May 13, 2010

And so life continues..

I remember sitting at a Macca's (McDonald's) in Australia thinking to myself, "Will the day ever come? How much longer until I return home?"  It seemed like an eternity away...

The decision to leave for 6 months was one of the best in my life.  However, it was a difficult one, it felt like a "leap of faith", and I often doubted myself.  "Will I have enough? Will my friends be there when I return? What if I can't find a job? What if my life is forever changed?" And those were the thoughts I had before I left!  From the moment I decided "YWAM" in my heart, I should have know what kind of challenge would be in store. After all, how does vine yield a greater crop?  The dead branches, and even the living ones must be pruned.  And so this common analogy first explained by Jesus to his disciples might accurately describe my journey.

How so?  I was challenged to give up my comforts of familiarity.  I started over in many ways with new people, new traditions, and nobody knew me (except my sidekick Jason of course, but we spent half the time away in our respective teams traveling around Papua New Guinea and Australia).  I lived in a dorm-style room crammed with 9 other guys from all around the world.  Talk about a clash of the worlds, we had England, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and America represented in a 15'x20' box!

I wish that was the only challenge, but it was only the beginning.  Long story (6 months long!) short, God used some circumstances in my life to pull me very close to him.  I frequently asked about my future, and I felt his response was often a very simple, "I will be with you."  I questioned a lot, I wrestled with pride that was deep in my soul, and I found myself in desperate need for my Father.  One night I stayed late at the base and used a concrete grinder to attack some old tiles in the hallway.  Nobody was around, Christmas was a week away, and it was miserably hot.  I was sweating profusely and my mind was absolutely racing with thoughts.  Finally, I broke down.  To my knees I collapsed and tears came rushing down my face.  And then I felt God near me. That's all.

Understand, the challenges that I refer to were "heart issues".  It was, I believe, the natural pruning process I chose to go through.  But the journey beginning to end was certainly the best of my whole life.  Somehow I will pull from a common financial theory to elaborate: High risk, high reward. And yes, the reward is well worth it. I will spend my whole life referring back to the lessons I learned, the people I met (such as my school leader, Buddy, on the left), and some very special moments that I witnessed.  With some things in life, you have to choose to do them, as few great adventures in life just happen.  And the best part, no one can ever take this experience from me.  It's mine forever.

I would like to take this moment to acknowledge everyone who helped support me financially.  I raised over $10,000 to cover the school fees, the outreach fees, my Aussie visa, and my international plane tickets. Oddly (or maybe not that oddly), I raised exactly the amount that I needed, and not a dollar more.  I am, through this journey, very humbled.  Thank you supporters for believing in my dream.  And for those of you who are considering an adventure like this... I challenge you to DO IT.  Purpose Precedes Provision.

Well I made it home.  That Macca's is a thing of the past.  It turns out, my time away was only a season, and now I've entered a new one.  If you desire to follow my "life journey" then check out my personal blog:

Oh life...

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