Saturday, October 25, 2014

Be Still...

I was hesitant to put the following thoughts out in public. Not because they're controversial or earth shattering, but because they are so close to my heart.

Waiting. If I weren't waiting for support, I'd be waiting for something else. I'm not being cynical, but  I have noticed this become an apparent pattern in my adult life. There are always hopes, dreams, goals, achievements, among other things, to be looked forward to. However, before those things come there is often a waiting period. These are times which the Lord uses to teach us, grow us, change us, remove things from our lives (I should say "my life") that shouldn't be there, again the list goes on. However, I find myself impatiently wishing for the end of the waiting instead of looking for what God is doing right now, in me, around me and hopefully through me. So while I do get antsy in the waiting, I am learning, slowly but surely, to be still while I wait to get my plane ticket and start a new season of ministry.  He is teaching me to be still, not only physically, but in my mind and my heart ("My heart is fixed..." Psalm 57:7). He has given me wonderful quiet times with Him ("Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law." Psalm 119:18), in which He is renewing my vision, strengthening my soul, and giving me a bigger picture of Who He is. There is much more, but that would take a much longer post. So to those who are praying for me, thank you!!! God is answering in many ways. He is teaching me to have courage to persevere and to trust Him. For my birthday last summer, my brother got me a necklace I had been admiring. I wear it all the time now, not only because it's cute, but it has the words "Be strong and Courageous" from Joshua 1:9 inscribed on it. This has served as a powerful reminder as the days go by. Not only does it bring this particular verse to mind, but also Psalm 27:4, which says " Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord." 

Also, God continues to provide my need for support. I am continually amazed and thankful for the way God moves in the hearts of believers to give to me, pray for me and encourage me. Thank you for your sensitivity to Him in praying for and giving to me!

As you pray, please remember these things:
1) That those who have been considering partnering with me would do so and act quickly.
2) That God would continue to prepare me now for the work He has for me at BFA.
3) That I would be teachable and open to everything He has for me right now. 

 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Prayer and Needs

We all have needs. If we're honest, talking about them comes easily, sometimes more easily than praying about them. As I think about my needs for support, my need to get back to Germany and BFA, and then the needs of my siblings and family, the result is that my focus is directed at the need rather than the One Who can meet the need. So this week I've been challenged to revise how I've been praying for my needs. I'd like to share with you some questions on which to reflect as you pray:

1)By dwelling on the need, am I allowing it to become bigger than it is? 
2)What do I know about God? How big do I really know Him to be?
3) Do I believe that God is big enough to meet my needs? And do I trust Him to answer in His perfect way and timing? 

Another great way to pray is to pray Scripture, and the Psalms are a current favorite of mine. I can't seem to get away from them. For starters, check out Psalm 16. 

Please understand that I know that many people carry heavier burdens than my own, and for much longer. However, my purpose in posting this is to encourage believers to focus our attention on the fact that we have a huge God, one Who made us, loves us, died for us, and walks with us. As the children's song says, "they are weak, but He is strong."

Also, I want to invite you to pray with me specifically for several things.
First, that 14 families or individuals will be moved to support me at $100 per month. Support is coming in slowly but surely, but I still feel led to pray this way.
Second, that people who want to give will give soon. The school year at BFA is well underway, and I am prayerfully wanting to miss as little as possible.
Third, that I will be back in Germany by November. It feel impossible on many levels, but I know that God can do it.

Thank you for lifting these needs before the Lord with me! So many are praying for me, and I am encouraged to keep on persevering!! If you or someone you know is interested in giving, please click here: https://give.teachbeyond.org and specify it's for me (Lauren Holland).

Another church let me know of their desire to partner with me last week!!! So much joy here, as this church has watched me grow up and has prayed me over mountains and through valleys before. They are amazing prayer warriors and I am thrilled to have them on my team. I look forward to sharing more stories of partnership and needs being met soon! Thank you, as always, for checking in and for praying for me. God is good, all the time.