Injury/Prayer request

If you know me at all, you know that I am a very clumsy person and tend to injure myself in the strangest of ways. Well, I have a new one to tell you about. As I was babysitting last night and going to put the baby down in the crib, I stepped on a toy and lost my balance. I reached out to grab the crib to stop us from falling (it didn't) and my shoulder took the brunt of the weight as I fell. I heard a pop and immediately knew something was not right. Thankfully the baby was fine, although a little shook up. By the grace of God, I was able to get ahold of a friend that happened to not be far away and had no evening plans. The dad came home to relieve me and my friend took me to the emergency room. After almost a couple of hours and a few x-rays, we determined that thankfully, nothing was broken. It appears that I have ligament damage and will wear a sling for a week. Here is where I need prayer and why I am writing about this on here....if after a week I still feel the same kind of pain, I will have to have an MRI done to determine if I damaged my rotator cuff. If that is the case, surgery will be needed. I am praying this is not the case and that my shoulder and arm will begin to heal themselves this week. I would so appreciate you joining me in prayer for a total healing and for nothing else to be needed. If any more would be needed to be done on my arm, there could definitely be some financial issues, so I am praying for protection over my finances also.

I know that God knew this would happen and He has good to bring out of it. I am having a hard time having to depend on others' help and am being humbled already in this area. I have to be out of my apartment on Tuesday, so the timing is not the best, but it could be worse. I have much to be thankful for already, namely such supportive people in my life willing to sit in the emergency room for a couple of hours with me on a Friday night, offering an extra room to sleep in, carrying heavy boxes to my car, helping to clean my apartment...and all this just hours after the injury. Thank you in advance for your prayers for a quick healing and for my eyes to be wide open for how God wants to use this for His glory in my life. I find comfort in knowing He'll never give us more than we can handle...if He's brought us to it, He'll bring us through it!

July 25 Update

So many great things to report! First, thanks to the help of some amazing people in my community group and my precious friend, Jen, all of my furniture and most boxes were loaded into a UHaul last Thursday. Another wonderful friend, Stacy, then drove the approximately seven hours with me in the truck and helped me unload all of the things. Just about everything I have has been either given to my sister (who just bought her first house!) or will be sold in a huge garage sale. There have been so many emotions that have come with this packing experience, but let me tell you what a joy and freedom I felt when I came up to my apartment after loading everything in the truck. It was wonderful! I feel like so much clutter and baggage from my life is now gone. I now have a week longer to finish packing little things and clean my apartment before moving in with a co-worker and her husband, who have graciously offered to house both me and my cat for the next few months. I have also been offered a couple of other bedrooms to stay in when needed, so I will probably bounce around some, so as not to be too much of a burden on any one person or couple.

The second praise is that my summer jobs are now coming to a close and the financial blessings have been amazing! I have been babysitting and doing summer school just about every week this summer. It's kept me very busy, but I've been blessed in many ways and am so thankful for those opportunities. After next week is completed, I will have some much needed time to visit some friends and family and just enjoy Andrea/Jesus time.

Lastly, I want to thank you for any prayers you have offered for my support raising. I just received an updated on the finances and it looks great!! I am so incredibly humbled and amazed at how God is using His people to provide in such astounding ways. Admittedly, with all the moving and changes going on right now, I have had little time to think much about the financial support raising. I believe that is just how God would want it, as He takes care of that huge task for me and proves His incredible faithfulness yet again.

Prayer requests
  • A smooth transition into my new housing arrangement beginning next week
  • A peace and excitement with the teaching assignment at Okavango International School in Botswana. (I should find out the grade I will be teaching next month.)
  • For my heart to be continually opened to new truths and revelations as I spend time in God's Word and for a greater understanding of my role in God's plan
  • For daily reminders to pray for the people of Botswana and Love Botswana Outreach Mission, along with an ever growing love for them both

Change is coming! When all else changes and shifts, God is constant...He never changes or goes anywhere. Isn't there such joy and peace in that truth?

A couple of things...

Looking back over the past few blog posts, I realize that they are all kind of somber. I just want to report that although there is a season in my life ending, bringing with it many changes and definitely some mourning, I am also abundantly filled with joy in all that the Lord is doing in my life. He has surrounded me with His presence in an amazing way this summer. My times in His word have been so refreshing and full. I am more in love with Jesus today than I was yesterday. He continues to bring new people into my life who encourage me, spur me on, and challenge me to a deeper faith. I am amazed that He is so intimately involved in our lives and so longs to have a deep love relationship with each of us.

I want to also recommend a book to you if you haven't already read it. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom is absolutely incredible. I finished it in two days, even carrying it in my car to read at traffic lights. (Probably the first time I've actually been thankful for long red lights!) I highly, highly encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and experience God's amazingness through the precious lives of Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom.

I am a very blessed person and feel the love, prayers, and support from you who I am on this journey with. It's amazing and humbling to be a part of something so much bigger than us.

Bless you guys,

Btw...I just added the comments feature to the blog.

July 15 Update

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

Wow...what a very true verse! I would like to share how God has demonstrated His living and active Word in my life today.

I have spent much time the last few days packing and going through things, some that I haven't touched since I moved here six years ago. Needless to say, it's been quite a journey down memory lane. One particularly emotional activity for me was going through all my old cards from friends, mostly from when I lived in San Angelo. Most of those precious friends are no longer a part of my life. I understand about life's changing seasons, and how some friendships also change with those seasons, but I still became a bit emotional about those friends who I've lost touch with and are no longer a part of my life. I was writing about this in my prayer journal with the Lord this morning, feeling some sadness about those lost relationships, when I looked to the bottom of the page and read this verse: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!" Isaiah 43:18-19

On top of this, I have really been battling some fear and faithlessness over the past couple of days, allowing my human mind to question whether things are really going to work out for these next six months when I am essentially homeless and don't have clear direction on what God wants me to do. I have somewhat of an idea, but certainly nothing firm and for sure. That definitely brings anxiety to me and my "predictable, comfortable life" self. I was thinking this morning, "So this is what walking by faith really means. Taking that step out of the boat, blindfolded and trusting God's role as shepherd to lead me each step of the way." Along with, or maybe because of, the recent doubt I've been battling, I feel like various little trials have been put in my path, things that threaten to strip me of daily joy. Well, as I sat down with my Bible study today, I was amazed that the whole study was about God as the gardener, sometimes pruning our lives, cutting away things that do not draw us closer to Him. Sometimes this is painful, but it must be done for us to stay on the path with Him. One of the verses in the study is one that always gets me: "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

Hmm....I agree that God's word is living and active and that He is using His precious word to remind me of His closeness and guidance, even when I feel alone, even when I can't see the next step I'm about to take, even when my doubt clouds out the truth of His faithfulness. May my mind be transformed and my faith strengthened as I lean on His word and His ever comforting Presence.

July 8 Update

Well, I was planning on coming home from church tonight to write that there isn't all that much to update on, but I had no idea what God was going to do in my heart at church tonight!

For the past six weeks I have been involved in leadership development classes at church, with the past three weeks focusing specifically on church planting movements built primarily on multiplying small groups/house churches. (If you'd like more information/clarification on what I'm talking about, I'd LOVE to's amazing!) Anyway, tonight God planted a whole new crop of ideas and vision in my heart concerning my time in Botswana. I can barely grasp it all in my head and have no idea how He will cause it all to come together, but I am so excited!! I am going to spend some time in prayer, seeking His will and direction. I will then e-mail my contact at Love Botswana to share these new visions and ideas. Again, I am not sure what will come about from it or how it will all look, but a whole new passion has been ignited in me! I covet your prayers, especially over the next few days as I seek God's direction.

Other than this, the only other update I really have is that I am currently working on packing and I will be moving my stuff out of my apartment in just two weeks, which is so crazy! All this packing and going through things has caused many memories to return and reflection on different seasons in my life. I've said it before, but will repeat again that I stand in absolute awe at what Jesus has done in my life. He has completely invaded my soul and changed me from the inside out. He is nowhere near finished, but I am so thankful for what He's already done. I shared in my small group in class tonight that a recent revelation God has given me is that when I am close to Him, allowing His Spirit to fill me, I like the person I am (because it's actually Jesus shining through)...however, when I get busy and push my time alone with Him to the back burner, I begin to see more 'Andrea' come out and I do not like what I see at all. I will say that a positive is that it keeps me humble, realizing that any good in me is not me at all, but is actually Him shining through me. Left alone, without the Spirit working through me, I am not a pretty person. Praise God that He is a transformer of hearts!

I love you guys and appreciate you so much! I can't wait to update you more on what God is doing in my heart and I totally can't wait to get to Botswana and get to put all this into practice!

Reflections...July 1st

Can I just tell you how amazed I am by the Lord.....

This past week was an emotional one for me, and I am sure the roller coaster of emotions will continue as more changes come and my departure date nears. I have the opportunity this week to have some "down time" and life is slowing down a bit as I stay at my grandparents' house away from the city, far from the busyness that has been my life for the past few weeks. I have already had some great reflection and rest time, and God is blessing me immensely!

Tonight I was thinking on this past year and how things have unfolded in my life. This time last year I had some boxes in my living room that belonged to a friend, and I remember looking at them and wishing they were my boxes with my stuff packed up for Botswana. One year later, I can sit in my living room and see boxes that ARE packed up with my stuff as I prepare to go to Botswana! I remember printing off the initial paperwork to begin the application process for Love Botswana Outreach Mission and feeling completely overwhelmed, questioning how this was ever going to happen. Now I am six months away from leaving and there is only a little bit left to do before going. God has moved in such incredible ways in my life over the past year. I was brought to tears today as I reflected on all He's done and the ways He's miraculously provided.

I am learning to come to terms with these conflicting emotions in me. Yes, I am going to miss so many things here...yes, it breaks my heart to leave my family and friends, my church, my job, and what is comfortable in my life. Yes, it is scary to walk by faith, relying solely on the Lord's direction and provision. These emotions are totally normal and to be expected. At the same time I can also feel incredible excitement and joy at the idea of being in Botswana for two years, because I have been given this amazing opportunity to minister to the next generation of believers on the opposite side of the world...I get to love on the hurting, being Jesus's hands and feet to people in a completely different culture than mine....I get to experience an adventure of a lifetime! I praise God for this calling on my life. I walk with Him, knowing that He hurts with me and comforts me when needed. I walk with Him and draw from His strength. I walk with Him and am filled with His amazing love and joy each step of the way. In Isaiah 6:8, God asked, "Whom shall I send and who will go for us?" I echo the words of Isaiah the prophet : "Here am I! Send me!." And as with Isaiah, God's response is, "Go". Therefore I will go with strength, confidence and joy with Jesus walking beside me and all of you here cheering me on and praying me through.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Jesus's words to the disciples-Matthew 28:19-20.