Global Lutheran Outreach Missionary

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Living in Paradox

As a season of life comes to a close and another begins, I am feeling a wide range of emotions. I am so excited about our next adventure yet at the same time I am very nervous and a little bit scared.

In a short couple days, I will graduate from Concordia University Texas and continue to prepare for my internship to work with the Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Africa. During my studies at CTX, we often discussed many different Biblical paradoxes such as “saint but sinner” or “in the world but not of the world.” But as I begin preparing myself to move across the globe, one in particular is constantly stuck in my mind–the paradox of being excited yet terrified. As Christians, we worship a resurrected God and are called to live life abundantly as well as to rejoice always which sounds so exciting. All the while, we are called to step out of our comfort zones into the great unknown trusting that God will provide abundant life all of which is utterly terrifying. This paradox always reminds me of the story of Peter walking on water. I can only imagine that he was so excited when he asks Jesus to call him out to the water. But once out of the comfort zone of his boat, he realizes the large, crashing waves all around him and the constant beating of the wind which was completely terrifying. He begins to sink in that moment because he takes his eyes off of Jesus, our Rock and Savior. This is the key to this paradox of being excited and terrified: keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus who will always be with us to keep us afloat.

There are so many things that I am excited for in this new season: to follow one of my long-time dreams to work with many precious children in Africa, to see the Gospel being revealed in big ways in Tanzania, to see how God will use Austin and I to help Him build His Kingdom throughout this beautiful world, and the list goes on. There also many things that I am terrified of: to live in country much different from this place I have called home for so many years, to move so far away from family and friends, and the many things the devil can do to hinder this ministry. But through it all I know that God “calls [me] back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant. For I have chosen you and have not rejected you. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand’” (Isaiah 41:9-10). As I look forward to this journey we are going on, through all the excitement and fear, I am at ease because I know that God is ever faithful!

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4 Responses to Living in Paradox

  1. Kristie Marino says:

    Beautifully written, Amber. I am looking forward to reading about your adventures. Bless you and Austin for the wonderful things you will accomplish.

  2. Linda Funke says:

    A quote that regularly came to mind before each of my international moves was from Armageddon: “I’m great, I got that ‘excited/scared’ feeling. Like 98% excited, 2% scared. Or maybe it’s more. It could be, it could be 98% scared, 2% excited but that’s what makes it so intense, it’s so – confused. I can’t really figure it out.” One of my mentors always said, “You know you are heading in a good direction when you are excited enough to have a natural energy, but scared enough to know that you can’t do it without God.” I think you both are heading in a good direction 🙂

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