Beautiful Things

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tomato, To Motto.

I’ve been wanting to write this one for awhile, but have not been certain of how to go about it. I’m just going to try and explain what God’s been showing me.

He Goeth Before.

That’s become the motto for this year. I remember reading the phrase back in January, when I was reading Amy Carmichael’s biography. There was a photo of a page in her devotional where she had written next to the date, “He goeth before”. It struck me then as something that I hadn’t thought much about before.

Since then, those words have penetrated and proved true in every part of life. And they just keep popping up everywhere:

Journal 003

When I think about how in the world I managed to find myself in Cote d’Ivoire.

When I think about all the people who encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and think about ministry in a different place.

When I think about how God’s prepared me for ministry here, and how He is preparing me for future ministry.

When I think about why He chose who He did for our team.

When I think about all He has for all of us after this year .

Everything points me back to the fact that He has gone before me.

Journal 006

But it’s not just me He’s gone before.

He’s gone before us all in everything. He was there at the beginning of this world and He knows the entire story. He went before His people, the Israelites, and brought them into the land He promised them. He went before us as He walked on this earth. He went before us in His death on the cross and He went before us in His resurrection to sit beside the Father. In all things He’s gone before.

Journal 002

All He asks us to do is keep our eyes on Him and follow. We don’t have to be looking at our feet wondering if the next step we take is wrong or right, or worrying that the next pebble we step on will cause us to fall. Jesus knows the path well, He’s walked it before!

This is exciting stuff! All this is to say that plans for next year are being confronted. Every journeyer has prayed about the possibility of continuing our ministries here in Cote d’Ivoire for a second year. So…… [drum roll please] ….

I’m coming home! [bumbadabum!] I feel that God gave this year of growth and struggle for the purpose of stretching and preparing me for what’s next. I don’t exactly know what that will be in the long run, but I do know that grad school is in the works. This year, I saw such a need for Missionary Member Care out here in the field, what that means is counseling. So, I’m hoping to move forward with getting my Masters degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling. I’m adding another tool to my tool belt as Gaylene Demars would say!

Goodness, I’m excited about what’s next! I’m even more excited about what the next 3 months will hold. As I continue to deepen relationships with my family and church, I’m reminded of the importance of living each day to its fullest. Today is a gift; it’s a day that I get to visit my pastors, grab a bite to eat with Jason and Alyssa, and sit and laugh with Dorcas as we sort rice. And you know what? God knows exactly what our days hold, so there’s no worry of tomorrow. That’s a beautiful thing. He goeth before.


Mimi Bjorklund said...

Naomi, what an awesome post. I'm thrilled that you've learned the confidence that comes from knowing and trusting the one who goes before. Praise God for his answer to all our prayers on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic. I love that you are 'continuing on' with counseling in a way to apply it toward the mission field!!

What's really fantastic is something I learned on my Israel tour when we visited an old Jewish community called Chorazin, which reminds me of your blog post. In Jewish culture, when a man gets married, he does not move into another house, nor leaves the country (a la Prodigal Son), he BUILDS onto his father's house. So it becomes a strip mall of family relatives. ALSO, if I remember correctly, the wedding could only start when the groom picked up his bride after finishing this addition onto his father's house. So during this construction, the son would do his work, and his father would consult to ensure that this house the son was preparing was quality. Only the father would know when the son's work was finished. Then, he could retrieve his bride. Then, Jesus can retrieve his Church, as his second coming is considered often times as a wedding.

I find it wonderful, and your story of "He Goeth Before" as well as the John 14 reference reminds me of this. So, like the parable of the brides and the oil, we must stand ready and prepared. We can be prepared and rest assured that our groom is readying our path and our home for us, and we need only to be patient until he retrieves us in life and when he calls us home.

I love you friend, and hope and pray I can be happy, open ears for you to pour into. I also pray that you can come to me even though I don't know what it is like - I would rather not let that separate us, because my time is coming very soon!

Happy -2 days early birthday!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post Naomi :)
and thanks for the lesson and encouragement. He does go before.
I was reminded of Acts 4 as I read this, because Peter was reminding others of God's will and perfect knowledge of everything that happens.
Love in Christ,