This weekend I attended the 10 Year Celebration of J-Life at Camp Eden with the Even family. It was inspiring to meet so many brothers and sisters who are devoted to the Lord’s calling on their life.


As I road-tripped with a friend that direction on Friday morning, I spent the car ride reflecting on my week’s worth of work covering the rising tensions in Egypt, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Sudan. In the midst of sharing what the Lord was teaching me through writing those stories, my friend asked if, because I am in another country, I am allowing God more space to work in my life.

To some degree, I think that is true – with each day that passes here in South Africa, I am giving God more of myself, and thus, giving Him more space to work. However, I do not think I had to fly to the other side of the world to experience His increasing work in my life.

For the past few years it seems as though with each day the Lord continues to reach deeper into my soul to captivate every part of me to use for His glory and not my own.

As I shared how the Lord brought me to where I am today, I could not help but be both comforted and awe-struck at the work of the Lord’s hands. When my friend asked practical questions about finances and life goals, it was beautiful to hear the answers my Teacher provided me with as He reminded me of His unfailing provision.


At the celebration dinner Saturday night, I was encircled by a group of young adults who had previously surrendered to the Lord’s calling on their life to serve with J-Life for anywhere from a few months to a few years.

To my right was a man my age, James, who speaks both English and Afrikaans and is passionate about South African sports such as rugby and cricket, but is even more driven by the voice of the Lord.

As we exchanged basic information and short stories, I told him I would be leaving June 27 to go back to the States.

“Permanently?” James asked.

Permanent: a word that never before has been a part of my vocabulary.

All I could manage to say as my friend, Robyn, motioned for me to join her in the dinner line was, “Well, I’m a one-step-at-a-time kind of girl and I don’t think I have ever said I will do anything permanently.”

The single-word question rang loud in my head and my heart the rest of the evening.

Permanent is forever, concrete, and unchanging. God’s love for me is permanent, but is anything else?

Before I went to bed that night I prayed no matter where the Lord takes me by the hand each day, I am ready to be permanently poured out as an offering to God.


Sunday morning the Lord led me to read Luke 1:45 as a part of the in-depth study of Luke I am doing with the young adults of my new church family, Edenvale Baptist.

“You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.”

I found myself fixating all my attentions on those few words the whole morning.

You: Mary, but in my context, me.

Are: Not something in the past or in the future, but a present state of being.

Blessed: Having received a precious and undeserved gift.

Because: A cause or reason for something.

You: Personal, me.

Believed: Prior faith that never falters.

That: Something worth putting my trust in.

The: Singular, one and only.

Lord: God, Ruler, Savior, King, Most High, Redeemer, Lover of my soul, Emmanuel, Alpha and Omega, Father, Master, Comforter, Protector, Fortress, Encourager, Provider, Almighty, Sovereign, Best Friend.

Would: Will, promised, accomplished.

Do: Follow-through, act of doing or being, manifesting a previous mystery.

What: Specific, tangible, reward.

He: Lord, the subject, everything.

Said: Spoken, heard, believed, followed, obeyed.

“You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.”

That afternoon I wondered if I permanently believed that the Lord would do what He said. He has showered me with blessings, but do I truly believe He will make present that which He has promised? Do I trust He will empower me to permanently believe He will do what He has spoken?

A few hours later Liz and Robyn joined me for the evening worship service back at Edenvale Baptist. Never before have I experienced a Sunday worship service where the praise team and preacher have been so in sync with one another in the Lord.

Carl shared his testimony as he led the congregation to worship before the Lord when he urged the body of Christ to seek after the King and follow the next step He reveals.

Pastor Richard sifted through Ephesians 3:1 through 4:8 to clearly show the pure truth of 3:20-21 and its application in 4:1.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.”

God is able. God is permanent. God called me before time began. I am to permanently pour myself out as an offering to Him as I live a life worthy of His calling, trusting in His mighty power at work within me.


Last night I surrendered to honor God with my every thought, every word, and every breath. This morning the Lord woke me up and His Spirit led me in this prayer:

“Thank You for giving me a desire to truly honor You in EVERYTHING I do by living a life worthy of Your calling. I ask that You will continue to remind me all the days of my life of the commitment I made to You yesterday. I do not want this life You have given me to be about me, but to bring praise to You. I trust that You will daily empower me by Your Holy Spirit with all I need to fully surrender to Your will. I trust You with my time here in South Africa, my time back at Baylor, and my beloved. I trust You with my everything. Lord, I know not the journey, but this I do know: I long to follow hard after You in faith and love all of the days of my life.”

Immediately upon my arrival at work this morning, the enemy attacked full-force. But the Lord strengthened me and conquered the enemy as He continued to show me that no matter the cost, it is more than worth it to live a life that aims to balance the life He gave for me.


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