Friday, July 20, 2012

Lesson #49: God can Change Your Heart for Anything

We're still alive!  It's been forever since I've posted, I know.  Cut me some slack.  I went to Italy then immediately picked up our dog then immediately moved then unpacked all by myself then started an internship then went on a two week tour then came home to an internship.  Things have been a little crazy, to say the least.  I'll catch myself up by posting about each of those things.  For now, here's Italy:

A view of Rome from the "Wedding Cake" (Altare della Patria)

Venice (from the Rialto Bridge)-I totally got lost here.
Every year, Nebraska Christian College shuts down for a week in the spring, and every single person goes on a missions trip of some kind.  People spread out all over: California, Montana, Utah, Omaha, Texas, Honduras, Haiti, Trinidad, China, Italy, and plenty more over the years.  Our Italy trip was about so much more than sight seeing and singing every once in a while.  We were there for God.  Italy is a country filled with corruption, hopelessness, and emptiness.  Having faith and going to church is a tradition that you "just do."  We went to show them that there's something more, that God is so much more.  It was incredible to see that play out.  We got to do things like sing for mass in ancient, beautiful cathedrals (including the Vatican).  We met with a convent of women who never speak, and we got to sing with them.  We sang at a rest home in Cividale.  We got to sing to our elderly waitress in Marano Lagunare.  We ate with the Alpini and the community choir in Codroipo.  I got to see beautiful pieces of art and sculpting and architecture that I've only ever seen pictures of my whole life.  I can't begin to explain to you how incredibly beautiful that trip was.  

A view of Vicenza from Monte Berico
Cividale from the New Devil's Bridge

One of our days was spent in the town of Trieste, and that day forever changed me.  We went to a tiny evangelical church called Il Faro ( that had been started by some missionaries.  Before we sang for them, one of the missionaries talked to us about the town.  He told us that only .02% of Trieste's population believes.  At that moment, God changed my heart.  I believe that He'd been working up to that moment my entire life (my love for history, Italian artists, the language, and so much more), and that moment has changed me forever.  I originally wanted to go on the trip because I'd always wanted to go to Italy.  Why not serve God at the same time?  God used that love for Italy in an incredible way.  As we sang that night, it became evidently clear that this was not my last time serving God in Italy.  I'm not saying the heavens opened up, the clouds separated, and the angels sang to signal me.  I'm saying that I've never been more confident about something in my entire life.

I have no idea what that confidence will turn into.  I might get to go on another trip similar to that one, I might spend the rest of my life there.  Who knows?  When I got home, I wasn't sure what I was going to say to Lyndon.  How do you say, "By the way, you might be living in Italy at some point in your life.  Hope that's okay!" without causing an uproar?  The day after I got back, as we sat in a Denny's in St. Louis with his parents, I quietly brought up the experience I'd had that night in Trieste.  It was met with silence.

He has yet to say much about it.  He doesn't say anything as I decorate our apartment with things I got from Italy.  He never said too much when I told other people about that night.  I don't know if he's not sure what to think of it or doesn't want to hurt my feelings by what he thinks of it.  Either way, I'm glad he hasn't said much.  Even though he hasn't completely supported it, he hasn't completely shut it down, and for that, I am grateful.  I don't plan on bringing it up in the future.  I'm the one with the heart for Italy.  If serving God in Italy is in our future, I need to let God work in Lyndon's heart first.  So if you don't hear me talking about this subject, don't think I've stopped caring.  I'm practically bursting at the seams with excitement every time I even think about it.  I'm just waiting for my husband.