I walked on water.
One of my good friends put Matthew 14:22-33 on my heart and broke down what the Jesus walking on water and Peter putting himself out there to do the same looked like to her. After reading the passage all over again my heart has been touched to talk about Nicaragua and what that mission trip sparked in me.
Everything about the process of getting to Nicaragua for my mission trip in August was an act of faith. Somehow the money came together for a deposit and donations came from near and far to make the deadline to participate. I could feel everything working together for my good so I just knew God wanted me in Nicaragua with this group for a reason He would reveal in His timing (see I’m patient sometimes).
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,”Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. Matthew 14:27-29
Nicaragua was all faith to me. I wasn’t completely equipped in that I don’t know Spanish and this was my very first time out of the country. Everyday was an exercise in beating fear and living outside of my comfort zone. I tackled my fears with gusto by making connections that still pull on my heart strings. I found out what it means to love someone you don’t know fiercely! I cried for and with them, prayed over people, and received an outpouring of love that humbled me to my knees. I was out served at every turn-nothing I could buy or bring to the table would beat the level of sacrificial giving shown to me in Nicaragua.
I felt like a new woman unburdened by things that used to weigh me down. I spoke without fear about a dream to write and speak that had been hidden in a dark corner of my heart. All of a sudden the dreams I had neglected for “reality” seemed possible. I have always had a fear of heights but I didn’t let fear stop me from sailing over rain forest treetops or playing on the edge of a volcano (not an analogy; I really did play on the edge of a live volcano). I bartered in a foreign language and came back with a heart overflowing and reveling in blessings I did not have room enough to receive.
But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Matthew 14:30
Home was a culture shock. I had to learn how to incorporate this faith into my all of sudden small existence. It was as if the blinders were removed and I looked around at the life I had made with new eyes. And with it came a storm. Within 2 weeks of getting home everything changed. My focus moved to the waves and terror I felt. I didn’t feel brave or fearless anymore because it looked like everything I had built was crumbling at my feet. I went from laughing in the sky to panic attacks. I felt the familiar feelings of depression in the back of my mind, a battle I have fought since a young age, and was tempted to fall back into the familiar habits of comfort that God has brought me out of.
I wanted to blame the waves for distracting me. I wouldn’t be so fearful if they weren’t so high. If my circumstances were even a little less scary then I could keep walking on water. If the wind wasn’t coming from every direction I would know where to look. God, if you didn’t let all of this happen then I could be more brave. Why is all of this happening anyways? I am trying to do what You want me to do! Don’t you see all of my plans and projects, the ministries I serve in and the things I do in Your name?! What else do you want from me??
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” Matthew 14: 31
I love the word ‘immediately’ here. Jesus didn’t let Peter drown to teach him a lesson about faith. The moment Peter began to sink into doubt Jesus grabbed him. Within a month my situation had changed and my life looks different but at peace in a way I didn’t realize was missing before. I’m not the same person I was before the trip, or even the person I thought I was becoming during the trip. I am becoming something new. It requires more faith than I had so I am being pushed deeper and higher than I thought I could go.
All parts of the journey are important. I needed the high of Nicaragua and the low afterwards. I don’t know if I’m coming out of the storm or just in the middle but I don’t want to doubt anymore. Being fearless and dreaming bigger than I used to allow myself to are things I take seriously now. It takes so much unnecessary energy to worry and it is just so much easier to give it to God. I don’t know what this means for my future when it comes to where I will be, what I will be doing, relationships, or any other plan I had for myself but my desire for God’s will trumps all that now. So here’s to walking into the unknown.
For I know the plans<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-19647A" data-link="(A)” style=”background-color: white; box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper
<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-19647B" data-link="(B
)” style=”background-color: white; box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.