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More Important Than My Comfort

‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’ (Hebrews 4:7)

This Biblical command has remained in my heart and mind since August 2017. I had the next season of my life all planned out: I was to start a nursing degree in late September for the next three years, about which I felt safe, secure and at peace. I based my decision to pursue nursing on a prophetic word I was given (which I was then, admittedly, pressuring myself to ensure came to fruition). I was so set on seeing this prophetic word become a reality that I didn’t stop to ask God what He thought about my future plans. Without realising it, I was following the prophetic word instead of following God’s voice. It wasn’t until God revealed Hebrews 4:7 to me that I realised the peace I was feeling wasn’t actually peace at all. What I was feeling was the comfort and security (what I wanted to assume was peace from God) based on the reassuring knowledge of what my immediate future would look like.

I was heading into the unknown without a real plan for the next year

Then came a day when the Lord spoke to me. I literally heard His audible voice calling me to return to South Africa the following year. As I then shut the door on my studies for a nursing degree, I was surprised at the overwhelming sense of peace that came over me. Now that my actions were coming from a place of hearing God’s voice for myself and not trying to ‘work out’ the prophetic word I’d been given or control my own future, I experienced real ‘God-gifted’ peace. In the natural, I was heading into the unknown without a real plan for the next year (never mind the next three years), but in the spiritual, I could sense God working.

Soon after this time, God provided me with a job that provided a good amount of the finances needed to fund a trip to South Africa (though I wasn’t sure what I would do there). God, however, continued to highlight the need for me to go to South Africa, and after seeking wisdom from those I walk with, and much prayer, I applied for an Altitude internship at Oxygen Life Church (Port Elizabeth). I remember sitting at work during my lunch break with a calculator in hand trying to work out the sum total of costs that I would need to be able to afford the trip and the internship. Although the calculations suggested this would be impossible, I knew my God could do the impossible! I was constantly reminded of how our God is a faithful God – ‘look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?’ was a Scripture I held on to. After setting up a ‘Go Fund Me’ page, I was overwhelmed by the generous hearts of my church family, who made contributions towards my trip costs. The Lord continued to show His grace and favour towards me as I kept my eyes fixed on Him and His will, not my own. Time after time I witnessed the provision and faithfulness of God towards me, His child.

I believe God has already shifted my ‘island mentality’ to ‘kingdom culture’

Fast forward to today, where I’m currently heading into the third week of my Altitude internship. Within the first week of arriving in Port Elizabeth (PE), the Lord confirmed to me that I was exactly where He wanted me. The Lord has surrounded me with family at Oxygen Life Church, and I am truly thankful for the love and support that flows through the body of Christ. God has consistently made his presence evident to me over the past few weeks. The relationship I have with my Lord has significantly grown in intimacy as I have discovered more and more of His character. I am so thankful for my Lord’s heart towards His people.

A massive highlight for me has been the privilege of being able to minister into various schools in PE. We have outreaches every Wednesday into primary and secondary schools. With the current situation in the UK, and particularly the Isle of Man, ministering into schools is almost impossible. Being able to teach children about their Father has been one the most amazing and humbling experiences of which I have been a part. The children receive our teachings with such an open heart and mind; I feel truly blessed to be able to serve my Lord in such a special way. I believe God has already shifted my ‘island mentality’ to ‘kingdom culture’, and blessed me with new experiences. This is just the beginning of my adventure, and I am so excited to see what the Lord teaches me over the next few months. This Scripture has become the cry of my heart: ‘And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”’ (Isaiah 6:8)

 

Anna is originally from the Isle of Man, British Isles, where she is a member of Living Hope church. Anna has grown up as a “pastor’s kid”, the second eldest of four daughters, all of whom know and love the Lord. She is a passionate Jesus follower and lover of people.

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