Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Night He Covered Me In Peace

There I was in my tiny bunk facing the wooden walls of our cabin. Overwhelmed with fear and hoping no one would hear my stifled sobs, I wondered what on earth I had gotten myself into. A summer missionary? Two months away from family and friends? Working with youth? Am I going crazy?

I knew. I knew He had called. I had even answered. There I was lying in my bunk at Orientation Weekend, right? I had obediently followed God by applying to be a Summer Missionary. My obedience, however, did not eeliminate my fear.

As I lay there that night in 2008, I was experiencing fear like I never had before. It was almost suffocating- the closest I have ever been to a panic attack for sure. My heart ached for it's comfort zone. In that moment I cried out to God for relief. I clearly remember a verse coming to mind it was: "cast your cares on the Lord, for He cares for you". I looked up at the roof of that cabin and told the Lord, You say to 'cast your cares on the Lord, for He cares for you', and Lord, that's what I'm doing right now. I began to visualize a cistern full of my cares being dumped out. My heart couldn't hold them any more. Y'all, I can not describe you the peace I felt in that moment. God could have literally been pouring His own cistern full of peace over my head. He has been there for me many times in my life, but that moment was the most unforgettable picture of God's love and care I have ever experienced.

I knew. I knew that He cared, knew He saw me, and knew He had certainly called me to that summer of mission work.

Washed in peace, I slept like a baby. No one else knew of my inward struggle or my victory that night (at least that I am aware of). The next day I marched on and prayed hard for direction, as we were going to be placed in our programs that day. God, in His sovereignty, used that summer to shape me and prepare me, I believe, for all that He has for me down the road.

One thing I know: that act of love is forever cemented in this girl's mind.

In His Name,



Rebecca said...

I remember that weekend and that summer so well, and I felt exactly the same way. My grandfather had died the weekend before, and life itself was a huge uncertainty, not to mention 2 months with strangers. What a difficult experience, but I am constantly telling stories and going back to lessons from that summer! He was so faithful then and still is!

Jennifer said...

Becca, I thought about you when I was writing this post. It was such a crazy weekend, but I learned a lot about praying for direction and not giving in to fear that weekend. I still tell stories too!!! And now you're in Romania! Crazy crazy

Emily said...

Love that imagery of your cares literally being dumped out! I was a summer missionary, too, and oh, how I love to reflect on how the Lord worked that summer. Those were some of the most challenging, yet some of the sweetest times!

Jennifer said...

You know, Emily, I had never visualized a verse like that before, but it was beautiful then, even in the fear. I didn't know you were a summer missionary. How cool! Big lessons learned, huh?