Beaches and Continents

by - May 30, 2012

Saturday I bought beach nail polish. The kind of bright color that says, these toes are going to the beach. The kind of color that should be worn with flip-flops and be a little covered with sand. Not the kind of color that should be worn with neutral tone heels into a counseling session. Friday morning when I woke up I had no idea I would be going to the beach in a couple of weeks. When a couple of Lady Birds had originally asked me I pretty quickly decided that was something I couldn’t do. But, suddenly on Friday, I decided I could. I’m deciding I can a lot more often lately. Go ahead and ask me to do something. The answer is yes (within reason). Should I buy a couch off of Craigslist for $40, without being totally sure it will fit in my new apartment? Yes. Because I did, and I’m not. I know. I’m edgy. So I’m going to Florida. I don’t need to go to the beach, but it delights me to do so. I want to walk on the sand, I want to pick up seashells. I want to read a book. I want to get in the water. I want to eat seafood with friends even though I don’t really like it. I want to do something I don’t need to do, but just want to. One of my favorite friends lives in Destin. Why would I not go? It’s dumb not to. So, Friday I bought my ticket, and Saturday I bought beach nail polish. I think sometimes my reasonability, or striving to be responsible is actually probably a little more about being fearful (there I said it). Maybe I try to protect myself instead of trusting God to protect me? He surprises, delights and proves me wrong all the time. So I’m going to roll with it. Trusting people has been a recurring problem for me. I kind of reserve trust for proof (insert assumptions here), so trusting Him sometimes gets caught in that crossfire. But, I’m shaking it off a little and going to Florida. 

Oh and hey I’m also going to India. Like on-the-other-side-of-the-planet-Earth India. I give an inch and He takes a mile. :)  India is further away from Oklahoma than Ethiopia, Florida or Texas. This is starting to get interesting. Be really careful when you tell God what you don’t want to do, BUT that you surrender all. He will change your heart, (probably even give you a new one), and you will find yourself in the most surprising places, and have whole new perspectives on places you’ve been a million times. Thankfully, He isn’t confined by my self-confirmed rational insecurities that I pass off as being reasonable. His plans will not be thwarted. Get on board, or not. I’m on board. I’m not sure you could get any further out of my comfort zone than India. (I probably shouldn’t say that either or my next blog might be titled “Live From Iraq.”) I try to act like I’m all grown up, but I don’t feel much different than I ever have to tell the truth, and who am I? Bossy Haley, B student, too loud, procrastinator, the first one in line to jump off the high dive, but then too scared to ever do it again (true story). I’m always kind of floored when things come together, and I kind of feel like I’m winging it most of the time. I know I get a real serious look on my face and may point my finger as if I know exactly what I’m doing. I don’t. And I certainly quit thinking I knew what I was doing the day I committed to move to Fort Worth. I decided then to put me in His hands, and to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified, and to follow Him wherever, however, whenever. A lot less predictable, a lot less explainable, a lot less rational in my own understanding, “but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9…again. 

His Word keeps spurring me on. So, grossly inadequate and comically unsure, but with a growing love for those who have come to know Jesus as their Savior, but are undiscipled with lives that don’t reflect the joy and peace of a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, (just like I once was), I am going to India. How many times have we looked at the life of a Christian with condemnation because they continued to struggle with sin we think they should be over. I’m so thankful for the professors I had at Southwestern (Jones, Floyd, McGuire, Moitinho, Wicker) who taught me to meet a man where he is, where she is hurting, and instead of using the Word to condemn them, be used by God to show them how His Word sets them free. I continue to learn everyday where God has led me to work and serve. Our sin condemns us. His Word sets us free. Instead of slaughtering the sheep, Christ told us to feed them if we love him. If they don’t know that Jesus loves them, they are going to know that I do. And when they wonder why I do, I will be able to tell them because He does.  Jesus does.

The last beach I visited was on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
The beach where John 21:15-19 took place.

I will save the details of how this trip came to be for another day. For now, let me just say, God is faithful, He is alive and active and He has plans. Seven or eight months ago, when it was on my heart to begin saving for a trip, this is what God was planning. I thought it would be to go back to somewhere I've already been.  I said yes, before I knew the proposal.  But he's leading to a whole new place. So in partnership with the ministry I work for, in November I will have the humbling opportunity to talk with believers in India the Hope For The Heart mission statement says: Provide Bible-based counsel to renew minds, heal hearts, and bring hope to the hurting, while empowering Christians to disciple others. 

Empowered Christians, with complete patience, loving one-another, sharing the Truth so that we may be free from the hurts and chains that bind us and conformed to the image of His Son. 

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord…who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began…” 2 Timothy 1:8-9

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  1. As always, I love your blog! I've been to Rosemary Beach (near Destin) and we went to Destin in 2010 and 2011. Was beautiful! Love, Jeanne

  2. 14 days. FOUR TEEN DAYS. I'm so excited!:)