Purpose or plan?

I remember what one teacher who inspired me with so much wisdom said,
God doesn’t have a plan for your life, He has a purpose.

God enjoys the journey as much as He enjoys the destiny in your life. The journey that God has you on is actually an internal journey in which you are growing and the kingdom is growing within you. It is not so much where you go but what is taking place while you are on the journey that God is concerned about.” (Kris Vallotton)

I am reminded that I have this verse tattooed on my back for me to never forget. Throughout my years of journeying with God this verse becomes etched deeper into my core and every time it slowly transforms almost like a 3d vision in my soul, makes the perspective come alive in a deeper way.
“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill HIS GOOD PURPOSE.”
(philippians 2:13)

You can be anywhere in the world doing something you love to do or loathing where you are questioning what you are doing. What I am learning is that He does not have a one way plan but He has a purpose for everything that is happening in your life and where God places you. You may have an amazing prophecy about you doing what you dream of doing but find yourself in a situation that is far from what was spoken. It does not mean it will not happen just because you do not see it. God has a purpose for where you are now in order for you to make it to where you are supposed to go and build your resilience to finish well. There is a lot of inside job that happens when you move in the unseen and it is for your own good. Faith is believing in what is not seen. Hebrews 11 in the bible is a summary of individuals who God used mightily for His purpose but chose to live life trusting the direction from an unseen God because they know that following Him was the purpose for which they were made for.

The thing about us human beings is that we like to figure everything out. We like to have our whole journey mapped out up to the slightest detail. Then when things fall out of plan we get disappointed, discouraged or give up. While those reactions are valid, I think it has a lot to do with the way we think and the way our hearts are postured. In the bible it says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (isaiah 55:8-9)

There is no one way to get to your destination. You can have hundreds of plans but whether you take the wrong turn or made decisions that caused delays, God is sovereign enough to turn that all around for His good purpose. It is a lot like having a GPS, when you wind up in the wrong direction it automatically re-routes you so you can go back on track. He does not lead you astray. He may lead you in a way that defies all logic and human understanding but His heart towards you is to give you a future and a hope. His purpose is the journey, not just the destination. Its in the journey that you actually get to live life to the fullest, walking hand in hand with the God of love who gives you grace and mercy way more than you think you deserve. He does not map out or tell you everything all at once. He gives you a choice but you get to choose better when you know who He is and what He really is about.

God is for you and He loves you. You may fall down, you may get lost or you may feel stuck but those reasons will not ever change the truth that God is always on your side. He can redeem lost direction or even lost time. Having a relationship with Him matters because if you want to live a life of purpose you need to learn how to hear the voice of love, of a Savior, of Jesus Christ. A love that 2000 years ago died for you so you can walk in the fullness of your life and live it well.

When you are on God’s side, you are always on the side of victory. Life can be filled with challenges but because you choose a life by His side, you always win. You are born to win for His glory and purpose.

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We Were Like Those Who Dream

Many people are probably wondering what happened in my whole BSSM journey and why I chose it in the first place. Coming back home from almost a year in Bethel is like waking up from a really long dream. A dream where anything can happen. Seeing impossibilities unfold before my very eyes. Almost like a glimpse of heaven on earth too good to be true.

Except, it was…remarkably.

A dream transpired in reality, immeasurably all I asked or ever imagined. It was a dream divinely orchestrated that even if I got weaved back into the same old ordinary life, I am not the same, forever changed. Awaken into a mundane reality with an extraordinary hope, a renewed version of myself – spirit, soul and body, and new eyes to see the world from a different perspective. What would have taken years to rebuild, mend and revive God made up for it and did it in the whole 10 months being in the school of ministry. I may not have gotten out with a degree that would create a title for me in this world but all the rewards I have received are eternal and intangible. All the training and knowledge gained are essential for living everyday no matter where I am at in life. Sometimes God opens a door where there has not been any, or at least from our limited perspective. Sometimes all it takes for us to access our inheritance from heaven is a willingness to obey and a surrendered heart motivated by love. Even when we do not completely understand it yet.

The thing is, I did not initially choose to do first year in BSSM. I had a different plan in mind. I was about to apply in a different art school. But He knew better. In His gracious and loving way, God led me to this school from this church where I knew so little about except for their life-changing music.  I had nothing when I said yes to diving into a year in a country literally on the other side of my world. No visa and savings to sustain my living expenses and tuition fee for the school. If I had anything at all I would say the only two things I carried were faith in the God of the impossible and a hunger to know more and encounter this God in a much more intimate way.

I learned that these two are actually keys to stepping into God’s heart unlocking a road less traveled which ultimately leads us closer to our purpose and destiny. These enabled me to push through impossibilities where means are beyond my capacity. I miraculously got my visa out of weak documents and more than half of my tuition fee was completely paid for by an anonymous donor the day of my deadline. Living expenses provided for just right when I needed it. I wish I can make this sound less spiritual but the only way all these happened was literally because of God Himself. He moved flawlessly where I saw impossibilities. I had nothing but faith that He is good and a hunger to seek who He is deeper as He introduced His nature and character to me in such an intentional way.

Realistically, we live in a dark world, filled with death, hatred and brokenness. However, this reality should compel us to be caught up in our divine purpose why we are still here in this world rather than just the problems. We are called not to just merely exist but to live abundantly and beyond. I discovered in my journey in BSSM keys on how our lives can be an opportunity for the world to encounter Love thus transforming this world into one of life, love and wholeness. A unique commissioning into my rightful destiny.

Many are invited but few are crazy enough to say yes to God and forge a path for other people to follow. To find these fellow sojourners from all walks of life and nations in this school of ministry adventure with the same passion and hunger encouraged me that I was not the only one.

All this to testify that you are not alone when you decide to embark on uncharted waters because there is a God who will fight your dreams with you and for you behind the scenes where no one can see. Just believe and stay hungry.

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We were like those who dream.
The Lord has done great things for us,
And we are glad.
-Psalm 126

 

**testimony of a first year BSSM graduate (2015-2016)  For more story feature please read:

Help Sow Into Francesca’s BSSM Journey 2nd year

When The Shoe Fits

How many of us believed in princes and princesses when we were little children. We grew up taught with the narrative of a prince in search of a damsel in distress and save her from an evil queen, step mom or whoever held the little girl captive. The poor little girl trapped in an attic and turned into a slave until her worth became tarnished for life. These stories, no matter how tragic it started, always ended happy and magical.

However in reality has our ending turned out to be the same as these fairy tales? Stuck in the attic hoping that one day we get to escape to an elegant ball, be royalty for a night and meet the prince of our lives. How many of us run away back to the attic of our lives when the clock strikes to reveal our real identity. How many of us leave behind the sparkling gem shoe on the trail hoping one day a prince would find us and return it to us. A moment when our entire lives are dependent on this valiant act which would lead us into our freedom to be who we really are.

The world we live in offers a million different alternatives just for us to be able to validate living in the attic of our lives. Someone or something may have forced us to live in it or we have unknowingly allowed ourselves to stay entrapped not knowing what true freedom really is. We have run around wearing shoes that do not fit us. We pretend its not hurting our feet when its too small or it falls off easily because the size is bigger. It has failed to fit us because its not ours. We have forced ourselves to wear someone else’s shoe. Somewhere along the way, the narrative of our lives have been distorted from its original story, written in the way its meant to be because of fear. Afraid of not knowing how to live outside of the attic or afraid we might never get the right shoe. A lie that has convinced us not going out of this hidden hole is way better because it would not be pretty when the world finds out who we really are. In order to stay within the bounds of the mold of society we opt to wear what everyone else does.

But the truth is, there is freedom outside the confines of the attic walls that have been placed in our lives. There is still a prince holding the shoe designed for you and is waiting for you to put it on so you can walk into this beautiful ball where you can dance yourself out into freedom.

There is a shoe made just for you. No one else can wear it for you because it is designed by a Creator who has always known you even before you ever came into this world. Its never too late to go on a quest to find this prince who holds your shoe and has the ability to set you free from the bondage of your attic. Its not rocket science, you do not need a bunch of methods to figure this out. All you need to do is to believe in the narrative that there is a prince who has been waiting for you all this time and has the power to set you free into who you really are. To believe in this Prince of peace. This story is available not just to little girls but to everyone who are done with living in prison of their own attic walls and sick of wearing the shoe that never fit them. Its an invitation from the attic to the palace where the elegant ball waits for you as you. Not pretending to be a prince or princess but actually being one. Freedom awaits on the other side of your faith so you can be all you are created to be. There is only one you in this world, one pair of shoe made only for you to walk on, no one else can do a better job at being you.

The world needs you to step into your originally crafted destiny designed uniquely only for you.Will you receive this invitation to this grand ball and be a prince or princess not just for a night but for the rest of your life?

*My little musings after watching Cinderella the movie.