A few months ago I was introduced to Jen Daugherty on Twitter. Yes, Twitter! A friend of hers said we had similar stories and we should meet. I’m so thankful for that!
For 31 days, Jen is dissecting the topic of brave. And since brave and faith are first cousins, I asked if she would drop a few lines for me about faith. So, here she is….
Faith is a journey…always moving forward. Many times, this means that just about the time we start to feel comfortable with where we are, we are called to change. We’re called to be brave and take our next step in faith.
Two years ago, I was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa. While the initial decision to move to South Africa took a lot of faith, I had been there for over two years and it felt comfortable. What had once been strange was now normal. So much so that I resisted the call to return home, until God compelled me to return.
That is, until He dragged me back, returning home on Medevac after an injury.
Being back in my hometown has been a bigger test of my faith than living abroad was, and yet I’ve seen God work in amazing ways. When we step out in faith and embrace the season of life God puts before us, we see our faith multiplied. We see God working in the small moments and the big ones.
I reluctantly started to settle down, at first resisting the call to stay. But slowly, I began to settle into a new normal. I got a job, bought a car, found a church home, and eventually bought a house. This tested me, because I didn’t want to stay. My plan had been to recover from my injury and leave town, but God called me to something different.
I like to think I have strong faith, but the last few years have been marked by resistant to what God has called me to. Rather than embracing His dreams for me, I have gone kicking and screaming, sometimes. But when I’ve finally mustered up the faith to accept His plans for me, He has matched my faith. He has taken my small-as-a-mustard-seed faith and grown it.
A year and a half after returning to the USA, in the midst of house hunting, God called me to sign up for a mission trip to Cambodia through my church. It was almost comical because I had literally just come to the place where I was comfortable with staying. I finally had quelled my desire to flee to another state, or another country…my wanderlust had been put to bed. I was content with staying and living intentionally in my community, and God called me to leave.
Not permanently. Just for a 10 day service trip. And I still don’t know why. But on the 21st of October, I am headed to Battambang, Cambodia. And while I still don’t understand why God has called me to this journey, I am stepping out in faith, along with five others from my community.
You see, the last two years have been full of small, everyday decisions to bravely step out in faith. And those little moments, when we say small “yeses” to God’s plan for us, they make it easier to say “yes” to the big ones.
Even when it’s not an easy journey.
You see, almost as soon as I said “yes” to the Cambodia trip, the attacks started. I ended up buying and renovating a house, and throughout the summer I have been challenged financially, almost at every turn. I’ve had major issues pop up in my new house, and I’ve been run ragged emotionally. Spiritual attacks are a real thing.
And yet, when I’ve been ready to toss my hands in the air, give up on the Cambodia trip, and leave my house to the elements, God has shown His faithfulness. Investing in my community and committing to stay was a huge step of faith, and throughout this whole process, God has come through in big and small ways. Whether it was a perfectly timed sale, or a perfectly placed word of encouragement from a friend, He has shown His faithfulness. And this has grown my own faith.
I could talk for days in the ways God not only shown His faithfulness through a difficult summer, but also how He has taken my faith and grown it. God doesn’t leave us alone to walk in faith. Instead, He walks alongside us and we step out in faith, He’s right there with us.
Thanks Julie, for asking me to write in your space today. What a blessing to me!
Jen, I’m so glad you shared.
Jen is a twenty-something , small-town gal from Iowa who, despite fleeing America after college, is learning to embrace the bravery of staying and growing roots back in her hometown. Jen writes about living the “kinda crunchy” life on her blog, where traditional living crashes into the modern world. She can be found online at http://www.faithmustardseed.com or on Twitter: @jen_daugherty.