Saturday, July 20, 2013

Taiwan -- A Place I Love

I never did post anything on my blog about my trip to Taiwan. In fact, I really haven't uploaded very many pictures to Facebook of my trip either, and it has been five months since I returned from Taiwan. Despite this, I have been thinking a LOT about Taiwan, especially within the last month or two. My heart longs to return to what I felt was my second home. My trip to Taiwan was such a special time. The Lord taught me a lot of lessons on that trip. But also, I discovered how much I really loved Taiwan, and how much I felt right at home being there, and serving the people there. I don't know if Taiwan is somewhere that God is calling me to later in life, after I'm married or while I'm still single. But I do know that Taiwan, and the people there, found a special place in my heart, that I just really can't explain. So this will just be a short post, but I wanted to post a couple of pictures that will maybe help you understand why I miss/love Taiwan so much. So here's why I love Taiwan:

Small Chinese children sitting in my lap makes me happy, even if I can't talk to them very much.

Finding random cute kids on a long train ride, and trying to make friends with them.

Winning their hearts, and having them sit in your lap.

An accountability group who actually wants to hear how you are doing. This was the best group ever!

Opportunities to teach the children important lessons, in creative ways, while pausing so someone can translate.

Random opportunities to play "Orange Blossom Special" in the middle of the street in Taiwan, just because you can, and because there is a random man standing there playing his violin, who willingly allows you to play it.

An awesome group of classmates that flew all the way from America with you.

Awesome team of teachers, translators, and coordinators (this is just one group from one week).
I definitely miss Taiwan, and pray that the Lord will grant me the opportunity to go back some day. But even if that is not in His plan for me, I know that I will always have a special place in my heart for Taiwan, and a place for Taiwan in my prayers.

Have a blessed week! Hope you enjoyed just a taste of Taiwan! Hopefully some time, I'll post some detailed blog posts about Taiwan. Stay strong in Jesus, and have a blessed day in the Lord's house tomorrow!

Because of Jesus' Blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Waiting on God

A soon-to-be cousin of mine posted a link to this blog. I don't know if I can fully endorse the whole blog, but I definitely agree with everything in this one post.
I know girls who sadly throw themselves at the first guy that comes along. They don't think about the long-term consequences of marriage. As this article states, aside from salvation, marriage is one thing that will change your life forever. But many people don't go into marriage with that mindset. Girls, it is really important to wait upon the Lord and His timing. I love this quote that I read:

"When God has called you to wait, it is because what He is doing during the waiting time is necessary for the best outcome."

That is so true. Girls, if God has you single right now, it is because He is preparing you, and/or He is preparing your future husband for you. If you are trusting God with your future, God has a special reason for you being single. 

Last weekend, I attended the Radiant Purity conference, taught by Sarah Mally. While I "knew" everything they were teaching, since I attended the conference last year, it was good to be reminded and encouraged to wait on God's perfect timing. I loved what Sarah Mally had to say about the purpose of our lives.

"The purpose of our lives is not to get married. The purpose of our lives is to glorify God."

So important for me to remember. Now that I'm 20, I can't help but wonder even more than before when God is going to bring "that guy" for me. But, I have to remember that my purpose in life is NOT to get married. My purpose in life is to glorify my Creator and Redeemer. He gave His life for me, so why should I not give my life to Him for His glory?
Before this conference, I had already determined that I didn't want to get married unless I could serve God better married than I could single. To hear Sarah, who is 34 and still single, say that was a huge impact on me. This is not to say that I want to wait until I'm in my 30's to get married. If the Lord wills, I would like to be married within the next five years. But I don't know that that is in God's plan for me, and if that doesn't bring the most glory to God, and if God can use me better as a single young woman, then I would rather stay single. This heart attitude has definitely been very difficult for me to come to. But I know that it is better to be single, serving the Lord, and happy, than to be married and miserable.
Something else Sarah said really stuck out to me:

"God is not going to keep us single one day longer than we are supposed to be single."

How true that statement is! God knows better what His plan is for us than we do! As long as I am single, God has a plan for my life! I have only to submit to His beautiful plan for my life, and He will fulfill it.
I am to be a waitress. A waitress does not stand around doing nothing. She walks around finding ways that she can serve, because that is what her employer wants her to do. The idea of "wait on the Lord" (as in Psalm 27:14) means that while I am waiting for God to bring the next phase of my life, I am serving Him, and serving others. I love this mindset of being a waitress, and pray that the Lord continues to remind me that this is my calling for right now.
So I write all of this mainly to encourage other young ladies. But, it can most definitely apply to young men. If we are following God's call for us right now, and keep walking down the path that He has for our lives, eventually our paths will cross with the person we are supposed to spend the rest of our life with. Our paths will join, and we will continue down the path together, running for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.

I encourage you all, "Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." (Psalm 27:14). God has a beautiful plan for each of us, if only we will trust Him and submit to Him. If we try to write our own story, or if we jump at the first person that takes an interest in us, or we are interested in, then we could mess up the beautiful plan that God has for our life. Not to say that God is not sovereign over everything, because He will even use our mistakes to fulfill His ultimate plan. But we do have a free will, and we must submit that will to the Will of God for our lives, and allow Him to write our story for us. Relinquish the pen to the great Author. He will write a story for you more beautiful than you could imagine.

Just some thoughts for tonight. I pray that you will take them to heart, and allow God to work His beautiful plan in your life. Stay strong in Jesus! Trust always in Him, and He will direct your path.

Because of Jesus' Blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

20 years

20 years....
Out to dinner for my 20th birthday

God has allowed me to live on this earth for 20 years now. Each new year that the Lord grants me, I know is a huge blessing.
Last Wednesday, July 3rd, I turned 20 years old. It's such a surreal feeling. I know some of you who have come to and left this point already probably think I'm silly, but to me it just seems so unreal.
I have been thinking back over the last 20 years (okay, so as many as I can actually remember), and thinking of all the lessons God has taught me, with the last six years being the most significant. Six years ago, I attended the Journey to the Heart, and it changed my life forever. And out of the last six years, this last year especially has been a time of huge change in my life, and in my walk with the Lord.
I remember last summer having feelings of discontentment and anxiousness: anxious to get married (yes, at only 19). Not completely content where God had placed me. I had so many things that I was holding on to, of which I needed to let go. I am amazed at the work that God has done in my life just since last summer, and that He continues to do.
This last year, He has taught me...

Surrender
Trust
Patience
Contentment

I have definitely not perfected these things, but I find myself perfectly content where I am right now. I have surrendered my future into God's hands, and I trust Him completely with my future. Recent circumstances showed me that trying to write my own story was not worth it, and that I'd only end up making a disaster of my life. So who better to let write my story than Someone who is perfect?
I am also finding myself falling deeply in-love with Jesus. Wow...He continues to amaze me more and more every day, and I find myself falling deeper and deeper into an intimate relationship with Him. He has become my true source of joy. He is my contentment. He has provided for all of my needs. It is because of Jesus that I am the woman that I am today.
Because I have found such a deep love for Jesus, I'm not anxious anymore about getting married. I only want that to come if it will further deepen my love for the Lord, and if I can serve Him better married than I can single. I have learned that life is all about Him. It's all about bringing glory to Christ. Now when tempted to sin, I think to myself "but I love Jesus too much to do something like that." Oh that the whole world could know of Jesus' deep love for them, and fall completely and madly in-love with Jesus themselves!
I wish I could fully express my love to Him, and fully explain to everyone how much I truly love Jesus, and how much I want everyone to love Him the same way.
I am thankful that the Lord is teaching me to love Him and to delight in Him. I am looking forward to another 20 years of truly loving and serving Jesus, if He decides to grant me with those 20 years. I know the next 20 years will be filled with MANY changes in my life (as I do hope to marry and have kids within the next 20 years). As my brother said, "The next 20 years will be harder and more expensive."

No matter what the future may bring, I am resting in the knowledge that my Father has a beautiful story for my life, if I will only leave the pen in His hands. I am thankful for even the mistakes I've made in the last 20 years, as they have taught me many beautiful lessons.

Sorry if this post has seemed like kind of a ramble. But I'm excited to see how God will work in my life and use me in the next 20 years, and am thankful for these past 20 years. I encourage you all to let God write your story, especially if you're still young, and unmarried. Give Him the pen to your life, and He will write a more beautiful story than you could ever have imagined for yourself. Stay strong in Jesus! Cling to Him, and give Him your whole heart!

Because of Jesus' Blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10
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