My Gethsemane. When this year I watched The Garden by Michael Todd and Transformation Church I learned that Gethsemane means oil press or the Place of Pressure. And if you have been following the blog, you can see that this year for sure started (and went on) in pressure. My baby cousin had just died on the second day of Christmas and the plans I had for working in Portugal weren’t at all going as I hoped they would. My debt was getting deeper and deeper, my responsibilities were only growing and the vision I thought was clear was getting foggy.
So on the 16th of June I went for a run and thought: “What am I doing here? Did I come against Your will? Against Your order? Did I get it wrong then when You spoke to me?”. I allowed my circumstances to crack my shell, a small crack, but it made a way for the questions and doubts to creep in. They reminded me how important it is to always write everything down, because I couldn’t remember the details of when the Spirit had spoken to me some years ago. The conviction I had, how the confirmation went precisely. I remember the Holy Spirit’s whisper, clear when I coincidentally also went for a run that day. To Just Go. Just Go For It. I always overthink, so that was the perfect response to my overthinking brain of million questions. Just Go, Tashmyn. And I went. But now I thought, after being here, at the last location of that plan I had written down. Was this also where You really wanted me to go to?
That same evening on June 16th we had Connect Group and Pedro, one of the leaders of the group spoke directly to me. He said right when I entered the Zoom call as one of the firsts He felt something to speak to me. The Holy Spirit was speaking to him. At the end, right before I had to leave to go help my client as I was at work, he explained what he felt and said “I see you. We see you. We see your involvement and consistency. You were called here for a reason and God has a plan for you. Don’t give up. The best is yet to come”.
And there it was. My answer from God, snapping me back out of it and patching up that crack. Pulling me out of the grappling lies of the enemy. Allowing me to stand firm and confident again and to continue this race I run.
Ephesians 2:10 [HCSB] — “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”
James 1:2-4 [HCSB] — “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”
Then on the 22nd of November we had Culture Club and Austin received a question which he answered by telling us about his experience of coming from “outside”. Being in a country that is not yours, where you don’t speak the language, have no family, but his wife and church. It’s hard he said. And he explained that he too had times where he thought: “I’m going back”. And that he even told his wife to pack her bags, because they’d be moving back to America. But that what rooted him and that what made him persevere here in Portugal, was him having his eyes fixed on Christ. Knowing Who and what he is doing it all for. His purpose and vision were clear.
To me, the sharing of his story and experience, was comforting. It was good to hear that I am not alone. I am not alone in this. There are more people here that feel the same way and know and understand what I feel. I am not running this race on my own. There are people here that see me and pull or keep me close and that are rooting for me. God is rooting for us, Jesus is, His angels are, the whole heavenly host is rooting for you! Don’t give up. Go, on!
My place of pressure; not just Faro — Portugal, but everything that came with it and happened during my time here, has pressured me into an end of the year fast. Not a normal one, but a Fasting and Prayer of three months. October 1st till December 31st. Which ended up being the preparation for the rest of my life. It turned out to be the beginning. God woke me up with a whisper and then slapped me in the face and said “wake up!”, because I was in that ‘hmm’-awake-but-nice-and-cozy-state. Wake up! He slapped me out of it! Told me to go get a cold shower and then fed me. He fed me a meal, like I hadn’t had before, but still brought nostalgia of meals I had from my youth. A proper meal, filling me, energizing me, equipping me to go about the day. To go about the rest of the buffet prepared by Him. And to go about the rest of my life. To take these principles I learned, these basics and to cut off everything that kept me away from Him. Not by their choice or works, but by mine. By me allowing it to distract me, by me making it an idol, by me choosing it first over God. I am well awake now. Well fed. And ready for work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 [HCSB] — “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Hebrews 13:20-21 [HCSB] — “Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus — the great Shepherd of the sheep — with the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with all that is good to do His will, working in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. Glory belongs to Him forever and ever. Amen.”
I am equipped, being equipped and will be equipped for everything in God’s will for my life. Mountains, valleys, wind gusts and crashing waves. By God’s preparation I am ready.
As we close this year, I would like to leave you my final words to enter the new year with..
Let’s go get it.