‘I Do’

I have a confession to make.

Hold on to your hats folks, its a biggie…

I sometimes worry about whether or not I’ll ever get married. (for ‘get married’ read ‘marry someone who thinks I’m the bees knees, have kids, raise a family, share a life, possibly travel the world’. you know, nothing much). Now, I know I’m asking a lot by expecting you to believe that a 27 year old christian woman would ever concern herself with such things but honestly, I do. How often do I worry about this? Not a lot. Just, you know, most days. Don’t get me wrong – its not an obsession or anything. I’m not crying into my pillow every night screaming ‘why not ME?!’. If you’re one of my many friends who has recently gotten engaged, married, had a baby, had a second baby, moved house etc. – its ok, I’m not jealous. I’m actually genuinely happy for you, like, 95% of the time. Give or take 20%

Jokes aside, the reason I am writing this is because there’s something thats been bugging me. When someone asks me how I am or what’s been going on in my life recently, what I often want to say is; ‘Well, actually, lately I’ve been worried that no-one will want to marry me.’ But I can’t say that, because that sounds too much like; ‘I’m selfish and fearful and I’m sometimes not sure about God’s plan for me…’ when what I REALLY mean to say is; ‘lately I’ve been worried that no-one will want to marry me but I know deep down that it doesn’t really matter. and don’t get me wrong, I trust God, truly I do. and also, I care deeply about the current crisis’ that are going on across the globe and I really am a strong, powerful woman of God capable of travelling halfway across the world by myself AND unblocking a sink if thats something that ever needs doing. and also, I’m a little bit selfish and fearful and could you pray for me?’

It seems impossible to voice a concern such as the aforementioned without being forever labelled (by some) as ‘the girl who wants nothing more than a husband.’ Let me tell you something; I want lots of things more than I want a husband. I want to get to a deeper place of intimacy with the Lord on a daily basis, I want for His will to be done throughout the nations, I want for children worldwide to be able to live without the constant threat of violence hanging over them, I want my loved ones to come to know Jesus the way I do. But I would by lying if I said I didn’t also want to get married. If you know me, it would be an obvious insult to your powers of observation if I told you ‘I’m not really that fussed about having kids’. More than any of those things though, I want God’s will to be done in my life. That is, after all, the very reason I am alive; to glorify Him.

I went to a wedding today. Weddings are emotional for most people but when you’re 27, single and the type of person who ‘sometimes’ worries whether or not you’ll ever have one of your own – it’s risky business. You’ve probably safely recovered from the shock of my original confession so here’s another – I cried. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe but its true. I powered through the ceremony, held it together through the vows, made it through two speeches and then it was time for the groom to share a few words. When he started to talk about how beautiful his bride was and how much he loved her, I shed a tear. But not for the reason you’d think. What I felt, stronger than ever before, was that I don’t have to long for the day when someone will say those things about me because someone already has.

My God has betrothed me to Himself. He loves me with an everlasting love. He considered my heart the joy that was set before Him and He endured the cross to win me. If I ever need to know how loved I am I only have to open my bible, re-read old journal entries or simply quiet my thoughts and wait. He isn’t angry, worried, hurt or frustrated when I ask him for the 20th time if there’s been any progress on the ‘finding me a husband’ front. He knows that I will always choose Him first. He knows that ultimately His love is more than enough for me.

As if I hadn’t already opened up enough, there’s something else I’d like to share with you. These are some words I wrote a long time ago after talking to a friend about marriage.

Challenged
To think about the future, and who
Will get to be the one to hear me say ‘I do’
But all I can really think about is You.

When I think about the future, I think about a love that grows day by day by day,
Where two hearts come together and find there’s nothing more to say,
But I already have that.
I have a 24/7, Psalm 36:5, vast as the heavens, as far as the eye can see,
Love. A faithful, thoughtful, knows every part of me, love.

So from now on, my ‘I Do’
is spoken daily, just for You.
I DO promise to love, honour, obey, to serve and to cherish day by day by day.

So in the distant future, when the time comes to seek my hand and win my heart,
HE will be the one who understands that he was starting out at second place
and I will never prize earthly love over Your embrace.

But he will love me all the more for what he knows to be true;
that I DO forsake all others for the love I’ve found in You.

Yes.
He will love me all the more and treasure me and call me blessed.
Because for him, next to Your Glory, I am a well won second best.

For HIS Glory!
Heather

p.s. if you or anyone you know needs a sink unblocked or a fuse changed for that matter; I’m your woman.

Where Am I?

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“Before you can move forward, you have to know where you stand.”

Has it really been five months since I returned from Kansas City? I know I have been remarkably quiet since I got back with regard to sharing my experiences while I was gone and my plans for the future. To be honest, up until now I haven’t been entirely sure what to say. There are some things that I will probably never share about my time away; treasured secrets between me and the Lord and heartbreaking memories of things which I hoped I’d never have to experience. The same goes for being back home. There are some things which are just not meant to be shared.

That being said, I am ready to update you on my present situation. Geographically, I am in Scotland. Dundee to be exact. My home town. While I was gone, I can’t say that I missed it much. I certainly missed the people; my family and friends but I wouldn’t say that there was much I missed about the land itself. Since being back, however, I have fallen in love with Scotland all over again. It honestly is such a beautiful place to live, and my church – Gate Church International – is wonderful. Although it was a struggling settling back in at first, especially since I was so certain that I was going to leave again, I can honestly say that I am committed to staying here for as long as God intends.

Emotionally it has been a struggle. In the past few months I have faced things which I never thought I would have to face but – strange as it sounds – I consider myself blessed. I am hopeful and with every passing day I can honestly say I love God more and I’m learning to stay faithful and obedient in the season that He has me in. Even when there are days when I want to run and hide or take control and make my own plans.

I am looking for work and helping friends here and there to make a bit of money. I am praying that the right thing comes along as I believe that I will eventually be back in the nations again – probably next year.

God is teaching me how to submit as well as honour and respect not just leadership but everyone around me. I am still learning on that front. I am investing in good, solid friendships while trying to love and bless those who are less good – to me anyway.

Finally, I am burning with desire for the nations, especially those that God has given me specific vision for. At a time like this I feel it is more important than ever to strengthen and encourage the Church in other parts of the world. For the moment, I am committed to praying for these people but I do believe that God desires some of us to actually go and physically stand alongside persecuted Christians. So, while my desire is truly for overseas missions, I am trusting God that I am where I am supposed to be – for now. He has given me a vision for my future and my connection to certain nations – which I will share soon. But for now I am focused on investing in my city, my church community and my loved ones as well as continuing to grow in the gifts and calling that God has given me.

For HIS Glory,
Heather

Please continue to check my blog for more updates. If you would like to find out more, please email me – heather.a.farmer@gmail.com

Time To Get Real

It’s no secret than in the past year and a half I’ve done a fair bit of travelling. I mean, only in comparison to the previous 25 years in which I did hardly any travelling.

Now I can say that there are parts of my heart in the Philippines, China, Kansas City, Korea. Not because I’m some hopeless romantic who dreams of being somewhere other than where she is…no, not at all.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I never wanted to be a missionary. It wasn’t a lifelong dream of mine to travel. My limited experience in the area had tricked me into believing I’d never have the means even if I had the desire.

What I wanted, desired, dreamed of, was marriage. And children, definitely children.

you can’t settle down if you’re always leaving town….

I thought that the more I moved around, the less chance I’d have of getting married. I might have even been right. But somewhere along the way I realised that Gods dreams are way bigger and, get this, more important than mine.

He gave me a vision one day of creation. Nations being formed and the sweet sound of worship rising up from them, before people even settled there. His dream from the start was for every nation, tongue and tribe to know Him as Lord and praise His name. As any good friend, I long to see this dream of His come true. I’d do anything to make it happen. This is why my heart belongs to so many nations as well as my own; because God has allowed me to see the part of HIS heart that longs for those places.

Do I love to travel now? Yes. Am I excitedly anticipating where my next trip will lead me? Of course! But only because of the bigger picture. A spontaneous holiday or city break will never entice me away from cups of tea in Bonnie Scotland and dreams of wedding bells. Only a glimpse of something more could convince me to give up everything I long for and follow
Jesus across the nations.

My true bridegroom is coming. I want everyone to know. That is why I long for foreign lands as well as long-lost friends.

I never wanted to be a missionary. But now I say ‘yes and amen’ Lord.

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Even In The Wilderness….

‘Even in the wilderness,
through confusion and barrennes
You are beautiful God.
Even in my brokenness,
through this pain I will confess
You are always good.’
(Housefires – Never Run Dry)

I haven’t written anything in a long time. Things have been, in a word, difficult. They still are. But something in the words of this song this morning spoke to me clearly – reminding me of what I already know; God is, has been and always will be good.

Since I returned from my travels I have been somewhat broken. At first it was just the longing to be back in the nations again, the frustration of changing plans and feeling grounded. After a few weeks this turned into the realisation that, for whatever reason, God is asking me to stay where I am for a while which only increased my frustration. 8 months ago I had a good job and my own little flat, which I loved. I gave these things up – these things which most people are desperately trying to get hold of – and poured everything into what God was telling me to do; go to Kansas City, grow in intimacy with Him, travel to the nations and share His love. I didn’t know what would happen next but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered this – my present state of unemployment and ‘homelessness’ – would be an option.

So I wasn’t entirely unprepared for this. I willingly chose to give up what I had for something better – walking in obedience and intimacy with Jesus. I knew what I was coming home to. I knew the questions I was going to face. But I wasn’t prepared for the rest.

Since I returned home from my travels, I have felt physically ill. I have felt weak and exhausted and ‘run-down’ and have had aching joints, mouth ulcers, stomach problems, swollen glands, blackouts. None of these things are really much to be concerned about. They are mostly pointers of stress and lack of rest. But they do not make life easy. They have not helped me settle easily into life back at home.

Since I returned home from my travels, I have faced family struggles. I have had my heart broken by people I love. I have had to watch others deal with their own heartaches.

Since I returned home from my travels, I have had to make tough decisions which have caused me to say ‘bye for now’ to friends who I love. This is particularly painful.

‘“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
    and bring her into the wilderness,
    and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
    and make the Valley of Achor [trouble] a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
    as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
(Hosea 2:14-15)

Since I returned home from my travels God has spoken to me so clearly and so tenderly. I have been reminded each day of His faithfulness and his mercy. I have experienced a deeper measure of joy in His presence. I have found myself singing new songs of praise and worship to Him. I have felt emotionally and physically weak, but stronger spiritually than ever before.

Right now, I don’t know exactly what is going on. I don’t know why these things are happening or what will happen next but I know that through it all I am being drawn closer to God. In the past I have cried out to God during trials and clung on to Him in desperation, knowing that He is all I really have (and all I really need). This time, however, He has drawn me to Himself. When I don’t know what to cry about first and I’m too exhausted to even reach for Him, He picks me up and speaks truth over every situation.

‘A peace in the storm,
Your voice I will follow.
In weakess I rise remembering You hold my world.’
(Bethel – Anchor)

Thank you God, for who you are. For your constant comfort and encouragement. For empowering me to keep going every day. For your peace that truly does surpass my understanding and for hope, sure and steadfast, to anchor my soul.

Amen

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Here Am I

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In the last 6 months I have been in 3 countries, 8 airports, 5 time zones and there are a few more to add to that list before I get back to Scotland.

I have spoken (often poorly) three different languages, made friends from at least 8 different nations, developed connections all over world.

I have read the bible at least twice through from start to finish, completed my first week long fast (on the second attempt…), preached my first Sunday sermon.

I have received revelation on an almost daily basis, cried more than I ever thought possible (yes, even for me), fallen more in love with Jesus every moment.

I got sick a lot, I faced my own (very slight) form of persecution, I learned how to die to myself. I’m still learning.

I witnessed countless people say YES to Jesus, loved the lost, prayed for the sick and cast out demons – in HIS name.

There were days when I thought I wouldn’t make it, days when I wasn’t even sure I was really a Christian, days when I didn’t think I was up to the task. But every day, Jesus is worthy.

Looking back, I just experienced the most difficult 6 months of my life. It also happened to be the most rewarding. So I’ve committed the rest of my life to more of the same.

Full-time missions. I am ready.

Here am I. Send me.

SEND ME TO KOREA

“Whatever God does endures forever;

nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it.”
– Ecclesiastes 3:14 –

Amen!

What God has done over the past 6 months of my life is nothing short of miraculous. I have been changed, shaken, challenged, stretched and so much more. But more than that, I have fallen more in love with Him than I ever imagined possible. As I take the time to process everything that has happened during this season of my life – an immense task, to say the least – I am blessed beyond belief by God’s faithfulness and goodness. He has brought be so far from where I was before.

I used to have a problem with changes and endings. They depressed me. Now, when I think of my DTS coming to an end, I am simply overwhelmed by everything I have been allowed to experience during this time. Of course I am sad that I have to say goodbye(for now) to some new friends and leave the community that I have become so connected to, but I know that God is moving me on to bigger things – and to more intimacy with Him.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do:forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anythingyou think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” (Philippians 3:12-16)

I am pressing on. There is so much more that the Lord wants to reveal to me and wants me to do in the next season. He is calling me in this next season to run harder, devote myself to full-time missions and to become even more grounded in His love and truth. I am already planning my next trip which will be to South Korea in May for a month long tour with GX International.

I used to be fearful and full of doubt and anxiety about my future but now I am certain of God’s plan for me and that He Himself is committed to seeing me fulfil the calling He has given me. He created me to partner with Him in ministry and I could not be more excited to go hand-in-hand with Him into the nations, trusting and believing that He will take care of all my worries along the way. He is my provider and my comforter and it is my hearts desire and purpose to serve Him.

But, if I am to ‘Go’ and make disciples in the nations then I must be sent by those who God has called to partner with me. So many people were so generous in providing finances for me to come on DTS and I thank God for each of you. Now though, I am committing myself to a life of full-time missions. Travelling to Asia to preach the gospel, share the love of God and help to train and equip people to fulfil their own callings. In order to be able to do this, I need people to commit to labouring with me long-term by providing prayer covering and financial support.

If you feel that the Lord is leading you to come alongside me in this then please get in touch. I would love to arrange a meeting – whether face-to face or through Skype/Facetime – to discuss my plans and ways that you can be involved.

Jehovah Jireh is faithful to provide for the work He has called me to.

For HIS Glory!
Heather

To learn more about my vision, the ministry that God has called me to or ways to partner with me, please check out the rest of my blog. 

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Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in America and I for one have plenty to be thankful for. I received the money I needed to pay for my outreach and will be leaving with the rest of my team on December 11th.

I am thankful to everyone who donated and truly blessed by your obedience to the Lord in partnering with His plan for me. However, I know that there is still more to come. God has called me to a life of full-time ministry. My long term vision is to live and do ministry in Asia; preaching the gospel there and helping to mobilise missionaries to move out from those nations.

In order to do this I will need a team of financial supporters and I am inviting you to be a part of that team. If you have a heart to see Gods word go forth into the nations, if you’re stirred to advance the kingdom, then pray about coming alongside me and labouring with me in this vision.

If you want to know more about my long term plans please contact me and we can arrange to discuss it further. £100, £50, or even £20 a month could make all the difference in helping me to minister to the lost in Asia.

You can also, if you wish, donate towards my non-outreach ministry costs (including my flight back to the UK) by going to; http://www.gofundme.com/heather-farmer

If you would like a more detailed update of what I’ve been up to, contact me and I will add you to my newsletter subscription list.

Much love,
For His GLORY,
Heather