Training Camp - From the Head to the Heart
Another big check off the preparation list...I just got back from Training Camp!
Hosted at AIM's headquarters in Gainesville, GA, this ten-day intensive consisted of everything from spiritual formation, worship, field scenarios, bountiful laughter, late nights, early mornings, team building, feedback and lots and lots of prayer. Five squads were in attendance equaling 107 World Racers total. I *finally* got to meet the 20 members of my squad (Y Squad) and y'all, they are FANTASTIC. I'd encourage you to read my teammate, Kaitlyn's blog where she does a great job introducing each team member. You can also get a good idea of what TC looked like by watching my teammates, Allina’s and Kat’s vlogs. In addition to meeting my squad, our serve teams were officially selected. I'll be walking alongside five other beautiful women under the team name "Always Before Me". I'll introduce the women and the meaning behind the name in a separate blog post but you can check out their blogs here.
[Now for a glimpse as to what God's been doing in me these last ten days]
"What can you do in just a month...?"
This is the question most ask me when I explain the World Race program. Each person wonders what impact can come from just a month of ministry per country. The bold inquire out loud and the reserved question in their hearts. Let me say first, this is indeed a valid query. In fact, it was the first point of tension I brought to the Lord and when I did so, He delighted in giving me the insights I asked for. And that's great - knowing in your head is important but a chasm remained.
"What can you - knowing what you know - do in just a month...?"
And the truthful answer was, nothing. I couldn’t do anything of consequence in a month with solely knowing because knowledge, although important, lives in the head. And in the head, I am alone because Jesus, in His fullness, resides in the heart. These last ten days of my life have been a journey -- from the head to the heart.
Now my heart is full of more than words and good ideas. It's filled with the love of Jesus and Holy Spirit. In ten days, my heart learned Jesus' truth: our adoption as sons and daughters supersedes anything we think or feel about ourselves or others.
What do you do with such a beautiful heart truth? The essence of a certainty so weighty it cannot be encapsulated by words or descriptions, blogs or photos. The beauty of a divine relationship that is fostered through an odyssey in which every step is directed and foreseen, yet impactful all the same.
You choose to receive and accept the love that's offered.
And when you choose to walk in this intimacy, you come to the end of yourself and life in Christ begins. In that moment, He delights in bestowing freedom to live and love fully by way of His grace and mercy.
But when that freedom is actualized and Holy Spirit is encountered, how do you live it out? In the fullness of life offered by Jesus, your plans and works mean nothing. They are simply filthy rags you obsessively wring out in your grasp for control. The moment you relinquish, you’re transplanted, deeply rooted in open space with the glory of the Lord always before you. Without the clutter of striving, without the works you so desperately relied on -- maybe for identity or perhaps just to fill blank space -- what is your calling? It’s terrifying to lay down the simulated safety of the mundane to-do lists but in the sweet surrender of your life, Jesus appoints you as a steward of His Kingdom. With such a title, by way of the Holy Spirit, God will use you to do great works for His eternal purposes.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the Poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners…”
What better time spent? Let your heart hear this truth I received over the last ten days: God declares us adopted through His son, Jesus Christ and therefore, that truth is above any other we’ve accepted about ourselves. And because that is truth, we must submit to it’s implications. You don’t accept the truth of gravity and then expect everything you drop to float in midair, right? No, you submit to gravity’s implications and act accordingly.
For this season in my life, submission and obedience means walking by faith into the nations, loving fully and fearlessly proclaiming the gospel. Through Holy Spirit’s presence, the Lord's truth is embedded into my heart and therefore, there is no time too short for the Lord to do His work.
Thanks be to God.