Obedience, brokeness, and God sized adventures

Story: Katie Johnson

Tonight, as I finish preparing to leave for Portland my heart is being continually called back to the idea of obedience, brokenness, and growth. You may wonder what in the world those three things have to do with Portland…I’ll build up to that. If you are just now checking into our blog I’ll catch you up. Myself and eight other college students will be spending six weeks living in Portland, Oregon through the North American Mission Board. Our goal is to learn more about church planting and ministry outside of the church walls as well as learning to live our daily lives through a missional mindset. Now missional can seem a little intimidating or too churchy so let me put that in context: to live on mission is to live with a purpose of serving and engaging the people around you with the intention of glorifying God.

Now back to this whole obedience thing. For the past few weeks, I have to admit I have been torn about leaving my sweet Tennessee comforts for six weeks. I am beyond excited to get on the ground in Portland and see Gods hand at work but I also fear missing out on opportunities, events with friends and family, and comforts of home. Sounds kind of silly huh? I’m a Christian, I’ve been considering moving to Portland, and I’ll be doing what I love, this should be a breeze right? Wrong. Thoughts of “what have I gotten myself into”, “what if I just suck at this”, “I’m going to miss so much” creep into my mind.

BUT, then I am reminded of Gods perfect timing and grace in my life. God has a plan for my life over the next six weeks, he has already gone before me and prepared the way, all I must simply do is be obedient. We have been reading through the Bible as a whole with our church. This month I have been working my way through 1 Samuel (yes, I am very far behind) and although I find myself just reading about fighting, blood, and death a reoccurring theme has jumped out to me. Obedience. All that they were called to do was listen to Gods commands and be obedient. When they didn’t things began to go astray.

In Leading with a Limp by Dan Allender he states, “God invites us to run and yet to know that he will arrive again at our place of flight before we arrive so he can direct our steps again.” God knew my fleeting heart would go astray before I even did yet here I sit watching him direct my steps back to His glory. While I may be reluctant I know that my God is bigger. I can rest and know that God is using these moments to break me, to reveal my weaknesses, and to lean into Him so that I can point others to Him through my own life.

“God is playing out his plot, and reluctant and limping servants while being humbled as leaders, are lifted up to see his glory.”

As I rise early in the morning to board a plane to travel to the other side of the U.S. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to be distracted by what I may miss at home, God has already orchestrated my steps. I don’t have to worry about being the best team member or being horrible at meeting people. I must simply choose to be obedient and rest in the timing and grace of my loving savior. I must be willing to be vulnerable, to be broken, and to grow so that others may see God at work in me.

“But the greatest glory we can know is to see Jesus’ life planted in a heart and watch beauty and righteousness begin to grow.”

As our team ventures off for the summer, pray alongside of us for the city of Portland and for our own fleeting hearts. Pray that we will follow with blind obedience and courage.

A sweet friend left my with this reminder today to keep with me as I head out.

You were worth Him dying for.

You Lord, give peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you. Isa. 26:3