from her lasik surgery.

My parents were in town for the weekend, and trying to be helpful, my dad offered to put the drops in my eye... only he grabbed a bottle that wasn't eye drops.

On top of the scratches to my cornea, I also got a lovely dose of Maximum strength Grapefruit Seed Extract, which is basically a very concentrated form of pure acid.

So much for Liz not wanting to see a doctor. In the past 5 days I have seen 2 different specialists on 3 different occasions, and have 2 more appointments lined up for the rest of the week.

According to my charts, I have an 8 mm lesion with chemical burns. I'm currently blind in the one eye and so far, there has been very little healing. Just a little bit healing to say the least.

A few weeks ago, I prayed about it, and felt God calling me to go on a mission trip this summer. After carefully planning out how I would pay for the trip (and bills back home as I am away for 2 months), I agreed to go on the trip. As soon as I said yes, my car broke down which cost a whopping $550.  It was a minor setback, but I know that God has plans, so I continued planning for the trip. Next, I got the news that my job would be ending 5 weeks earlier than I thought. That got me down for a couple of days, but I thought, "I'll find something, it'll all work out." As soon as I had peace about the finances again, then everything happened with my eye. Not only am I paying to eye specialists and the medication, but it also has meant that I can't work.

I've been trying not to pity myself, as I stumble blindly around the kitchen attempting to make my lunch. just as I was adding some fresh ground pepper to eat my burrito bowl, the cap broke and EVERY-SINGLE-PEPPERCORN ended up in my bowl. My eyesight's so fuzzy that I couldn't tell a peppercorn from a black bean. So after scraping off the top layer, I've resigned to my crunchy, spicy, lunch.

I hope I can someday sit back and laugh at it all and point to the ways that God was using these things to grow me, but in the moment, nothing's funny.

I want to be able to see His hand in my life. To not become defeated with I am faced with hard times, but to be honest, it's difficult.

Maybe I'm so focused on wanting to see how God's working in my life right now, that I've forgotten that he asks me to trust him. And for that, I have to follow him blindly.