Monday, July 30, 2012

on inspiration

Today is the day I leave Uganda to fly back to S. Africa. It's been an incredible trip, but I'm definitely ready to get back and see my family. Two weeks has felt long!

I had mentioned in a post that on the way to Gulu, I had time to reflect and process the trip so far. That was the least intense part of the trip but nevertheless, I'm glad I had that time. God spoke some incredible things to me in the midst of a loud bus in the middle of the African bush.

at the conference

The first two days in Uganda, I taught a group of about 25 local Ugandans on the power of storytelling. There were some incredible questions, and I feel like they were definitely challenged. I loved being able to tell them that even people in their own country need to hear the stories of what God is doing in the midst of them.

The next day I spoke on Leading With Excellence at a conference of pastors and young leaders. My message was brief compared to the African way, but I believe my heart came across.

After both times of sharing, I was overwhelmed with the number of people who came up to me and said, "You inspire me." I said thank you, but honestly I didn't know what to do with that statement. I kept asking God, "How did I inspire? What was it that was so inspiring?" In the midst of that noisy bus, He spoke louder than the noise around me. I'm glad it was dark because I had to wipe tears from my eyes.

He spoke to me about how, when we walk fully in our giftings and abilities that He's placed inside of us, that there's something incredible that happens when others see it. It's never about me or how well I articulate a message or how well I compose a photograph. No, it's about knowing what God has placed inside of me and walking in the fullness of it. When we do that, it's powerful. It's inspiring.

After I arrived in Gulu, someone wrote me on facebook and expressed that I was an inspiration. I cried again and thanked God for this incredible journey He's taken me on. He's spoken so strongly in the past several months. He's done amazing things in my life and given me incredible opportunities. I don't take any of it lightly. I feel like my heart is so full of thankfulness for His goodness and the only way to express it is with tears of joy. You, my friends, have also been such an encouraging part of that journey for me, and I thank you so much!

Keep dreaming and walk in all that God has for you!

6 comments :

Elisa | blissfulE said...

That's wonderful! So glad you were able to inspire each other! And us! :)

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I'm crying with you... with joy! You ARE an inspiration, Jen. Enjoy being with your family and resting in God's love. blessings ~ tanna

MaryAnne K said...

What an inspiring trip! Glad it went well!!!

tinajo said...

You do great work! :-)

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

Tears of joy for you, Jen! I knew you would be inspiring!

Courtney said...

So exciting to hear all that God is doing in you and through you!! Such a joy to be a part of His great work, thanks for sharing the stories with us!

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