This has been an amazing outreach: I've seen God move, & I've seen my students & myself be transformed.
I've seen the eyes of a prostitute light up when she hears that she has true value. I've worshiped with people in the streets of Mexico City. I've gotten to know and encourage survivors of human trafficking. I've hammocked with ngäbe tribal women in the mountains of Panama. I've heard the gut wrenching stories of men deported into Tijuana. I've done lots of dishes. I've translated- even when i felt inadequate. I've befriended people so very different than me, yet very much the same.
I've had the privilege of leading 7 women- beautiful, unique, & wild lovers of Jesus on a crazy God adventure through the nations of Mexico and Panama.
I've grown & learned so much on this outreach, & the biggest thing I've learned? it's how to let go.
As beautiful as this outreach has been, as a leader I allowed myself to be under a lot of pressure. In the midst of all the beauty & chaos, I felt really tired. All of the details and the discipleship and energy needed to lead an outreach, the trying to be in control, it was almost consuming me.
At some point however, I felt something shift. I was sitting and talking with God asking him what had changed and His answer:
you let go.
I let go, I laid it all down. The false idea that I had been in control in the first place, has broken. It took God about 6 weeks or so to break that in me, but He did it. During this outreach when things were meant to be planned for our ministry... they weren't. Sometimes we didn't know what we would be doing for ministry until the night before, sometimes we didn't even know until the morning of. God has so been stretching me, calling me, to let go of control & to trust that He has something for me & my team, even when I can't see it.
It's one thing to want to know & have things organized for yourself but when you have responsibility for a team & have 7 girls looking to you for details & plans, it adds a lot of stress. It has been so humbling to say, many times, "I don't know guys, let's pray."
I've learned complete reliance on the Holy Spirit as a leader. In driving directions, in ministry opportunities & in projects, the Holy Spirit, not me, has been our guide. We've come together as a team each morning & said "okay Lord, what do you have for us today?"
I love, I really love, having things organized & planned. This is my nature & God has totally shaken this up for me. He's kept me on the edge of my seat, trusting Him in every moment.
While organization can be a positive thing, God has really been nudging me to let go of my death grip on the details & enjoy the adventure that he has me on in that season. I haven't been able to rely on my own plans at all & it has brought me closer to Jesus, day after day.
I'm happy I let go, because when I did, I gained so much more peace & freedom, I gained so much more of Jesus.