Tonight as we were sitting together in the family room watching the news, my Granny turns to me and asks, “Have you raised any money yet for your trip?” It always makes me shudder a little that she refers to the calling to be a missionary I have surrendered to as merely a “trip.” Brushing the mental note of her using that term away, I responded with a “No.” I’m not sure what annoyed me more, the fact that she asked or the fact that I have no funds in my support account.
Worry tried to sneak it’s vicious head into my thoughts and into my heart.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God called me to The World Race. I know that I can do great things through Him while I’m on it. I know that it is where I am suppose to be. And I know that as of right now, I have only $150 of the $16,285 that I must have to go. I am also acutely aware that there is no way that I, myself, can come up with that money in the 250(ish) days until I am set to leave the country.
See why I was so vulnerable to worry?
My Granny asked me another question right after my response to the first. She asked, “Well, do you still plan to go?” Defensively I said, “Yes, Granny. I am still going. Why would I not go?” She retreated from her questions with an “I don’t know”, but we both knew what she was thinking. She was thinking, how could I go if I didn’t have the funds?
I know that’s what she was thinking because that’s exactly what I keep thinking. I haven’t any donors yet. My family is in no position to say, “Here Mary Elizabeth, we’d like to give you $16,135 to complete your funding needs for the World Race.” I have no doubt my sisters alone would gladly do that if they could. But they can’t. And I know that.
I keep thinking: If I had known at graduation that this would be my life trajectory instead of law school, I could’ve gotten a job back in May, not signed a lease and had to be paying it long after I moved back out of that apartment, saved on the expense of moving (twice), and the list keeps going on. That worry snakes it’s way deeper and deeper into my thoughts.
And then there’s Jesus.
When everyone and every situation seems to keep telling me “this is virtually impossible” or “you haven’t enough time” or “your needs are too great,” Jesus offers up the truth.
He says, “Mary Elizabeth Bailey, do I not love you? Does My Father not love you? Didn’t He send me to die so that you can live with Us and rest in Our love for eternity?” Of course, I’m over here with teary eyes saying, “Yes, Jesus.” And Jesus continues on saying to me, “Do the birds of the sky worry about being taken care of? Does My Father leave them without food? And the flowers that adorn the Earth and remind you of natural beauty created straight from the hand of the Father, do they worry that there is no one to clothe them day after day?” And I answer with tears still in my eyes, “No, Jesus. I know our Father takes care of them. But —” And Jesus cuts me off saying, “But what? But you do not think He has the power to take care of you? You do not think that when you died to sin through my blood that the Spirit within can work to take care of you? You worry, but about what?! The birds are fed, the flowers are clothed, and Father doesn’t even love them near as much as He loves YOU.” Ugh, sometimes I want to cross my arms like a toddler and pout when Jesus calls me out. He’s right. He’s always right. But instead, I just sit with a half-smile on my face. So Jesus goes ahead and says, “I’ll remind you again: I love you. Father loves you. You have no reason to worry. When you worry, it’s like you are doubting Him. We can both agree that doubting Abba Father’s love and provision is crazy, right? Look at what I have been through. Look at what you have been through. Has He not provided every step of the way? So child, stop worrying.” I can’t help but smile now. There’s just something about being told that I am loved and being shown the truth. Truth sets me free, and this time I’m being freed from the chains of worry. How dare I doubt my Father! I tell Jesus, “I’m sorry, Jesus. I don’t doubt Father God. I know He’s taking care of me and that He always will. I need Your constant reminders, so thanks!” Jesus wipes the drying tears from my eyes and tells me, “Just seek God and His righteousness. When you do that, not only do you have no time to worry, but also you’ll be awed with the perfect provision He gives. Don’t worry about tomorrow — or the next day or the next day or months down the road. Father has you taken care of. You can’t see it, but I can. Trust me. I love you.” He never ends a conversation without making sure I know that He loves me. Ah, what a sweet Jesus!
After this chat all I can do is continue to trust in Him. Trust in the One who made me, called me, and loves me. Trust the One who provides for me always. All I can (and want to) do is what Jesus told me — stop worry and seek God.
If you are knee-deep in worry and your heart is feeling overwhelmed, I encourage you to have a chat with Jesus. I promise you, He loves you just as much as He loves me or anyone else. He wants you to bring your worries to Him. My chat with Jesus came from Matthew 6:25-34 tonight. Yours can, too — if you want.
Love you, my sweet blog readers!
And so does God.
He actually loves you much, much, MUCH more than I could possibly imagine loving you. 🙂
P.S. I actually am leaving in July 2014 to go across the world (11 countries in 11 months) to bring the message, the hope, the love, and the light of Jesus to people I have yet to meet, but already have places in my heart. I DO need $16,000+ in my support account to be fully funded. I am confident that God will use His people (many of you reading this) to make this happen. So, if you feel led to make a donation (which is actually tax deductible — yay!), you can go to my World Race page (http://maryelizabethbailey.theworldrace.org/) and click “Support Me” on the left side. Even if you can’t donate, I welcome and ask you to check out my page and the World Race site in general to get to know what I have been called to. 🙂