So my sister just returned from her second missionary trip to beautiful Mexico. They spent time with the young people there at a national youth convention ministering and giving conferences. Listening to her crazy stories of adventure and some of slight danger, I couldn’t help but to think back to my first missionary trip.
I can still remember the excitement of embarking on a brand new adventure, an unknown journey. As we traveled almost sixteen hours to our destination, I was already being impacted by how much I needed to trust the Lord. I didn’t know where I was exactly and I had no way of calling home. My safety net was God.
From this experience I learned a few things, dear sister, and I want to share them with you. These were invaluable lessons that I am sure will grip my heart for the rest of my life.
These were invaluable lessons that I am sure will grip my heart for the rest of my life.
1) Fear is an illusion
Yes, I totally just said that. I remember being so afraid to go on this trip. It would be the farthest I had ever been from home in my entire life. We were entering into a pretty rural part of Mexico, and I knew no one there. Even though my pastor was going with us, the uncertainty of all we would be doing there was pretty scary.
I remember looking up the definition of the word fear, and I was so impacted by the definition. Fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”
Fear is just a belief. We fear when we believe that something can harm us. On this trip I learned just how much power fear had over my life and the decisions I made. Decisions about college, life, and relationships.
When I came back from this trip I finally decided to apply to nursing school and use this career to help others. I decided to preach bolder and evangelize harder. I learned that courage, is doing things despite feeling fear.
I learned that courage, is doing things despite feeling fear.
2) Live passionately
I learned something else about myself on this trip: God wants me to live boldly.
During this trip I met so many young people who had to face impossible odds just to serve Christ. They encountered way more hardship than I ever had, and still fought for their faith. I was so inspired, yet annoyed at myself at the same time. If they could live so passionately for the Lord, despite having limited resources, why I couldn’t I do the same.
I finally decided to begin Empowered Beauty with my sister, and to live out the dreams that God placed in my heart. I began to preach bolder, and sing louder.
This lesson led me into a season of my life that I will never forget. I began to hear the voice of God clearer than I ever had. I pushed myself to spend more time in prayer and reading the word. I wanted to grow closer to God, and sister, I have grown in my relationship with Him like I never believed possible. I dare you to do the same.
3) Build relationships to build His kingdom
Through my first missionary trip I also began to understand that building relationships with others is the best way to show the love of God. In fact, during my sister’s time in her trip, she spoke to the young people just about that.
She spoke to them about the importance of growing friendships with others, especially nonbelievers, in order to share the gospel. I began to understand that many times we must take a risk and allow others into our hearts to share with them the best gift we have; the love of God.
People are not looking for theology, they are looking to feel accepted, loved, and cared about. After the trip, I began to notice and really look at the people around me. My classmates, co-workers, and even fellow brethren in the faith didn’t seem like just people. They were opportunities to share God’s love, and I began to do just that.
They were opportunities to share God’s love, and I began to do just that.
These lessons have changed my life, and I hope that they do the same for you. Fear is only as strong over us as we allow it to be. God wants us to live with so much passion, that we actually put into action those dreams he has placed in our hearts. Not only that, we need to build relationship with others, and make them part of our dreams as well.
God loves you, so now go out and love on others.
Carla Lopez, Co-founder of Empowered Beauty