When I look up to the sky at night I see the stars and moon. All I can think about in that time is gravity and how awesome God is. We connect so deeply and I sit in awe realizing how great His love is.
When I open a journal I just start writing immediately. Everything about me and all of my truths come out onto that paper. I see them and in those moments God speaks to me like no other.
When I sit outside in silence with no one around me, just breathing and listening. Not only do I hear the beautiful sounds of birds chirping or the crisp wind blowing, but I just began to see my dance with Christ right in front of me.
When I am worshiping. Weather it is me alone in the car or if I am worshiping with a bunch of the church. I feel Gods arms wrap around me. I hear God call me home and I hear him call me safe. I feel so overwhelmed in his love, compassion, and forgiveness.
When I open up my Bible and dive into Gods word. When I just completely focus in on Christ. I get direction. I get assurance. Like a friend of mine would say… “I get hit in the head with a spiritual 2 by 4”.
When I am scared. When I don’t want to face the truth. When I don’t want to face that I am wrong. When I am terrified because I don’t know what my future holds. When I began to want to make my own plans. When I want to run from my past, future, mistakes, and worries. And when I don’t want to really and truly face anything. When I feel like Adam in the garden of Eden right after he realizes he is naked. I would at times do none of those things that would connect me so deeply with Christ and make me feel good enough. I would run and try to be strong on my own. I would steer away from those great things and it would only hurt me more.
In running while I may have felt strong for a split second of time I always felt so empty. That empty feeling was there because I was running from the things that would strengthen me. The sky, the journal, the silence, the worshiping, the Bible reading. They all make me realize whats best for me. They all fulfill me. They all help put me on my path. Satan doesn’t like that though. Satan will do anything he can to pull you away from Christ. He will make you feel like you don’t deserve anything God has to offer. Satan will try to make you run. DON’T FALL FOR IT THOUGH! DON’T RUN FROM WHAT MAKES YOU STRONG! PLEASE!
God loves you more than you could ever imagine! Don’t ever feel ashamed! Psalm 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” So go be strong in him!
What strengthens you?
What are you avoiding?
When I say life has been crazy, dang I mean it. So now I am taking a moment to update how everything has been going.
I recently started doing this devotional called “And The Bride Wore White” and I highly recommend it for all of you lovely ladies out there. This book really teaches you a lot about your self-worth and teaches you how loved you are. I feel like I have really messed up in the past. I have felt like I cant turn around. I have been told by people it is impossible to “start over”. This book has shown me that it’s not. I have also been reading a bunch in Genesis. I really love this book of the Bible because its all about creation and it too talks about worth. There is a lot of “God made it and He called it good, therefore it is good” I absolutely love it! So much comes with reliance on God.
My just water journey has been an absolute blast! Today is day 76 of my journey and I feel so good about it! The challenge has been difficult but the ride is much worth it. I got sick a few weeks ago and people just kept telling me “drink hot tea” “drink hot tea”. I just kept denying it even though I knew it may help. One of the biggest challenges right now though is that I work in a coffee shop and coffee (my favorite drink) is everywhere! Not to mention it offered to me for free! Every day though I go in and think about the justice movement, camp and all the things that motivate me to keep going. If you would like, you can donate to the just water cause at https://justwater.causevox.com/mackenzie-collins anything helps! This movement has not only been a help to the countries getting access to safe water but it has also been a huge help to me. Recently I have been all go go go and just water is helping remind me to slow down and thank God every day.
Speaking of go go go, I am leaving to go to Nepal in about 12 days and I am super excited. Trying to pack everything for 2 months into a hiking pack has not been easy. Especially when you are me and wait last minute to order all the thing you need. In packing, I am learning a lot about needs vs wants. When you are going somewhere for a tad over 2 months and are extremely limited on space you learn to only bring what you need. Going into this trip I don’t know exactly what to expect but I do know that no matter what happens I will learn a lot from this experience. I am also going to ask for your support through prayer. I want you all to join me on this journey and to make that work I am going to try my best to keep you updated with prayer request and updates about whats going on. MY BIGGEST REQUEST IS PRAYER FROM YOU!
Planning is something that is so hard for me. I think maybe though it’s because I want to be open to do whatever God asks of me. Currently, I am focusing in on God and listening only to Him and where He wants me to be. It’s living in the unknown and living in the now. It’s sometimes stressful but as I look back I see that God is leading me to be right where He wants me.
“We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.”
When we think about our future we have it all “planned” out. When we are asked as kids by our teachers “What are you going to be when you grow up?” We all have an answer. Weather it is Fireman, Veterinarian, a Mommy, a Cook, etc. We plan out our future and we say that this is what is next. How are we to know that though? Well we don’t. As a kid I went through many phases. I never could pin point though if that was what I truly wanted or if that was just what I felt like was “cool” around my friends. For a while I wanted to be a vet, then a doctor. Eventually I wanted to travel the world. Then I wanted to be a doctor with the military. After a few years I decided I was set on what I was going to do. I decided I want to go into criminal justice. I wanted to help people and show them Christ love. That was my plan all through middle school and my freshman year of high school. No matter what I had planned for some reason it always included loving and helping others. The summer after my freshman year I went to church camp like every other year. I went into camp knowing God was with me. I had the faith He was going to speak to me somehow that week. A woman named Selena Freeman was speaking at camp. She talked about many things that spoke to me in many ways. On the Thursday of that camp week we were given a lesson about honoring God. We were talked to about how the only person we truly need on our side is God. Then Selena was talking about ministry and eventually she said, “If any of you feel God speaking to you, calling you to ministry or anything, you can come up front and we have leaders that will talk and pray with you.” I kept telling myself “no, you don’t need to go, you already know you’re called to ministry you can sit here and STAY IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE. So I was sitting for about 2 minutes through worship but the whole time I will never forget. I felt my heart start racing and beating like crazy. I was shaking and just could hear God telling me to go and talk to someone but I just kept sitting there. I felt like I couldn’t get up. God was telling me to go but Satan was tempting me to just sit. Eventually I stood up and my soul was just so at peace when I began to walk forward. All the heart racing and shaking stopped. It was at that moment and through that prayer I knew I was called to missions OUTSIDE OF MY COMFORT ZONE. I was filled with joy, happiness and peace. So from then on I planned to go into ministry or missions. Then junior year I began to get scared so I ran. I ran and I got caught up in the worldly desires we are offered. I thought life was great but inside I always knew I was wrong. Then one day I realized how wrong I was. God did not plan this for me. I got scared and began to make my own plans. And while yes that worked for a little bit, they weren’t going to work forever. During that time I still knew I was supposed to serve God. So now when I was asked “Mackenzie, what will you do when you graduate?” I would respond by saying “I am going to teach music to kids and I am going to love them and show them God’s love.” But after a while God said “No Mackenzie that’s not what I have planned for you.” and he shut those doors. Then I decided Oh I have always loved houses and Interior design! Maybe I am supposed to do that! I can do something like building small houses for those in need and show them Christ love through that. I had it all planned out. Though eventually just like before God said “No Mackenzie, I have other plans for you just listen.” The interior design doors were closed. So I began to just pray and pray about it. “God what do you want me to do?” “How can I serve you?” I kept getting the same response “Mackenzie, the answer is right in front of you! I have told you in many ways!” After a lot of prayer and a lot of days, I heard God clearly. I was surprised by Gods answer and I questioned it many times but that was when I was reminded God is always right. So next thing you know I was filling out a bunch of paper working and getting tons of information to become a missionary. I went through a cross cultural orientation and many other things. I am now doing what I have always dreamed of and I am becoming a missionary. This October I am leaving to Nepal for 3 months. I will be teaching kids English and working on a tea farm. After I get back from Nepal I am planning to go to Ecuador for a shorter time period of 10 days. I will continue with a mission organization and fulfill Gods calling for my life. Proverbs 16:1 will forever be a constant reminder for me that God is in control.
“We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.”