Packing my Bags

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I’m packing my bags.

I prayed for years for God to send me on a mission trip, but the details never worked out right. Then last year, when God asked me to “be still” and watch Him at work, He opened the doors for me to go to the Dominican Republic. I leave on Thursday.

I’ve poured over the packing list. And as I’ve configured my travel toothbrush, some antacids and my Bible, I realized I packed so much more that you cannot see.

I take with me each of the people who bought the 115 Everyday Missionary shirts to help support my trip. I take those who selflessly sent checks to One Vision. God provided immeasurably more than enough.

I pack away the memory of my grandmother who paid the way to my first ever writer’s conference and really planted the seed that started this journey here. Tucked deep down are my Memaw and Pop – my Pop was a man who dedicated his life to preaching the word of God with Memaw by his side. He was the one who told me to ignore God’s calling on my life, because if God was truly calling me, He wouldn’t let up. Pop was right.

My uncle Frank sent me a gift of love to help support my trip in memory of my aunt Gail – she who had a heart for internationals. I take her memory with me and hold it close.

Friends, I’m an emotional mess. I’m humbled that God would use a silly sequined girl like me to bring His message of love and grace. Did you know that just seven years ago, on that first trip across the nation to the writer’s conference in New Mexico, my girlfriend Amy had to hold my hand and let me cry on take off? I was scared to death.

And now this. Don’t let me fool you. I’m not as cool and confident as I may seem. The sparkles and bling are a deflection of the mess of me. I’m really not all that. I’m just someone who has been absolutely changed by Jesus.

I’m the one who cries most days during my quiet time, because as I read God’s Word I’m so amazed and humbled. I am not the same girl I used to be.

I am changed.
I’ve been redeemed.
I’m chosen.

And because of that, I can’t keep it to myself. So every day, I take my knee-knocking self to the foot of the cross and humbly ask God to use me.

Some days that’s loving on my twelve-year old son and letting him know that no matter what crazy things he does, I’m going to love him anyway. Other days it’s listening to a friend who needs to pour her heart out about family problems.

Still others find me (crazy enough) in prison, loving on the men there and learning from them about grace.

So this week, God is taking me to the Dominican Republic. Not because I’m somebody so awesome, but because HE is!

So if you are reading these words, I ask you to please pray for me and the team that will minister there this week. Pray also for the missionaries there and the Dominican women who will attend the conference.

And if you are reading this and are wishing God would “wow” you in your own life, I have a secret for you. He is waiting to do just that. Just let Him know you want to be used. But don’t sit around waiting for Him to use you. Draw close to Him and spend time in His presence, because that is where you will see change. You can’t be in God’s presence and remain the same. And when you are changed, you can’t help but share it with others.

Thank you sweet friends. Thank you for loving me.

I will be blogging from the trip – the Lord willing and the creek don’t rise – so stay tuned. If you don’t already receive my posts by email, you can sign up in the upper right corner. You’ll just get an email on the days I post something new.

*photo credit

All my love,

Carol

7 comments on “Packing my Bags

  1. What a beautiful post! And I just want to say how stinkin’ excited I am that you have me packed!!! :) I am praying, friend. With you and for you! You are such a blessing. Truly.

    • How could I not take YOU my sweet friend – the friend who encourages me, prays for me, sends me hand written prayers in cards? Of course I’m taking you. :) Love you and praying for YOU today!

  2. Thank you for your heartfelt words today! God is ready to do amazing things in the lives of the Dominicans, your life, and the lives of your team members. It is with a humble and grateful heart that I will be praying for my favorite cousin……you and my two daughters as all of you embark on this journey together. Thanking God that each of you answered His call with, “Here am I, Lord, send me.” Love you and so very proud of you!!!

    • Thank you for your prayers, Melissa! I’m so excited to get to experience this with Emily and Caroline. I’ve told Alan again and again – God tailored this trip just for me.

  3. Good Luck and God Bless You!!
    Thanks for taking us along. You are so thoughtful.
    Praying for you on your mission trip.
    Della

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