Racing to the Starting Line

“Search me, O God, and know my heart

Test me and know my anxious thoughts…”

Psalm 139:23

I find this popular verse increasingly relevant in each period of life. Sometimes I will recognize a pattern of anxiety in my habits that has gone unnoticed in my mind for days, weeks, or months. Once I recognize the pattern, it takes even longer to diagnose the source or reason for the nerves.

“Test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Although I am sure this verse has meant many different things to different people, to me it means this: God knows the source of my anxiety before I know it myself. And spending time with Him points me in the right direction — spending time in His word helps me to know myself better.

A few months ago, after making the decision to enroll in Discipleship Training School at YWAM, I experienced a compulsion, which I can only liken to the nesting of a pregnant woman (LOL), to clean and organize my living space in preparation for my upcoming departure, which was still several months away. I gave away bags of clothes and excavated storage boxes from my closet that had lain untouched for years. Even though I was still juggling more pressing duties like finishing school, my anxiety was centered on my departure from home.

Those “anxious thoughts” have gradually transformed into nervous excitement as my DTS approaches in less than a month. May-August was a blur: I completed my last school semester and started shifting my focus towards practicing musical instruments and leading worship. Since my graduation in early August, I have been learning our Audio Visual system at church and practicing acoustic guitar.

One of my last times leading worship for the Evening Service at Calvary Miami Beach

Grace (pictured above on the left playing the cajon) and I had the privilege this week of listening to some videos of a recent songwriting retreat with workshops from some of our favorite songwriters. It has been such a sweet time to spend together before I leave Miami and to refine the skill we both love. Amanda Cook led a session teaching about the importance of extensive reading and habitual, disciplined writing for any kind of aspiring writer.

Bethel Songwriting Retreat

Good writers are readers.

Amanda Cook, Bethel Songwriting Retreat

My own reading has mostly revolved around topics that remain a priority since June. Racism remains an ever-present reality in our country as shootings and protests continue. I pray for God to open the eyes of the blind, including my own. Although not all the works I have been reading are from a Christian point of view, I am thankful for the perspective and humility that their stories bring.

This is a deeply “saturated season” for me as I soak in the work of talented writers and endeavor to pour out my own thoughts. I am so thankful for the privilege of leading worship and expressing myself through music.

With my departure for YWAM only 27 days away, the sense of anticipation is growing! God has opened doors for me to spend quality time with new and old friends, and I am so thankful for that community.

Thank you for supporting me through monetary gifts and through prayer! I am overwhelmed by the generosity of those who have already given sacrificially to help send me to YWAM. It’s not a small sum, but God has proven himself faithful! That being said, I am still not fully funded for my Discipleship Training School. If you have not already given, please ask God if He has chosen you to give a gift of any amount to my lecture phase and outreach next year.

Not sure on how to give? Find the directions here.

Sunrise with God and another dear friend

4 Replies to “Racing to the Starting Line”

  1. This is wonderful we shall be following your progress and will support you in anyway we can. God speed Anna!

  2. Anna,

    I am so beyond excited for you as you start this next section of your life. It has been a blessing to get to know you better in the past years, months, and weeks. Honestly, you are an amazing role model and an amazing sister!

    Thank you so much for including me on this journey that you are on and sharing your heart so beautifully with the people around you.

    I love you!!!

    Always and forever,
    Grace

  3. Thank you for your kind words and for reading, Gigi! Even though we are separated by continents I feel that “we are one” because of our recent connections via Facebook. The blessings of modern technology! Thank you once again for your support.
    All the best,
    Anna

  4. Grace,
    You are a dear sister! Thank you for reading and for your words. I can’t wait to continue spending quality time together before I leave! <3

    Much love,
    Anna

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