There is no doubt that God is not done refining me (thanks for the affirmative "amens" coming from the gallery.) This past year has shown me how much more work God has to do in me and how difficult this process will be. Part of the journey for me always includes the mission trip to AICM.
This year was very different from any other as I headed west with a brand new crew (with the exception of two veterans.) While AICM itself has become a 2nd home for me (or 3rd home now that Georgia is included), taking a brand new group of people who have never traveled anywhere with me before is certainly a new challenge. Starting the teaching process all over again with another group and laying out expectations and God-lessons along the way can be very strenuous and spiritually & mentally challenging.
As I continue to reflect and process the life-lessons from this trip I see how God was/is working to refine me through it all. I have gained an even greater appreciation for my friends at AICM and their willingness to dedicate their entire lives-not just a week-to serving in Show Low. I am grateful for the changes-both big & small-that God brought about in the lives our team last week. I am humbled by a God, mission, and church that still love and accept us through hurtful, painful times. I also see (as I do at the end of each trip) that God is trying to shape & chisel me into who He created me to be.
Refining isn't a passive process. God is active in it and when we are willing to step out and eagerly serve, we are allowing Him to work in us. I know that God's ultimate vision for my family's life is bigger than mine and that these changes need to take place for us to get there. I am grateful that He is willing to invest that time in me and that He uses a place that I love to make it happen.