As much as I would LOVE to tell you I’m now settled into my newest location on the road for Jesus in South Florida having a joyous wonderfully easy and comfortable time doing tons of writing, tons of streets ministry, and overflowing with happiness, comfort, and jubilation, I need to share with you the truth.
It’s been challenging settling in to an area vastly different than I expected (it’s exceedingly commercial not the Florida I remember from long ago with coconuts, palm trees, oranges, nature, grass, water, etc.), I am having ministry opportunities but far fewer than I had hoped for, I am passing out my Gospel tracts which I am humbled and blessed to do, but more than anything I have realized the Lord brought me here first and foremost to take me away from everything and everyone familiar and from all my usual busyness to do some major, intense, and tough work inside me – as well as to give me a time of rest, refreshing, renewal, revival, and preparation before leading me on.
Really big being shown by God where I have fallen short most especially in the area of trusting in Him rather than me, this world, and others, really big repenting, really big hearing from God about how He wants me to move forward. It has been gruelingly hard, to be honest, and this comes along with my finally slowing down enough to really feel the enormous loss of losing two of my beloved handicapped ministry dogs over the past 6 months, and working hard at the Lord’s leading to research possibilities for what may be my next big location on the road for Him all the while experiencing huge attack from the enemy, big confusion at times, lots of worry & anxiety, and a whole host of emotions trying to take over.
Easy? Fun? Comfy? Absolutely anything but! Hard, hard, so hard there have been times I have wondered how I will get through the day. How I will ever get back to my usual ministry work. How I will ever make it to my next ministry location. How it is I have been following the Lord for this long and still have so much growing and changing to do!
But please don’t misunderstand me. I am thankful beyond measure for the Lord’s love, patience, mercy, grace, and goodness in my life, I am thankful He loves me so much He doesn’t want to leave me as I am but wants to continue to grow me in His image, and I am thankful He has made clear that I am to continue to go forth in life and ministry as He leads me – with rest, refreshing, and changing to do along the way.
As a follow-up to when I started writing this, Gracie my disabled ministry dog who was hit by 2 cars years ago after being dumped at a gas station before the Lord brought her into my life started having trouble again with her right eye concerning an ulcer. Yesterday, I drove about an hour to a vet specialist to find Gracie needed a special expensive surgical procedure while awake on her eye to try to correct the problem. Though I don’t know how long the Lord wants me in south Florida, Gracie is now supposed to go back in two weeks for follow-up with the possibility of the procedure being done again if unsuccessful the first time. She is now on meds with a cone collar. My heart goes out to my sweet Gracie, and I admit I’m still worn out from caregiving my beloved Abigail whom I just lost combined with years of caring for numerous rescued dogs many of whom were special needs. Trusting the Lord to give me all I need to lovingly and compassionately care for her.
I wish I could share with you how I have everything together all the time, how well I do 24-7, that I never face challenges, that I face challenges with great maturity in Christ and perfect peace and calm, etc. But the truth is I am as human as any of us, and if there is anything I can say right now, it’s that I am aware I need the Lord more than ever before. So I cry out to Him day and night as I seek Him for love, grace, mercy, hope, joy, strength, wisdom, instructions, help, healing, courage, and every single thing I need to love and serve Him with all my heart and to continue helping others to love and follow Him forevermore.
Please, with all my heart, I ask if you are led to pray, pray, pray for me, for my two remaining handicapped ministry dogs, for Good News Ministry. Thank you, thank you, I so very much thank you.
Donations for Gracie’s veterinary care would be greatly appreciated! Any extra donations that come in beyond her needs will be used for the ministry as a whole. Receipts are available upon request. Thank you so very much!
love & blessings, lara