"How does it feel?!"
This has been the most asked question that I have received over the last two weeks or so.
I recently became fully funded and am getting ready to take flight to Togo in the coming weeks.
I have been on this partnership development journey for just about two years now. It's been three and a half years since I committed to joining the 6 Degree Initiative in Togo.
I have been traveling and talking to people for the last two years about what we are doing and how I get to be a part of it for the last two years, but being a couple weeks away from my departure date, I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around what is about to happen.
I am moving to Africa!
I am learning a new language!
These are pretty big things and something I don't want to step into lightly.
It truly is surreal... and to be honest, I'm not sure it will hit me until after I have been on the field for a little bit.
Here is what I am learning while preparing for the launch date and transition onto the field:
1. Ask God to show you transitional struggles
I think these will be different for everyone as they transition to the field or any other new area of life, ministry or occupation.
I have been spending time asking God to reveal to me what areas of life I need to grow in as I step into the unknown of moving overseas. The best way I process through things is by journaling. So, I spend time praying and then start journaling my thoughts.
I know myself well enough to know that stepping into a new country, culture and language is going to be especially difficult for me. I am going to be in a place where I can't add a whole lot of value. I won’t be able to understand what is being said and even communicate at the most basic level until I get a grasp on the language.
That is going to be an identity shaker for me.
This is just an example of a specific struggle for me that God revealed to me. Ask God to show you those transitional struggles and begin praying through those.
Yeah, the transition process will be hard, but our God is a pretty big God and can hold you in His arms while you step into the unknown.
2. Pray... A Lot
Man, I'll be honest... ever since becoming fully funded and starting to talk about the departure date, the enemy has hit me hard with serious doubt and fear. The type that can only be prayed through.
In any major transition in life where you are stepping into something God has called you to, it is an affront to the enemy.
It has brought me to my knees most days, asking God for courage and strength.
The transition process requires you to pray a lot!
Invite some people into this with you. Bearing one another’s burdens is something that we are called to do in the family of God. Share the struggles and go to battle in prayer together.
This has made all the difference for me!
3. Say Goodbye Well
This was brought up a while back for me while I was at a cultural training. I kind of pushed it aside and thought this wasn't a big deal for me.
I was wrong...
It hit me that I will be leaving, not knowing the exact time I will be returning. I suddenly felt a strong conviction to let everyone important in my life know how important they really are. Even thousands of miles apart won’t change that, and I want them to know how much they mean to me.
I have been working on doing this by writing letters. This transition is a big step, but I haven’t done it alone.
4. Step into the Discomfort
Something that I have learned in the past 2 years is that when you step into the discomfort you get a front row seat of seeing God do some incredible things.
Any sort of transition is very uncomfortable. It is so natural for us to shy away from the discomfort for obvious reasons but let me plead with you not to run from it.
It is such a beautiful place to be when you look around you and say, " Father, this can only be by your strength". Discomfort is woven into the lives of those who are obedient to the call of God all throughout scripture... but so is Supernatural movement from God in and through those lives.
Don't shy from the discomfort. Willingly and expectantly step into it and watch God move.