I know what you may be thinking as you read this title, what the heck is this Chica trying to say? Barbed wire to Branch…#what?
Well as you all know, I have been here in Chile since June 15th and it is now June 26th, so approximately 11 days. I would love to tell you that the first 11 days of my time here in Chile have been the grandest upon grandest of times. Usually people experience the mission trip high upon arrival, well since life has just seemed a little backwards for me lately I figured eh might as well experience the mission trip low first. Not that the low has been so extreme as to make me want to go home (okay maybe so for about 10 minutes), but the low has been well low.
Upon arrival to Chile, as you read in my last blog things were a little rough. In turn, I came to Chile with some scars and really frustrating things. I did not really understand why so much anxiety, attack, and everything in between was happening to me and I may never understand it. However, I do know that Romans 8:28 says, “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Later in that chapter v. 37 says, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Taking these two verses into account, this is what has been pushing me through knowing that because my Savior shed blood on the cross that I am able to come out of tough times victorious. No weapon formed against us is able to prosper!
During my time here, the Lord has begun revealing a lot of where my struggle has come from recently. He has done this by means of other people, prayer, speaking to my heart, and a walk through the country roads where I took that picture of the barbed wire. As I came up on this barbed wire, God was saying to me “Hannah you are that barbed wire, but I am making you into a branch.” It sounds really weird, but I think we all are barbed wire in a way. For me, my barbed wire came from insecurities, desire to be loved but not understanding what love truly was, comparison, hurt, and of course pride. All of these added up to a lump sum of me, barbed wire Hannah, walking around with her life together, so spiritual, Christ-filled, you know the whole idea of what a godly-woman should be. However, the facade can only last so long before you are brought down low and truly realize okay God I have so far to come before I can even compare to how great and magnificent you are. The Church nowadays really encourages us to build our faith, be strong, you are so much more than this. Yes all those things are true, but those phrases have a lot to do with the idol of “me.” The Bible says, put your faith in me, your strength comes from me, and yes you are so much more than this, but you are so much more than this because I (Jesus) have made you so much more.
This Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth, the Savior of the World who died on the cross to save my sins, needs me to come to Him in need of savior not in want of one. I for so many years, wanted a savior, wanted someone to help me through life, wanted someone to be my guide, but when things were easier to do on my own I was like “hey I can do this.” This is not the case anymore, everything I have experienced up to this point I could handle on my own or with the encouragement of another person that buttered me up, put me back on the horse, and ready to grab life by the reigns and take it on again. Nope, not this time, there was no getting back up on that horse by myself. In the case of Peter and walking on water, I needed Jesus to reach down and pick me up. He never let me drown because he doesn’t let his disciples drown, but I was in NEED of a Savior. That strong barbed wire that thought she didn’t need anything else to protect her, was brought low stripped of her pride, her insecurities, and started the process of becoming a branch.
As I have shared before, God told me that during my time here in Chile he would teach me a lot about love. Oh how true that already is, just really understanding the captivating and compelling love of Christ and how much He truly loves and delights in us. He is always with us and guiding us through life even we don’t think we are doing the right thing, or don’t think we deserve this love. He loves us so much, and that is what He is teaching me here so far in Chile. He loves me and wants the best for me, is always fighting for me, and is the only thing in this life that I can lean on. Jesus is enough and everything else in life is blessing. How thankful I am for those blessings, but even more thankful I am for the BLESSER!
Becoming a branch, well it is not always the easiest. Branches are smooth, barbed wire is rough. Therefore, sometimes God has to rub away our pride, expose our hurt, our struggles and our need for Him. Jesus said in John 15, “I am the vine, you are the branch, apart from me you can do nothing.” This is so true, I can do nothing apart from Christ. He gives me the ability to love, the ability to live, and the air to breath. Even though the rubbing away is painful, I am thankful that God is refining me and making me into a branch that bears much fruit. I want to bear much fruit and prove to be his disciple (v.8). From barbed wire to branch may be a process, but restoration and healing is always to be happened!
Love and Prayers,