First

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You are my treasure and my reward.  Let nothing ever come before.

First \\ Lauren Daigle


God’s divine hand in all of this is so evident.  In the 10 months I’ve been at home He’s worked millions of miracles behind the scenes.  To name a few, I’m just so grateful that He provided me with several consistent part-time jobs, and blessed me with encouragement, not resistance, from family & friends as I’ve made plans to serve overseas for an extended period of time.   He’s touched your hearts to partner with me in several ways, arranged travel details, opened doors I couldn’t have opened on my own.  He’s basically laid the entire path for the next 6 months, giving me no reason to worry.

I really ought to be on my knees lifting high praises for the Lord’s provision and sustaining strength.  I should be filled with the utmost wonder over the greatness of my God and overwhelmingly excited about the magnitude of God’s plan and my purpose within it.

But here I am, stuck again in an addictive cycle of busyness.  It’s sad, I know.  I’ve just about forgotten how to be still in His presence and bee awed by the marvelous nature of GOD himself.

This afternoon I did some reflecting on all the ridiculous hours I spent in the month of April simply pulling together all the physical details of my trip….  There’s really no issue with the packing itself, I mean for heaven’s sake I’m having to figure up half a year’s worth of “necessities”, I needed a big chunk of time to work on it.  Yet this packing was/is so consuming that I’ve ignored much needed time to prepare myself spiritually.  Jesus has not only been pushed to the bottom of the list, but that connection point has sadly become more of an afterthought rather than my #1 priority.  I’ll sometimes read my Bible and pray only if there’s time left at the end of the day, though rarely with a heart of rest and seriousness about drawing near to Christ.

Ouch.  It’s soooo unhealthy and I can definitely see evidence that my decisions have been taking a negative toll on my health and other relationships because Jesus hasn’t been FIRST.

Careful thought has been put into how to change this– I’m going to take about 6 weeks off from browsing the internet to refocus.  WHAT?!!  Oh goodness, after tracking my current habits you have no clue how super hard it’s going to be to give up.   But it’s a good plan.  I’m primarily doing this for three reasons:

  1. Like I’ve expressed above….to rearrange my priorities and make Jesus #1 again.  Nothing’s more important than Him.  Not only does He deserve full reign over the throne of my heart, but He also desires relationship with me (I still can’t comprehend His love to welcome us as friends like He does!), and I with Him.  I’m so excited about intentionally seeking Him more!
  2. TO CLEAR MY MIND!!!!  I’m seriously overstimulated right now.  Cutting out internet for awhile will be an awesome way to get rid of the useless clutter I gather from wasteful video watching, Pinterest scrolling, and even blog hopping.
  3. I don’t want to make the same mistake I made last year.  I connected with the life I left behind a bit obsessively and ended up getting distracted from my purpose for being away.  That may sound a bit mean, perhaps coming across like I’ll get frustrated if you try contacting me while I’m overseas– NO trust me, that’s NOT my heart at all!  I just realize the benefit of being fully present in Uganda, embracing little moments, giving my Acholi friends my full attention.  So at least for the first month…no internet on my end.  You can comment/email/text as often as you wish, and I promise I’ll start reconnecting again in early July (I’ll need you desperately!).

Check in again soon!  For my NEXT POST I’ll be sending a short little update letting you know when I make it to UG– eek!! 🙂 .  Aside from that I’ll be off the grid: disconnected, pursuing a greater Connection 🙂 .

See ya, friends!  I love you! ❤


You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with ALL your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

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14 thoughts on “First

  1. Hey Hannah
    I remember reading somewhere that said, God’s greatest desire is for us to want Him. As He pursues us, His heart’s desire is that we pursue Him!

    As I read your post I can see God smiling and saying YES!
    Your hunger for God is an inspiration to me.
    God is going to use you mightily in Uganda!
    God bless you

    Rolain

  2. I totally know where you’re coming from, Hannah! I’ve been there too. I pray that you can put Jesus back as first in your life and grow in Him more and more. 💛

    I will definitely miss you, girl!! So excited to hear about your trip, though! I know it’s ganna be great and that God has amazing plans for you!
    Keep seeking Him, dear friend!! 💙

    Lots of love & prayers,
    Tashia

  3. I just came across your blog, and it has inspired me so much. It is so amazing to hear how God has used you to serve others. One of my biggest dreams is to go on a mission trips/trips, and I am praying and learning to trust Him on that. Thank you for sharing your struggles and joys as you go on amazing journeys.<3
    ~Faith

    1. Hi Faith! I’m so excited to hear from you! It’s always encouraging to hear from those who find my blog!

      I have no doubt that God plans to use you in amazing ways, too, Faith! Definitely PRAY consistently about the possibility of travel on mission trips! Also, ASK the Lord to open those doors! Yesterday I came across Ephesians 3:20, which says: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask and think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (some translations say “…far more abundantly than all we ask and imagine”– I love that word: imagine!) I’ve read this verse so many times over the years, but in that moment the word “ask” popped out at me. What if God has greater things in store for us, but he’s simply waiting for us to ask Him to work out those things? Sure, His answer could always be no if we’re not asking for something in His will….but what if it’s YES?! Just think- He’s able to exceed our expectations. Remember the verse- “far more abundantly than all we could ask or think.” I really believe God loves it when we ask and imagine great things. It proves our dependence on Him, and our trust that He is able. I know that He must love it when we ask and imagine things (even the impossible!) because it gives Him something to outdo, to show us His power and love.

      I’ll be praying for you, friend! Have faith!

      1. Hi Hannah!
        It made me so happy reading what you wrote. I am always filled with such joy and happiness when I am reminded of the hope He offers, even for people with seemingly impossible dreams (like me) and I can rest in His perfect peace, that even if my dreams are not his will, He always has the perfect plan for my life. Although I am young (14) it sure doesn’t stop me from dreaming big.

        I will be praying for you!! When do you actually go to Uganda? It is so cool how you have gotten to work with kids! I have always wanted to do that, and having 8 siblings I have some practice 😉 God bless you!
        -Faith

        1. Faith, yes, definitely don’t ever view your age as a limitation to you being able to serve and love! There’s so many years of unknown opportunity ahead! God will reveal things in time! 8 siblings!?! How exciting!! I have 6! Ministering to kids moves my heart in ways I can’t explain. The chance we have to introduce Jesus and encourage growth in the heart of a child is just amazing! God has given you and I such unique mission fields within our own families, having so many brothers and sisters to point to Christ. Embrace them while they’re around you! Your sisterly heart of care will naturally spill over to other children ❤

          Oh you have no idea how much your prayers are appreciated! Wherever I go, I beg people to pray because there's really nothing more important than relying on the Lord for safety, strength and guidance, and most importantly HIS WILL to be accomplished, throughout this season.

          I leave first week of June– YAY!! So I'm busy wrapping things up here in the States, visiting friends and holding my family members closer than ever!

          Have a blessed week, dear!

  4. Hello Hannah!
    My sister (Faith) told me about your blog and I’m just in awe of what God has done through you. It gives me much joy. As I’m almost 18 (in 4 months) I’ve been praying a lot about what God would have me do. This past year has been a journey but I have no doubt now that God wants me to do missions, whether here or abroad. I’m asking (like you mentioned above) and watching God open doors I never would have dreamed. This past week I was given an amazing opportunity to lead 2 people to Christ. It was Gods way of confirming what He wants for me life. Reading your blog has inspired me so much. Thank you for sharing. I will be praying for you.

    In Christ,
    -Hannah Ison

    1. Hi Hannah! Thank you for your comment! Truly, this is nothing I’ve done– only Jesus, though me! I’m glad you are inspired!

      How special that God has drawn you to missions, too! You’ll be astounded by the way God leads you to just the right place and use you in ways you can’t even think! Start where you are! Pour yourself out for those already in your life….and He will give light to each new step he wants you to take.

      Praise God for the two you led to the Lord! Do you plan on doing any follow-up meetings or mentoring with them so that they will begin to grow in their newfound faith? Ongoing discipleship is one of my favorite aspects of ministry. You start with a new believer and then encourage them with the Word, pray for them, and set an example in the way that you live. I’ll be doing some of that in Uganda this year!

      Thanks for praying for me! I will most definitely be praying for you, Faith and the rest of the Ison family as well! God bless ❤

  5. Hannah,
    Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule, to write a thoughtful reply ❤
    Yes, so true. I often find I am my happiest when I am just loving on, talking and laughing with little kids.
    While kids may sometimes be loud and rowdy, when their face's lights up with laughter I am filled with joy that makes the crazy moments disappear. Some of my best friend are little kids 🙂

    Yes, there is nothing more important then relying on God and doing our all for him ❤ I will be praying for you, and that His will be done everyday! I hope you have a very enjoyable last couple weeks here in the States as you make memories with family and friends 🙂 I will be looking forward to when you have a chance to post updates 😀
    Thank you again, I was greatly encouraged this week ❤

    -Your sister in Christ,
    Faith

    Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12: 1-2

  6. Hi Hannah….

    So I know I responded to this post but I needed to share something with you.

    I have just come out of a conference we have every year. This year was amazing and the word was so needed. Anyway, we had speakers from all over the world coming and among those guests we had a couple from Jamaica.
    I was in a session with them yesterday and she told us a dream she had.

    In the dream she was asking God to show her His glory, more of His glory.
    Suddenly God showed the poor kids, kids who had been abandoned, kids who had died.
    She saw dirty children, homless people, most of them children.
    She wondered why God was showing her all this and He said to her,

    This is what it means to see my glory. I have to see this all the time so if you want to see more of my glory you must be ready to go out and reach the broken, the abandoned, the lost children!

    Hannah, as she shared her vision I thought of you who devotes time to minister in Uganda!
    God has shown you His glory!
    He has seen your heart and knows the pain you feel when you see the brokeness around you. He has a plan for you beyond what you can imagine.
    No one who sees His glory can remain the same!!
    Blessed are you who has seen His glory…..!
    Blessed are you indeed……!

    Rolain

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