Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Missing England

Okay, you people are probably SICK of hearing me talk about England, but I can't help it! First of all, I spent 1/3 of last year there and have quite a few good friends from/living in the UK. Secondly, when there's a burden and a love for a country in your heart, you can't help but talk about it. So deal! ;o)

I know I mentioned going to World Mandate two weeks ago, but I never followed up on that post. The main reason I went was because I knew there would be people from England and King's Arms there. After seeing all my friends, I was ready to leave. But since I paid the $50 for the conference I figured I might as well stay.

I know I've spiritually matured, because this was probably the first year I didn't get swept up in all the emotions. This was the first year I was able to stand before God and wait for Him to speak. There were no distractions (or at least very few) about if anyone would come over and pray for me or if they would have "a word" for me, etc etc. In England last year I learned the hard way that I HAVE TO be able to meet with God one on one. I'm all for community, and I sorely miss it now that I don't have a church, but when everyone and everything is stripped away you must be able to tap into God for yourself. So this year at Mandate I practically walked that out.

Another sign of my maturity is I didn't get swept up in the call to go to the nations. I already know that God has called me, I've already been multiple times, and I know I'm going back. As much as I would love to leave next week, I know the next year-and-a-half will be integral in preparing the way, and I'm ready to wait for Him to sort it all out.

Back to England. I met with Mike, the director of the King's Arms Project, and he told me they would love to have me back in Bedford at anytime. The problem: they can't afford to pay me this year (or at least, pay beyond the 120 pound stipend). But I assured him it was okay because I wouldn't be ready to go back for at least another year. And I long to return! It's a bit scary, because Project changes so much over just a year, but I know this is what the Lord is calling me to do next.

So now I'm faced with the challenge of living the next 18 months without pinning away for England. I don't want to miss out on anything coming my way this next year, and I don't want to hold my breath until I step off that plane in Gatwick Airport. So I'm learning how to fully live each day. Some days are better than others, but God is good! I miss England. I miss living at 19 Preston Rd with Dave and Hannah. I miss working at the Nightshelter. I miss being streched and pushed out of my comfort zone. I miss all the interesting people and those interesting encounters I had at the Nightshelter. I miss interceding and befriending those rejected by society. I miss worshiping at King's Arms. I miss day trips to London. I even miss walking everywhere in a small town and running into people I know. And I especially miss my good friends. But I KNOW God is good and faithful!

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

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