Today I am writing to you from Florida! What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been. Kirby and I have been prayerfully pursuing God about exploring Florida as an opportunity to expand our business since last spring. Finally, after a year of careful research and prayer, about a month ago we booked our flights determined to go scout out the land we feel like God is leading us to. Let me tell you, it is intimidating sometimes following God’s calling. Every now and then you get this feeling like “I don’t know if I can handle this God” or “I don’t feel qualified for this God”.
When I was on my mission trip in Croatia and Hungary I was terrified of street ministry. It was not natural for me and it was painfully awkward, but I wanted to make a difference and not shy away from my purpose there. Jeff Serio is the founder of European Initiative, and it is this ministry that we worked with while in Europe. Jeff is one of the wisest men of God I have ever encountered. I have so much respect for him. He is passionate about seeing people encounter Jesus and has given so much for the people there. I remember we had just finished hours of street ministry in the most bitter cold rain doing skits and talking to people who lingered to watch or were waiting on the tram. Walking down the sidewalk wet, cold, and shivering I headed to dinner with my team. I couldn’t help but feel discouraged and a bit worthless since street ministry was obviously not one of my strengths. Jeff gave me a verse then that I feel like is extremely applicable to this next big step in our lives. He told me that God’s grace was sufficient for me.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
I clung to that, and you know what? I found my niche of ministry on that trip and was able to love and bless and pray for people freely. So in this time where we are pursuing something where I sometimes feel unqualified for what God’s leading me to…I have to just say no, God’s grace IS sufficient. It’s sufficient to help me do all that He is calling us to do, and I couldn’t be more excited.
To give you a little update, we will be in Florida for a month networking and building relationships in the area. It’s been off to such a fantastic start! We’ve been working extremely hard and have been going nonstop. God has been opening so many doors for us that only he could’ve opened. Not only that, but Kirby and I both have dear friends that live here. It feels like home. For months though leading up to this trip it was often frustrating because it felt as though we weren’t getting any traction on our vision. It was worth it though to press in to God at those times and to not give up, to continue being faithful even when it felt like it didn’t matter. God was working on our behalf. It allowed us to press into prayer and the Bible to refine and strengthen our desires and vision, and also prepared us for this time. We are called for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” – Psalm 37:4
In other news, I seriously thought that strict gated communities were only in movies. (Yep, that’s how naive I am sometimes haha) I was so wrong!! Dogs not on leashes, unruly, tall grass, big trucks, and airplane noise are major no no’s. Who knew?! Also, when we were swimming the other night, a voice beckoned out of the loud speakers informing the kids that the hot tub was age 18 and up (luckily Kirby and I weren’t caught – everyone thinks we are just out of high school – they are in even more shock to find out we are married and in our mid/late twenties!) That’s cool, we’ll take it…forever young 🙂
But what I’ll leave you with today is to be faithful with the vision God has planted in your heart, to be patient with His timing, to be sensitive to His direction, and to be encouraged by His word even when everything may seem discouraging or confusing around you. Turn disappointments into opportunities. His grace is sufficient for you today.