I arrived in Peru a few nights ago. After a long day of traveling, I was thankful to be somewhere that wasn’t an airplane or airport. My host family welcomed me with open arms, and I settled into my room. However, it was hard for me to fall asleep; my mind was spinning as I wondered what I had just done.

When I woke up, the feeling was no better. Actually, I think it was worse. I had this deep pit in my stomach as I asked myself, “What the heck did you just do?” So many concerns were coursing through my mind: How am I going to get anywhere? The busses are confusing and taxis are not always safe. I might get robbed if I walk somewhere. I don’t know Spanish. How will I communicate? How do I maintain the necessary independence needed while still being safe? How am I going to pay for any of this? I was slowly spiraling into a pit of loneliness and fear.

Knowing that there was nothing else I could do, I started praying. I turned to the Lord and asked Him to be my comfort, my guide, my saving grace. I knew that only He could bring the peace I sought. I also reached out to my friends. I sent out so many messages asking for prayers, and as I sent those messages, I asked the Lord to allow me to feel the grace of those prayers. He did. One by one, texts began to flood in, and tears filled my eyes. Jesus was completely speaking through these lovely friends of mine, and I felt so encouraged.

One friend included a verse that I had read long ago and loved: Exodus 14:14.

“The Lord will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”

Context for this: the Israelites have just escaped Egypt but are being pursued by the Egyptians. They’re asking Moses why they were brought out into the wilderness to die, and in despair, they wished to be back in Egypt. Moses, however, spoke into their hearts and encouraged them with this verse. Earlier in verse 13, he says, “Do not fear! Stand your ground and see the victory the Lord will win for you today.” Later that night, as they were traveling around, the Lord protected them with a cloud until they reached the Red Sea. By the power of the Lord, Moses raised his staff and the sea parted.

When I prayed through this passage yesterday, I felt like the Israelites. Why did I come to Peru when I could have stayed in Michigan, making money and feeling comfortable? Why did I willingly choose to live in an uncomfortable situation that has continuously called me outside of my comfort zone? Those verses spoke to my heart as the Lord reminded me that He called me here. He asked me to surrender to Him and step out in faith. I need not fear; He will win a victory for me today and tomorrow and the next day. He is fighting for me.

Today, I returned to this passage and came to another realization. Yes, the Lord worked an incredible victory in the protection of the cloud and in the parting of the Red Sea. However, the Israelites were still acting. Throughout this passage, they were still pilgrims. They were still walking great distances. I’m sure that they were tired and hungry and frustrated. However, in obedience, they still did what was being asked of them.

You see, they had to get to the Red Sea in order for it to be parted. In the same way, I cannot remain in despair and inaction. I must act in faith, no matter if it is hard or tiring at times. I must get to the Red Sea in order for the Lord to part it. I must keep responding with obedience to His call, trusting that somehow, He will win a victory for me.

I feel renewed. I know that these next few months will be the furthest thing from easy, but I also trust that the Lord is fighting for me. He has amazing things in store. There is a reason He has called me here, even if I cannot see it now. I am so excited to be starting this journey in Peru. The family I am living with is wonderful. The director and teachers at my school are wonderful. The FOCUS missionaries that happen to be living in Lima are wonderful. The Lord is taking care of me.

I have a challenge for myself and for you: recognize the ways that He has fought for me. Do something to remember these things, whether it be through journaling or telling a friend or something else. Do not let these mercies go unnoticed.


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