Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicago Mission Trip: Prologue

It has been well over a year since Austin and I joined youth from our community on a mission trip to inner city Chicago. I originally had very good intentions to blog about it right away. I, obviously, have not. I have not written about it anywhere; except in my devotional journals while I was actually in Chicago. I have tried and tried to write about it, but for some reason, the timing was never right. What I actually believe is that I was not ready to write about it until now and Satan has really been oppressing me and discouraging me from putting my thoughts and words down.

It is really hard to explain, but even now, thinking about the trip and actually writing it all out -for everyone to see (whoever might want to read) is causing me a lot of anxiety. I want to share about our trip. I want to share about the absolutely amazing ways God ripped me out of my comfort zone and changed the entire course of my life in a few short days in a city not so far away. I desire others to know how God can work through us and in us and the amazing ways God will use your life if only you will let him. I believed that long before Chicago, but it wasn't until I was actually there that I could see crystal clear what He would do in me and through me, if only I was completely open to Him. I believe the anxiety comes from Satan, because he very much wants me to continue my silence in the ways God used that trip for His good and His purpose. I also know that many of the things I experienced are not easy to write out and talk about; not at all. I have not shared much with everyone in general because it would mean completely processing everything, and in a very real sense, reliving it all.

There are some things that came about as a direct result of that trip that I have prayed would be taken away from Austin. And it is hard to admit that I would pray against something that God chose to bless Austin with; but as a mom, I also see the spiritual battle it has thrown Austin into. I can pinpoint the exact moment God gifted Austin, and I can also pinpoint ways it changed him. I prayed that God would take it away; that Austin was far too young to have the gift he has; that Austin would not be able to "handle" it. Satan really attacked Austin from that trip and still is. In some ways, Austin recognizes it. In many ways, he does not. It's a daily, sometimes minute-by-minute spiritual battle for him, and also for a mom, as his parents, as his family. It makes it harder that many people do not believe the power Satan has. Many people underestimate him. I  may or may not share the specific spiritual gift that Austin was blessed with. And yes, today I do view it as a gift and a blessing. I always have, it's just been hard to see my child have to go through what he has had to go through in the last year. But it is a blessing. Austin now knows exactly how real God is. I always thought he did prior to the trip, but that trip changed him and also brought him into a much deeper relationship with God. And I can only imagine the things that God must have planned for him, if Austin continues to seek Him and His will over his life, witnessing how very threatened Satan is by Austin. 

I was changed. Life changing things happened on that trip. There were a lot of amazing things that happened. I can't wait to share about them all.....yet, I also hesitate, only because I know it is going to be hard. 

This was a very powerful experience for me. You may think that things like this really can't happen; but they do. I plan on sharing exactly what happened during the trip and the ways in which we were all changed.  And I will never, ever apologize for sharing God's power and God's love with everyone. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

don't worry. i'll always take care of you.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dancing Fool

(it may look like he is playing hopscotch, but he was actually dancing a little jig down the hopscotch drawing)