Thankful for brothers…

This missionary year has been one of firsts,

  • I walked on a frozen lake for the first time
  • I used a nail gun for the first time
  • I used a chainsaw for the first time
  • I used a cordless electric pole chainsaw for the first time
  • I helped lead worship for the confirmation retreat, it’s the first time I’ve ever helped with worship on a weekend retreat
  • I played/sang the first song I ever learned on guitar in front of someone for the first time
  • I helped put up insulation at one of our cabins (John XXIII), I helped hold a piece of wood and helped to make sure it was leveled and all
  • I played knockout (some basketball game) for the first time – big deal since my sport is soccer haha :)

What I came to realize is that for every one of the above mentioned “firsts,” one of my brothers here at Covecrest was somehow involved.

  • JJ held my hand so I could walk on the frozen lake, I was hesitant to try but he kept encouraging me to try assuring me that he would catch me if I fell.
  • David asked me if I wanted to try and use the nail gun during the Family Mission weekend when the boys were working on Katherine Weaver’s house. I declined the opportunity at first because I just didn’t feel super comfortable with the nail gun, it’s huge and loud. But he kept encouraging me to try at least once, and I did – it was fun.
  • A couple of days ago I was helping Bradley with some work  that needed to be done around camp and he asked me if I had ever used a chainsaw before, I said no and he asked if I wanted to try. At first I was kind of unsure if I wanted to try, but he encouraged me so I went for it. I started using it but I couldn’t get the saw to cut all the way through the tree. So Bradley held the chainsaw with me until we were able to cut through the chunkiest part of the tree – so fun!
  • About a week ago I was with JJ & Paul trimming these big bushes by one of the cabins at camp and there was a cordless electric pole chainsaw we could use. There were also thee big scissor things (not electric). I had sort of thought of using the electric thing but I was unsure. JJ asked if I wanted to use it, I said I was okay, but he insisted that I try and that he would show me how to use it. So I did try, and it was fun too :)
  • This past weekend we (missionaries at Covecrest) held a confirmation for about 5 parishes in Georgia. Paul lead worship and I helped him. I was perfectly content with helping with backup vocals, but Paul encouraged me to sing – by myself. When he first suggested it, my heart was nervous – I tend to sing with someone else and not by myself. But Paul was encouraging and showed confidence in me so I was able to sing for God and it was so blessed.
  • So over Christmas break I learned how to play “The Way I am” by Ingrid Michaelson. I can actually sing/play at the same time! So my friend Mark kept asking when I would play it in front of people. I was hesitant to share it in front of people because I didn’t want to make a mistake and I just got nervous. But eventually, after Mark kept asking, I went ahead and played it :)
  • Tim asked for help with putting up insulation at John XXIII, which entailed getting up on ladder (very high off the ground!), holding up a piece of wood and making sure it was level. It was great that he took the time to explain what I was supposed to do, when he probably could have done it faster by himself.
  • Most of our boys (Mark, JJ, Paul, Tim) wanted to play knockout. Sara and I didn’t know how to play so they took the time to explain it, they were so patient and super encouraging whenever we missed a shot. We had a lot of fun :)

So I am thankful for my missionary brothers.  In one way or another they have encouraged me to try something new. They have showed confidence in my abilities when I have found it difficult to believe in myself. And because of their faith in me, I have been able to step out of my comfort zone and take part in many “firsts” this year.

It kind of makes me think of how God has confidence in me – in me! Because He made me, He created my heart, my soul, with His very hands. He knows my abilities, He knows what my heart can handle and even though I can often doubt my strength, that does not change what lies within me.

This morning during morning prayer the word “freedom” struck me a lot. The more I let God be who He is the freer I can be. If I fully put my faith in Him, I am truly free. Ah! I want to be free. I yearn for the day that I can be fully free in His arms. Somedays I can say I feel like I might be holding His hand, but I yearn to be held in His arms – to let myself be fully held by Him. He is getting me there – slowly but surely. Amen. :)

Here is a song by Ginny Owens called “Free,” it was on my heart today:

Turnin’ molehills into mountains
Makin’ big deals out of small ones
Bearing gifts as if they’re burdens
This is how it’s been
Afraid of coming out of my shell
Too many things I can’t do too well
Afraid I’ll try real hard
And I’ll fail
This is how it’s been
Till the day You pounded on my heart’s door
And You shouted joyfully
You’re not a slave anymore!

You’re free to dance
Forget about your two left feet
And you’re free to sing
Even joyful noise is music to Me
You’re free to love
‘Cause I’ve given you My love
And it’s made you free
I have set you free!

My mind finds hard to believe

That You became humanity and

Changed the course of history
Because You loved us so
And my heart cannot understand
How You accept me as I am
But You say You’ve always had a plan
And that’s all I need to know
So when I am consumed
With what the world will say
Then You’re singing to me, as You remove
my chains

You’re free to dance
Forget about your two left feet
And you’re free to sing
Even joyful noise is music to Me
You’re free to love
‘Cause I’ve given you My love
And it’s made you free
I have set you free!

Free from worry
Free from envy and denial
Free to live, free to give, free to smile

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