To All You Princesses,
Today, I write to you from Brazil. I’m here for 3 months, waiting on God, asking Him about His purpose, why He has sent me here. I’m not here with a team, or any church. It’s just Jesus and I. He told me to go, and here I am. Typical. It’s quite funny when people ask me why I’m here. “Well,” I respond, “Because Jesus told me to come.”
It sure sounds incredible, “Oh yeah! I had the faith, not just of a mustard seed, but of a chia seed and I got on a plane to go across the world, and because I did, everyday will be powerful and radical and miracles will follow me daily!” Haha, right. Reality check: I’m sitting alone in a room, eating some almonds (because I’m hungry and don’t want to go downstairs to cook – don’t judge), and asking God the same question, “Lord, why am I here? I came… now, what?”
I’m staying with such a wonderful Brazilian family, trying to learn Portuguese (the struggle is REAL), and yet, feeling like I’m doing nothing. But really, I am waiting.
Can I be honest with you, Princesses?
I’ve been thinking about something recently. I have this theory that one of God’s greatest desires is our time. I think He wants our obedience first, but has a deep desire for our attention and our time. Think about your day. What do you spend your time on most? Wouldn’t we all love to say JESUS! But let’s be real. We put so much before Him, am I right? And then later, at the end of the day, feel guilty because we didn’t spend enough time in the word, or prayer, or fill-in-the-blank with Jesus.
Before coming here, I was so busy. I had to pack up my life supplies for 3 months (don’t get me started on my list), finish up work, get my place ready for my house sitter, etc. To say I was stressed, isn’t even the beginning. Then, like the worst cherry on top of this pie, my phone was stolen two days before leaving.
Four hours. The time I spent at my phone carrier trying to get my phone replaced. The day before I was about to leave the country. THE COUNTRY. How could this be happening to me, right now? Today, of all days? At this point, my brain literally felt about to explode. Then Holy Spirit was like, “Katya. Focus.”
Lord, what do you want me to focus on?
“My daughter,” was His reply.
Have you noticed that stressful situations have a way of making us really self-focused? I looked at the girl helping me. Her hair was frazzled, and she looked more stressed than I was. My heart melted. “Forgive me, Lord. I was so focused on me, I didn’t see her. I’m listening to you now.”
God was waiting, till I looked to Him, so out of the reflection of His eyes I could see what He sees. His daughter, He said. I began to talk to her, I told her how much I appreciated her help. I asked about her about her life. She’s a single mom, to this amazing daughter who she was taking to the fair that night. A mother-daughter date.
Quietly, I began praying for her. For this woman who was working so hard for her little girl. A phone seemed like such a frivolous thing to worry about, when I began to feel God’s heart for her.
“Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.”
Do you hear His voice, beckoning you to look to Him?
God is always here. Always there. Always in the midst of the chaos. Always in the middle, like a pillar, like a lighthouse, like a safety net, like an anchor.
There was a reason my phone was taken. There was a reason it happened on that day in that hour. I don’t know why, but I do know once I stopped looking down at me, and up to Him, I saw beauty and felt compassion, love, and peace.
Time. It’s what He wants from us. Our precious time, the hours and minutes we hold so dear and never seem to have enough of, He wants it. Because when our time, is held in His hands, in His infinity, the world changes a little.
Every moment we choose Him, love encounters earth.
When love encounters earth, people are changed.
We have to learn to stop and pause, if we want to live like Jesus and be like Him. We have to learn to say no to things that are distracting. It’s not always boys, or social media, sometimes it’s a stolen phone. Sometimes, it’s words some girl has said. Sometimes, it’s that grade on a test. Little things that make us question ourselves, stress us out, and make us focus more on this world than on God.
I think this world was not originally designed to steal our attention away from God and our purpose. It wasn’t meant to make us distracted and stressed, but because of sin, it will destroy our relationship with God if we let it. Yet, we have control over our will. We have a choice. We can choose who or what is allowed to have our time, attention, and focus.
How do we overcome this war for our attention?
Waiting. Seeking. Listening. Pausing.
Sounds boring, to some.
But our intimacy with God grows farther in the quiet, in those moments we choose Him, than any conference or bible study we could attend.
Intimacy is found in time with the One, not the One-Thousand.
Our strength is found in the waiting.
Our truth we can stand on is found in the seeking.
Our identity is remembered in the listening.
Our focus is restored in the pausing.
Here in Brazil, in the land and the people God and I both love, I am waiting and yes, it’s hard. Most days, I’m not giving someone a word from God, or praying for the sick, but I’m praying, in my room, by myself with Jesus beside me. And it’s a gift, those moments. Other days, like today, God clearly told me to tell the lady at the grocery store that she was beautiful. They were words I actually knew and when I told her, the look on her face was priceless. Yet, I know that was only Holy Spirit because just two minutes before there was an episode. She asked me if a zucchini was in my bag… unfortunately, I didn’t know she said that. I just stared at her, like a raccoon, trying to explain I spoke little Portuguese and feeling embarrassed when she repeated and then reached in my bag to pull out the object in question.
I could have let that take me down the path of insecurity. Easily. Because I was embarrassed and I’ve already been feeling self-conscious about my lack of fluency in this language, so it hit a sore spot. But I remembered the phone situation and I paused. “Lord, I don’t want to focus on me. Here I am. What are you doing in this moment?” Tell her she is beautiful. He said. And when I looked at her, I could see His love for her. She really was so beautiful. Even if I didn’t know what in the world she was saying.
If I’m totally honest, it would be so awesome if I had just a really clear purpose, where an angel would come down from heaven like “Katya. Do not fear! You are blessed among women. God has chosen you to to bring revival to the youth in Brazil” or “Katya. Daughter of the God most high. Fear not! You are here to bring God’s healing to the sick.” Something super incredible and big. Like Mary. But yeah… so far, nothing yet. But you know, I have to remember that this isn’t usually God’s way. He is a God of the little, of the one. He’s the kind of God who would have 100 sheep but leave the 99 to bring back one stray. He cares about each of us. God doesn’t see crowds, He sees His children. I don’t have to wait for something larger than life or a message from heaven, if God is with me (which He is), then I am fully equipped and able to love. And isn’t that most important of all?
Sure, we can have amazing experiences where God uses us in radical ways, but above all, staying connected with His heart daily is how we can love beyond ourselves. Every day, with all people. That’s our purpose. I think Paul says it best:
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
My last word to you… that has nothing to do with this post.
I’m sorry it’s been a while since I’ve written. I’ve been struggling to write, for many reasons, but God is helping me to find strength to write, especially when I think of you. I do think of you often. I wonder where you are, what you are facing today, what you are crying about, what you are laughing about, how you feel when you hear God clearly, how you feel when you can’t hear Him at all. I wonder about your heart, the state of it. Is it full and thriving, or a little broken and torn today? I wonder what you feel shamed about, and the lies the enemy is speaking today. I wonder which voice you choose to hear.
I wonder about you often.
You are full of wonder, if you didn’t know. :)
You are loved, if you didn’t know.
You are seen, you are beautiful, you are a Princess.
If it’s okay with you, I’d like to say a prayer over you:
“Dear Father, thank you for who you are. We would not be here without you, Jesus. Thank you for the girls that read this. Maybe it’s just one. But I thank you for her. She is precious to you, Papa. She is worthy to be called yours. And O how you desire her attention and her life. Your love is always calling to us. Lord, may each of us remember to turn our gaze to you, when there is quiet, and when there is chaos. May we make that choice to listen and to seek you. Help us to put our trust in you, in all things. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
With all my love,