"And He said to them, 'Follow me...'"

"I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." Isaiah 49:6

This is the verse the Lord showed me recently and encouraged me with. Several chapters back in Isaiah 6:8, God asked a question, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" I want to have the willing spirit that Isaiah had when he immediately answered with "Here am I! Send me."

I've been in an interesting place the past few weeks because I have had such a mixture of emotions. The past few months in Austin have been the best out of all the years I have lived there. For the first time since feeling God's call to Botswana, I began to feel torn...part of me still so excited to go, but part of me suddenly wanting to stay. Through the varying emotions, God has shown me that part of following Him is having to sacrifice some things. When the disciples were called to follow Jesus, scripture says that they dropped their nets and followed, leaving their former life behind. "And He said to them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Immediately they dropped their nets and followed Him.'" Matt. 4:19-20 Scripture does not tell us if any of them ever had moments of sadness in leaving their former life behind, but I have to wonder if this emotion ever crept in. I am fully confident that even if there was some sadness in leaving their life and things behind, they would not have traded their new life of walking with Jesus for anything.

Jesus is showing me that in living here on earth, sometimes there are things we have to give up or leave behind in order to follow Him and the plans He has for us. Even though this can evoke many emotions in us, sadness included, I feel comforted in knowing we serve a compassionate God who feels every emotion with us and gives us strength to deal with all of them. And the truth of life is, there is absolutely no peace, joy, or excitement that can compare to what we feel when we are right in the middle of God's will for our lives, living fully for Him and His purposes.

I pray for each of us to continue to have the strength and faith to step out of our comfort zones and have the courage to follow Jesus completely, wherever that may be and whatever that may look like. I would be so grateful if you would pray the same thing for me. If you could, would you also pray Philippians 4:6-9 over me, especially these next couple of weeks?

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about those things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."

Thank you so much...December 28th is right around the corner!

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