A snapshot of my journey of faith over five years
I wasn’t quite ready to write a reflection and update a couple of days ago. There was too much simmering in my mind and so much to process after waking up to a Facebook memory that reminded me that it had been five years since we moved to Africa the first time. My post on July 11, 2011 read:
“This is the hardest stinkin’ thing I’ve ever had to do, but HE IS WORTHY! Remembering why we’re doing this…Jesus DIED for us and is worthy of praise from EVERY people, tongue, tribe and nation. Oh, that those we will soon meet will see His love for them and WORSHIP!”
Of course we had no idea what the next five years held for us. I have said many times that IF I would have known what was ahead, I never would have taken that step of faith. What I KNEW without a shadow of doubt, though, was that what we were doing was because Jesus was worthy of that obedience AND that we were stepping into a season where Chris would finally get to live his calling, passion, and dream to be a missionary and to use His gifts to build God’s kingdom.
As I look over that status and pick it apart, a lot of things stand out. One thing that highlights the fact that God answered that prayer is, “those we will soon meet.” There are now precious faces and names that quickly flood my mind as I remember living in Molumong. They became our neighbors, friends, and family as we did life together in that small place many people have never heard of. We loved them deeply and they received us well. So many of them loved us and generously shared their language, culture, families, and resources to help us live there. We were in it for the “long haul.” If you’re on Facebook, you can look back on my post from the other day and see that both of my Basotho sisters commented there. God knit us together tightly through some intense life circumstances.
There’s a whole book brewing in my mind. That’s probably why I don’t sleep very well. My brain has a hard time shutting down. Journal entries, notes, and scribbles fill numerous blank books that hold my intimate prayers and thoughts through the hardest, but most deeply spiritually rich days of my life. I’ll save the nail-biting stories and gory details for the book. J
What I want you to be left with here, is the bottom line. I’ve said it hundreds of times as I have shared our story. GOD.IS.REAL. The words from the Bible have become absolutely clear to me as His truths have gone from being words on a page that I have TRUSTED to be true, to clear promises and descriptions of the One True God that I have now SEEN with my own eyes and experienced in my daily life. Here are a few that are worth repeating over and over:
Psalm 139:16 – God is Sovereign and holds the number of days in His hand. He sees the whole, big picture from the beginning of time and into eternity.
Romans 8:28 – He works ALL things for the good for those who are called according to His purpose. That’s a hard one to wrap your brain around because losing your husband, father, son, friend isn’t good. But, God… There are Basotho people who told me that they hadn’t seen love like Chris loved, and that was Jesus’ presence in him. I have had to lean on God like I never have in my life and I’m closer to Him because of it. God DID heal Chris and He is WHOLE and Home. We prayed that he wouldn’t have to live in a broken body and that God would prepare us for whatever testimony He had for us. That testimony STILL leads people to Jesus AND is mobilizing people to the mission field. It doesn’t make the loss easy, but shows me that God hasn’t wasted any of it.
Isaiah 43 – Just go ahead and read ALL of this one… WHEN you pass through the waters, river, fire, ANY trial or storm, God promises that He will be with you, the waters won’t “sweep over you,” and that the fire will not “burn you or set you ablaze.” It doesn’t say, “IF,” friends. It’s WHEN. No level of sacrifice or obedience will “earn” you a ticket to easy street. You’ll go through hard times and God WILL help you through it if you know Him and receive His love, help, and gift of salvation.
There IS a happy ending… Revelation 12:10-11, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
The end is near. I feel like Paul when I say, “It’s not that I have attained all of this, but I press on toward the goal to win the prize…” I’m LEARNING more and more that I have to take every anxious, sad, weak, doubting thought captive and replace it with the TRUTH I know about God. Monday, in one of those perfectly timed devotional readings (Streams in the Desert), I read this quote –
“Unbelief looks at God through the circumstances, just as we often see the sun dimmed by clouds or smoke. FAITH puts God BETWEEN itself and its circumstances, and looks at them through HIM.”
I am moving forward by making the conscious choice to BELIEVE God at His Word. He is working behind the scenes on my behalf; He loves my children and me more than I can fathom; He sees and hears my most intimate needs and desires; and He CARES. He reveals His presence to me so faithfully daily as I SEEK Him. I’m always on the look out for Him in my days. He has provided so abundantly for us!
While I have a new assignment as a Mission Mobilizer with Africa Inland Mission and am based in San Diego, CA now, I STILL get to be about the business of TELLING people that Jesus is worthy of our praise AND sending a whole new generation of people to live out the love of Christ cross-culturally. It is a thrill to me to see God weave together a beautiful new life for us. While I still have very strong desires of the heart that I am waiting on the Lord for, He is weaving together a beautiful tapestry that will someday be complete, detailed, clear, and GOOD.
Put on your faith glasses and discover Him with me. The view is WAAAAY better when you look at your circumstances through the “filter of Truth,” from GOD’S perspective.
“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and ENJOY SAFE PASTURE. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; TRUST IN HIM and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. BE STILL BEFORE THE LORD AND WAIT PATIENTLY FOR HIM…” Psalm 37:3-7
Thank you to all of those who continue to support us through your prayers AND financial giving. I am still a fully supported missionary with Africa Inland Mission and am always grateful for new partners who are committed to reaching the unreached in Africa. Explore our website to see all that God is doing, get guidance for prayer, and/or give. us.aimint.org/give
Note my updated e-mail address! firstname.lastname@example.org
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