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Live Out Loud

I stepped from the airport into the afternoon air and was assaulted.

Assaulted by the unbelievable cold and darkness. Freezing arctic temperatures literally took my breath away, stunning my nasal and throat passages with each gasp. As I surveyed the scene, I wondered what in the world did I do to deserve this terrible fate?

2:00 p.m.-- December 26, 1989 -- Fairbanks, Alaska --- 60 degrees below zero -- NO sunlight

Age: 18

Status: Alone

It was on this day that I questioned and feared my future.

I had no idea why I was there (other than at Uncle Sam's direction) and I couldn't see how anything good could come from these circumstances. I hated cold weather, and my soul shrivels in the darkness. How could I survive? I think this is the one place (next to Antarctica) that I never wanted to find myself.

Yet, there I stood.

What I didn’t know on that day was that God was going to take my circumstances, take my fear and give me my greatest blessings!

I spent over four years in Alaska. I learned to adapt and thrive. I learned that strength and resilience come from the hand of God. I also learned that in my greatest time of trusting, God provided His best blessings- my loving husband of 27+ years and my amazing, beautiful daughter.

I gained so much and would gladly do it all over again! The key is trusting in God’s faithfulness.

The Bible character, Caleb reminds me of this principle.

The story of Caleb begins in the book of Numbers found in the Old Testament. Caleb was Jewish and had just been delivered from bondage in Egypt. God had led the Jews to the border of the land of Canaan, (an area that God had promised they would inherit.) Caleb was one of twelve men chosen by Moses to scout out the land. The twelve spies surveyed the land for forty days and returned to Moses with their report. They described a bountiful land filled with terrifying giants and cautioned against entering the Land of Canaan. Only Joshua and Caleb encouraged Moses to take possession of the land immediately.

Caleb boldly voiced, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” ~ Numbers 13:30

Despite the circumstances and fear, Caleb had faith that God was capable of fulfilling His promises.

Sadly, the people of Israel ignored Caleb and allowed fear and hesitation to rule them. Their fate- they wandered in the wilderness for forty years until the entire generation died. Because of their fear and lack of trust they missed out on God’s blessings! (The exceptions- Joshua & Caleb!)

Caleb is a testament to faith. He trusted God and believed that God was bigger than his fears. God blessed Caleb's patience and trust, and at the right time, Caleb was rewarded with the promised land.

Lessons learned:

Don’t waste opportunities.

Live life unafraid.

Dream big.

Have faith.

Trust in the God who loves you.

Seize the day.

Be counter-cultural.

Best advice- Never make decisions from a place of fear. It will lead you astray, or worse prevent you from receiving or doing something great!

Be like Caleb… look beyond what your eyes can see, remove the fear and hesitation and trust in God’s promises.

What is God calling you to today?

What dream has He placed in your heart?

What person has he positioned in your path to help or share the gospel?

Remember, we are given just one life- a gift from a gracious God. Make it count.

Failure isn’t fatal, but hesitation & fear can be!

Father thank you that you are faithful and can be trusted. We praise you that even in circumstances that seem too big, too scary, and too uncertain that You are present and able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. When we trust in You all things are possible. Nothing is too big for you to handle. Help us Lord to always trust in your faithfulness for our future.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” ~ Ephesians 3:20-21

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