Here. It’s where I am.
On a bus. Ten hours driving through Colombia. I’m not there nor over there nor anywhere else. Here — keenly aware of the seconds turning to hours, Mission Impossible playing in Spanish on the 12” televisions and various smells drifting from the bathroom or otherwise. I am here and there is no place I’d rather be. You see, the unarguable Truth declares each moment to be a space of splendor. An expanse set aside for experiencing relationship with the Almighty — life longing to be lived at the Lord’s side.
If you pay attention...
The air molecules entering the depths of your lungs come with a bow, some even with pretty red wrapping paper. Each is an individual gift from Abba, to be torn into with hope, treasured deeply, played with hard and loved fully in reality. Given freely and abundantly in the exact quantity perfectly mapped out for His story told through us. Moments cultivate our relationship…this sacred romance is the nectar of life. Sip on the fullness of what’s offered, savoring each breath. Lap it up, unashamedly licking the bowl. Each second you’re alive is meant for you. Like the less than prophetic Eminem bestows…you only get one shot. Do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime.
But I’ve recently been a beggar...
Sitting on the floor of the Kingdom as if I’ve been denied the breaths everyone else is enjoying. I’ve been begging our freely giving Father for more. More assurance, more exposure, more evidence, more of ALL of it. FOMO to the heavenly power. Friends, does this resonate with you? My begging manifested in a wandering mind trashed with unorganized thoughts…’maybe if I put my hands up when I sing, maybe if I use the right language in my prayers, maybe then something will happen!’
Nothing but frustration and weariness. Whenever I feel weary, I’ve learned to stop whatever I'm doing. Excessive exertion is the opposite of Jesus. He invited us to come to Him, take His yoke and learn from Him. In doing so, we’re promised rest for our souls (Matt. 11:28-30). Weariness derives from working without Jesus. So, on the flight from the US to Columbia, I prayed. In that prayer God revealed Himself to me in a why I’ve never experienced…rather He reveled me to me.
He gave me a picture...
The Lord likened me to a puppy on a short leash, tugging, chewing and yanking to move forward faster, moving this way and that, choking but not learning. I’ve been so caught up in what’s to come, being tethered feels like restriction, rather than loyalty and companionship. He showed me a puppy, full of life but little recognition for her owner’s voice.
Lovingly He explained...
‘We will get there, Leah. I want all the adventure for us! Life abundant, just like I promise (John 10:10). Our relationship will surpass any hope that's ever drifted through your mind…but, sweet girl, remember that’s exactly what this is…a relationship. I want to cultivate it and we must do that side by side, together. We won’t grow close while you tug outside of the present moment I’m gifting you. You’re still growing in what it means to heel and wasting much energy fighting the process. I know your heart so intimately, my dear. If I let your leash go long right now, you’ll have difficulty picking my voice out amongst all the others. I don’t want that for you…I want your good. And you honor me in your obedience. So let’s walk side by side in the present moment — it’s a gift to be here together and our relationship will grow. There is no place I’d rather be.’
So here I am.
Spending ten hours on a bus, breathing in bows and pretty red wrapping paper. Learning to heel.
Thanks be to God.
We left the US on Monday, August 7th and flew into Medellian, Colombia. My team spent the evening in Medellian in a local hostel after walking many many blocks lost with our packs on (#sweaty). I spent some time this morning making a new friend, a French guy named Sasha. I explained we are missionaries and he accepted when Allina (my teammate) and I offered to pray with him. It felt great to get my feet wet, so to speak. Traveling on mission takes some adjustment for sure.
We eventually left to make our way to the bus station. Kat, another teammate, prayed for specific people to help us get where we needed to go especially after the fiasco the day before. God is so good. We were guided step by step. First by a kind Colombian who walked us all the way to the proper train station and then passed us off to two police officers who literally escorted us right to the proper bus ticket station. Amazing. We’ll arrive in Bogota, Columbia at 2:00a tomorrow morning (August 9th) where we’ll be collected by our ministry host, Laura. I am STOKED to see what God has in store there. I'll post more about what we're doing specifically when we find out.
Also, for those that know me, this should make you laugh. I was standing with Kat who was getting ice cream. We stood next to another woman getting a cone as well. I smiled but when I tried to make conversation she made it clear she didn’t speak English. As Kat got her ice cream, we turned to walk away but then heard, ‘Mija!’ a nickname for ‘daughter’ in Spanish. I turned back to see her smiling as the worker handed me an ice cream cone. Stunned, I laughed and thanked her profusely. I don’t know why, but free things (particularly food) is my love language with strangers, domestic or abroad. God winks for sure. ;)