This Week about half way through I had prepared myself to write this blog about perseverance. Persevere persevere persevere. But a couple days in God turned that thought right on its head…. pretty literally. Let me explain.
When I arrived in Slovenia I was just overcoming being sick through our travel days from Uganda and during that time I was more than ready to get back on my feet healthy and motivated. We arrived in Idrija in Slovenia and it was beautiful. Slovenia is hands down the most beautiful place I have ever been. We were only in Idrija for a couple of days and our goal was street evangeliazing. Slovenia has Catholic Churches all over, but the idea of Jesus is completely lost. If people are “Christian” it is only a cultural thing and the churches are only used for weddings and funerals. Basically all of the believers in the whole country of Slovenia know each other. So this country is in desperate need of the gospel. Some of the missionaries have been here for over 10 years and had seen very little fruit from their efforts until very recently, but they keep doing the Lord’s work. You see why perseverance was on my mind. The long term missionaries here are fighters.
Well it rained almost every day we were in Idrija, clearing out the streets and chances to share the Gospel. Yet we faught, we went on prayer walks around the city, sang worship in the churches and the coffee shops and stayed positive.
After a few days we headed to our next city in Slovenia, Bovec. Bovec is even more beautiful. You are in a valley that is surrounded by the Alps. Yes, it is breathtaking. Here in Bovec our team split in two. Half would spend each morning walking though and giving out devotionals and literature throughout the city of Bovec. The other half biked through the mountains to do the same for the surrounding villages. I was on the biking team. This is the hardest thing I have ever done. These arent tiny hills, they are mountains, and my tiny legs were not quite prepared. But I was so excited for this task.
The first day I literally thought I was going to die. Or at least black out on the bike. Persevere, persevere, persevere. Just one more hill. Just one more peddle. Just one more. And I did it. I made it. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. The day ends and I think, just 3 more days. I can definitely do that.
I wake up the next morning. Persevere. I am ready. Jesus and I hop on the bike ready to share His story with new villages in Slovenia. I make it up this time with more ease and more confidence. We leave to head home and I know I am almost done. Just one more push. The best feeling is the down hills. I begin to soar down the mountain and I can feel the cold air and its amazing. This is what I live for. Faster and faster. Then I see the turn. Not just a turn but a full u-turn kind of turn. I didn’t even have time to think. I break, and crash.
I sit in the middle of the road in a bit of shock and then just begin to cry. Joe, the leader of the ministry comes to my aid. He asks me if I think I can ride back home. Persevere. persevere. He looks at me and sees that there is no way that is about to happen. I am pretty beaten up and can barely walk. They bring up a car and take me home. And that is that. No more biking for me. No more walking or playing or anything.
I kept my head up because I wanted to heal and get back out there. That is why God brought me to this place right?? So I can help? Well, like I said, God turned all my plans on their head, or in my case flat on their face. I began to question why this would happen, I was so determined to finish it to the end. And God brought me to 1 Peter 3:17 that says, “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will than for doing evil”… That is exactly the case here. This accident isnt accidental. If I suffer for doing God’s will, that is never in vain. I was doing exactly what he wanted me to and if that was for two days instead of four then so be it.
As I sat and watched everyone finish out the week I looked at my wounds feeling defeated and ready to get back on my feet. Then He reminded me of 1 Peter 2:24 “By His wounds you have been healed”
It is not my wounds that matter. God has already healed everything through His wounds which are about infinity times more intense. He carries all of our burdens because He died on that cross for us.
And then I realized what God is teaching me. He is reminding me that while we must be persistant… we must also rest. “On the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested” He rested. If God needs to rest, how much more is that true for us. Naturally living in New York this is something I have forgotten about. This past year has been one of the hardest years of my life. I have experienced some very emotionally trying times and my way of handling them is to keep pushing forward and not worrying about how I am begininng to fade. God asks me to slow down and I push Him away because who has time for that? Sometimes you have to break to realized how cracked you were to begin with. That is what God did to me here in Slovenia. He stopped me in my tracks and told me to slow down.
God stopped me in my tracks because He knew I wouldn’t do it on my own… maybe not just in what I was doing on this mission, but it my life back home as well. Sometimes we need to remember that we can do all things through HIM who gives us strength. And we need to let HIM heal our wounds. Emotionally and physically. I can at least say for myself that I am broken. But through Christ I am healed.
Staying positive about my new leg holes!