A little over a month ago, I left my family, my friends, my job, my home, my "perfect" life in Southern California to move to New Zealand and travel the world participating in a Discipleship Training School (DTS) through Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Before I quit my job, I was an event planner, so I like to plan things. But this journey would be the first time I was stepping into something without a plan or any expectations. I was scared out of my mind and I had no idea what I was getting myself into or what was ahead of me.
Two of my best friends, Jessica and Haley, sent me off with the gift of a fearless key. They told me to go out into the world, make a difference and be fearless in doing so, but to also take this time to overcome my fears, whatever they might be. In my first week living here in New Zealand, I found out that one of my biggest fears was of myself. I realized that I was battling so many emotions built up inside of me because I had created an identity within myself full of lies that made me believe that I wasn't worthy of love because of my sin and brokenness. It’s almost embarrassing to say, but I used to fear finding the man who I could see myself marrying because I believed that if he knew of my past, not he nor anyone else could ever want me as their wife.
In this first month of my DTS, I was able to confess, repent, and lay down my sins at the cross and I broke off the chains that once held me to that false identity. I found freedom in my true identity as God's daughter and it has changed my life. The concept of the Father Heart of God has helped me realize that God loves us, but also that He is LOVING us as his sons and daughters. He never ceases to pursue our hearts because His desire is to transform our hearts by allowing us to experience his perfect love. The Father’s love has brought me to a place of peace in knowing that He has wiped my slate clean, that He has comforted my pain and that He is preparing a husband who will love me just as He loves me. I no longer fear that day when I can look the man that I love in the eyes and tell him everything of my past because I know it won’t matter and I know that I am forgiven and free. It is because of Father’s perfect love that I can now say that I AM FEARLESS.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19
I no longer wear my fearless key because I have given it away to my beautiful friend Kenzie whom I have had the pleasure to know and love after spending two short weeks together in New Zealand. Kenzie is 18 years old and just graduated from her DTS after serving and spreading God's love to the people of Bangladesh for the past three months. Although I am 4 years older than her, I look up to her so much because she exudes a wholehearted passion for God and her wisdom stretches far beyond her years of age. As Kenzie returns home to America, my prayer is that God will continue to guide her in living a radical life as His perfect love overcomes all her fear of not knowing what the future holds. I pray that she will be fearless in this next chapter of her life and find peace in knowing that God is in control.