“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
The command says to GO. So what does that mean?
Let’s back up some, missions and mission trips and what they look like has been on my heart a lot lately. And if I’m being completely transparent- the passion to GO and serve has faded over time. Life happens, plans that we make change, and things turn out differently than you expect. For my situation it isn’t a bad thing at all. Short term mission trips with my home church have always been so refreshing. I have had the opportunity to go and serve and share the good news about Christ in a handful of countries and different parts of the U.S. . With summer approaching then that means: mission trip time! Although for me that is not the case this summer. With a baby who is very dependent on us still (aka- won’t take a bottle…) then we won’t be able to leave her for an extended amount of time. Which is fine for this season because I do feel strongly called to give my daughter at least a year of being EBF before leaving her. And just because I can’t “go”, doesn’t mean I can’t serve where I am.
This past weekend I was given the opportunity to talk with my dear friend Dara about missions as one of the breakout rooms at Babe Bash. Babe Bash is a night of worship and speakers and fellowship and lots of junk food with the youth at my church. It’s a great night to be encouraged and bond with all the girls!
I was reminded of the command to “go and make disciples“, but also of the last part: “of all nations“. I tend to forget that the U.S is part of “all nations“. I fall into the trap that everyone here knows Jesus or has heard about Him so I don’t push conversation or allow the Spirit to lead me at times. This mindset can cause me to become comfortable with an easy life and not being bold when I should be. Yuck! I pray for myself and you that you are never in that place for a long time! We should be burden for those who need Jesus. It is so important to surround yourself with others who will challenge you to be uncomfortable for Christ. I don’t ever want to be stuck just going through the motions of what this world has to offer.
We are called not only to share the gospel, but to live it. There are people out there, our friends and family for starters, who desperately need Jesus. Yes they may “know” who He is or heard of Him, but they don’t know what it looks like to walk with Him daily. They need to know who Jesus is on a personal level. They need to know His comfort, they need His healing, they need to be freed from bondage, and they need guidance to walk in His ways. An easy way to do this is by sharing with them all the good things God has done for you and in your life. You don’t have to have a bible degree or be a perfect person (because that is none of us, duh) to share the good news or to be a light. We don’t have to wait for a specific time this summer, or whenever, to spread the gospel. Right now, where you are, Jesus says make disciples.
So what does “long term” in my own life looks like? My husband and I dream about the day we will get to own our own coffee shop and use it as a ministry! Have I ever worked in a coffee shop? Nope! But do I love me some coffee? Yup! Overtime we have talked about what it would look like, where it would be, what our goal for it would be. We never could decide where we wanted to have it though, in the states or somewhere new and fun overseas? Was the Lord calling us here or somewhere else? We hadn’t felt a huge pull to an exact location, so seeing how neither of know how to run a business then we talked about starting it here where we are currently. We want it to be cute and quirky over course. But most importantly we want it to be a place where people can come together and fellowship. Bond with old and new friends. Rejoice over life and blessings. But also share burdens, and heartache, and the pits we fall in.
Like I said, life happens and things change. Babies come into the picture and plans get put on hold. In my heart I know that the Lords timing is perfect. I desire owning a coffee shop even more in this season of life than ever before.
Before having Lilly I’ve always loved meeting with small group girls, life group ladies, older Godly women, and anyone in between. But if I am being honest there were times when it seemed like a real chore. I loved having coffee and hanging out, but girls/women intimidate me. I felt awkward at times or like they were too much drama. And I would rather just be at home hanging out with my husband. There is that comfortableness that I have to fight. I am not saying spending time with your husband is bad at all! But there are times when you need to be available to love on those around you. After having Lilly the Lord has completely changed my heart and passion for women though. Maybe it’s a mom thing? I just feel like I have such a huge connection with the women around me. I love them and want them to feel loved. Being a mom, wife, teenager, is hard at times. Putting on the “I have it all together” facade is quite exhausting. So I want to be able to encourage others, pour into them and be poured into myself, share advice (when asked of course. no one wants some rando’s advice. am I right?) and be able to receive it, and be there for those who need someone.
I love Wednesday mornings because a group of wonderful mommas come over for coffee and bible study and it’s so wonderful and always encouraging. My time meeting with this group of women who already know Jesus and what it looks like to walk with Him is always so refreshing! I am always pointed back to Jesus by them. Get plugged into groups that encourage you and help fill you back up so you can go out and be bold.
So how do we do this? ENGAGE WITH THOSE AROUND YOU. Go on a walk with your neighbor, hang out with kids in your youth, have coffee with moms, just do life together. Some of these things don’t require you to bring up the gospel in every conversation, but they do allow you to live it. Simply be an example and live the life Christ has called us to.
And in my own life it comes down to living the gospel at home. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to be a stay at home mom and therefore I am around Lilly all day everyday. She (and future littles) is going to be strongly influenced by the life I display. How I react, how I spend my time, and how I treat her father. I pray I can be the Godly wife/mother that I am called to be. I know I will fail, but thank you Jesus for new mercies everyday!
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great i your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Friends, I challenge you to be burdened for those who don’t know Him and for those who are seeking Him. Be available to those around you. And also look for opportunities to GO and serve somewhere out of your comfort zone. I know my church has lots of trips planned for this summer, so let me know if you need somewhere to plug in and get info. Be open to where the Spirit is leading you.
Teach me Lord to be more like you. To love those who are in need, to be patient, kind, gentle, and self-controlled. Teach me to wake up to your grace and start each day with a joyful heart. And allow me to be bold and go when I am called.
“out of His fulness we have received grace upon grace” John 1:16
I pray you are encouraged my sweet friends.
Until next time,