Contemplating South Dakota

I’m not sure I’ve ever felt settled. I feel comfortable, but not settled. I feel secure, but not settled. Where I live feels familiar, but I’m not settled.

Friends of mine, L & J, currently live in South Dakota and work as residential staff at an American Native school. They absolutely love working with students from nativeĀ backgrounds and have encouraged me to look into applying for a job at their school. For more than a year I held onto the idea of possibly applying, but I never took the thought seriously — until last week.

pow wow
Students in regalia at a pow wow.

My friends encouraged me to apply once again, but I was hesitant. I didn’t want to contemplate moving to a whole other state again. I didn’t want to think about the emotions associated with leaving family and friends behind. I didn’t want to think about starting over.

What helped subside those thoughts and emotions?Ā A message about obedience.

I had to stop and ask myself, what would God want me to do right now? What does HE want to do with my life? It was after hearing that message that I understood that my life is not my own and I need to gain a new perspective. I’ve been sitting too long in my comfort.

badlands-national-park-SD
Badlands National Park, South Dakota

So, I can’t believe I did it, but I applied. I have the potential to be living in South Dakota less than a year from now working with awesome kids! I am terrified, but I am also excited at the prospect of CHANGE.

I write all of this to say, no matter the outcome of this adventure – whether it stops at the job application or if I end up moving to SoDak – if you dare to step out in obedience, you might just surprise yourself.

@brittwillwrite

If You Have a Gift, Use It!

Ontermaa

By Guest Writer – Marie Ontermaa

Something my mom once said to me was quite impactful, “If you have a gift, use it!” It’s true! If you know you are gifted to do something, if God has given you a propensity, an ability, and an innate desire to do something, whatever it may be, then do not hide it! Rather, use it!

When I was younger, in my teens and even as a child, whether or not people knew Jesus always concerned me. I always wanted to talk to people about Him. However, as I got older, I became cautious, not feeling equipped or able enough to explain why I believe what I believe. In short, I was afraid! But still, the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit consistently nudged at me to speak–He promised that when I opened my mouth, He would fill it. I had to be obedient! I wasn’t supposed to listen to the voice of the enemy, filling me with fear, because scripture says that “God has NOT given us a Spirit of fear but of power, of love, and of a sound mind!” In my hesitation, I began to step out and be obedient to the voice of the Lord, talking to people–even strangers, about Him, and something wonderful began to happen! I noticed that when I stepped out in obedience to Gods voice, in that moment He WOULD fill my mouth! I would notice words tumbling out–edifying, powerful, God-words–pouring out of my mouth, all because I took a step of faith, a risk, and obeyed a nudge the Holy Spirit gave! And it was amazing! I could take no credit because I knew it was not me! Rather, it was the gift, the grace, God had put on my life!

“I had to be obedient!”

Really, walking in step with the Spirit is wonderful and fills me with joy, and truly, that is how EVERY believer can feel! The commands of God are not burdensome, rather, the joy of the Lord is our strength! Truly, he equips those He calls.

Thank you for reading,

Marie Ontermaa

Visit Marie’s site to see more of her lovely writings!