When Brokenness Began - Nicaragua 2015

Tomorrow marks one week from the day I stepped back into my home country,
and out of the country where I saw, felt, and leaned on God like never before.
So much to process, still so much to work through.
Still so much rawness.
Still so much joy from the people there.
People ask if we had "a wonderful trip". 
Yes.  Yes, we definitely did.
It was completely life changing, absolutely incredible, and honestly very hard.
I was stretched and pushed and molded by God.
I grew like never before.
We arrived in Raleigh for training Monday evening on July 20th, day that was very much anticipated by yours truly.
Our mission began with a worship service, and as I stood there, a huge smile broke over my face.
What joy! 
This is where I belong! 
Worshipping my Creator with youth who have the same drive for Christ that He's given me.
Working with teens on a mission to bring Christ to the nations.
This is where I belong.
I knew that God was going to do something great.
I just didn't know how hard it was going to be to get to that place where he could work in me.
After a couple hours, the mission leaders began casting parts in the drama.
I was so thrilled with the role I was chosen for.
I wouldn't have rather had any other part, and I was incredibly happy. 
But when drama training began, I flunked...completely. 
That night I flunked,
the next morning.  The next afternoon, and evening, and morning after that.
What on earth was going on with me??
I got acting.
I've been involved with it for who knows how long.
I understand it.
Why was I not getting this??
I wasn't getting it because I was the one trying to get it.
I was being overly - yet unintentionally - self sufficient.
God can't use that.
Training started, and I thought I could do it.
I knew I could do it.
But God was like, "Um, no you can't."
And I fell.  Over and over and over.
Somehow everyone had no problem learning an intense 20 minute drama in 2.5 days.
I didn't.
I was embarrassed - humiliated, even.
And terrified.  I hated feeling so incredibly stupid, and I did. 
I knew people were frustrated with me, I knew they saw my stupidity.  I knew I had to get my part down or I would be replaced in the drama. 
I was so scared and humiliated that I was sick.
But I had to be broken.  I had to get over that "I've got this" mentality. 
God opened my eyes, and then I knew.
I could NOT.  God COULD.
I began to say over and over, "when I am weak, He is strong.  When I am weak, HE IS STRONG."
I've "got" nothing.
God has everything.
When I gave up my self-sufficiency, God came in and restored my brokenness.
Now he could begin work with me, and work with me he did.
Through His grace, I learned the drama by dress rehearsal at the end of the our 30ish hours of training. 
Before the last practice before leaving for Nicaragua, we had a service where we'd preform the drama for good friends and family.
But before we started the drama, we took an hour and a half to worship God.
An hour and a half that would change my life.
All the team members stood in the front, and we began to pray over each other. 
One by one, we surrendered our fear, and prayed over our peers - our new family.
It was so incredible... the first time I've experienced something so powerful.
To surrender my fear was so hard, but when I began to pray, I filled with such peace that I never wanted to stop.
We felt God.
And when it was time to preform the dress rehearsal, it went so well.
I was so proud to have our family and friends come and see us as we prepared to leave as missionaries.
The best feeling in the world. 
By the time we left the church at 12am, we had a total of 4 hours before leaving for the airport at 3am later that morning.
But this was only the beginning of our journey to Nicaragua - we hadn't even left the state yet!
What else God was going to do on the trip was beyond what I could have dreamed.
It was going to be life changing, incredible, and it was going to begin to break me apart.  It was going to start tearing down walls in my life that hadn't realized were there.
It was going to be hard, but God would be with us, and that was enough.

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