The scariest thing I have ever done…twice!

In by Eric Kastle

riceAre y’all ready for this? I should probably be horribly ashamed to admit this…but I must confess. Before this trip to Manila, I have NEVER bought fresh (not frozen) chicken. Never. Not once. I am terrified of salmonella, e. coli, and all the rest of the funky stuff just lurking in a person’s home to contract.

Yet, of all places, I choose to be brave several thousand miles outside of my comfort zone to bite the bullet and buy chicken. Crazy, right? But, I’m glad I did! I now have 3 new dishes to feed to my family and due to so much more time in the kitchen, I have mastered the rice cooker. Oh. That’s the other thing I have never used before in my life. A rice cooker. This trip, I learned how to cook rice (thank you Google!!) and I have mastered the art of fluffy rice in a rice cooker! Let the angels rejoice! I might actually be turning Filipina after all!

While I am serious about these two new things to add to my accomplishments in life, I am also struck with the thought about how much more brave a person can be when they are out of their comfort zone.

When things no longer feel safe and secure, you have to make adjustments. You have to change your plans. You have to change your thinking, your perspective. Sure, you can stay inside that little safety zone, but you would be missing some pretty awesome things (hello! fluffy rice anyone?!?!).

Living for God is like being brave enough to buy fresh chicken. Ok, that may be a bit of a stretch, but sometimes living for God can be scary. It can cause us to have tremendous faith. Faith in the unseen. Faith in God and faith in ourselves. We have to trust that He will take care of us and trust that He has already spoken a word to us and equipped us with the tools and/or talent we will require to accomplish what He has called us to do.

It’s not too hard to trust God, but it can be quite challenging to have faith in ourselves. If you have ever felt a call of God on your life, then you already have been given everything you need to see the work fulfilled. Oh sure, there may be a learning process along the way (how many TIMES did I allow the rice to burn before I realized you have to unplug it after it’s finished cooking!!!!), but know that God’s hand is leading you and guiding you into EXACTLY what He has planned for you and He has given you all the ability you need and is also capable of teaching you along the way!!!

Besides buying fresh chicken and mastering the rice cooker, I’ve also done a couple other scary things since being here in Manila.

The Lord gave me a dream not long after arriving here. In my dream I was teaching the 2nd year class. Since I do not have any classes with the 2nd year, I knew there was something special about this dream. In my dream, I began to discuss “balance” with the students. God gave me a visual and the 4 key points to the lesson and then I woke up. Well, I let it stir in my heart and my brain and finally, it came time for me to present it. I was SO NERVOUS!!! I do not know how my husband can repeatedly get up in front of a congregation with a word from God and deliver it with polish and confidence. I suppose, after many years of “practice” it’s easier for him, but I was a wreck. However, I delivered my heart to them, and I believe they were blessed by it. Today, I was able to share the same lesson with the 1st year class. I was less nervous today, but still, trusting the voice of God and delivering what He has laid on your heart is not something for cowards.

I’ve also started some of my own personal development. An opportunity opened up for me to take an online certificate course in counseling. I’ve been praying about some things I’ve been feeling and talking things over with my husband and this seemed like a confirmation to what I felt. It literally just kind of dropped into my lap. So, I signed up, enrolled and took the plunge. I am about halfway through the class and LOVING EVERY SECOND OF IT! I feel challenged!!! Part of the course work involves reading a book a week and so far, I’ve had to write two papers. The reading part…I LOVE! The writing part…I LOVE! The submitting papers for grading…I HATE! Oh, the agony. Did I say everything I need to say? Did I fully capture the essence of what the instructor asked for? Did I use correct APA format? I am sure that I will adjust and this anxiety will lessen over time, but until then, I will be biting my nails and questioning every little sentence.

So, there you have it. A brief recap and a little inspiration for your day. Doing scary things doesn’t have to be scary, if you allow God to lead you and guide you through them. Love y’all! Hope you are all enjoying fall! It’s getting cooler here (yes…cool!!) and the wind is blowing and there has been a lovely breeze today. While this weather is typical for Manila during this time of the year, I like to think that God is blessing me with my own personal fall/autumn here. And I love it!