Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dating Jesus

By definition, Lent is the time of preparation for Holy Week, leading up to Easter. It is practiced mostly by Catholics, but I’ll admit that I just love the idea of it. For forty days, those that practice Lent fast from something. I have decided that I’ll participate in the Lent tradition this year. Instead of giving up something I had planned on going without anyways (like soda or television) I am going to give up something that I think takes up a lot of my time and replace the time I would have spent on that one thing with praying and spending “quiet time” with God.  My goal is to use this season of Lent as a time of for me to grow nearer to God. We never need an excuse to better our spiritual relationships, but I’m excited to give up something to have time with God, since Jesus gave up His life to have eternity with us.

Let me preface this next paragraph by saying that I am totally aware of how ridiculous I am. And yes, I know I’m only eighteen and have a whole life ahead of me and shouldn’t wish my days away. But I can’t really change how my thought processes are and who I am at my core. Those that really know me will think my Lent sacrifice is exactly what I need and will probably get a good kick out of it too :)
For Lent, I’m giving up the thought of marriage. This isn’t to say I plan to never get married or that I am abandoning all hope to get married, but if I’m honest with myself about what takes up a lot of my time, it’s some form of the thought of marriage. When I meet a guy, I immediately identify them as “marriage material” or not. I can’t help it! It’s not that I want to get married RIGHT NOW, but I am definitely ready to meet someone. And because I don’t date without a purpose, or date someone who doesn’t have the characteristics I would want in a husband, marriage just tends to always be on my mind.

One day my friend asked me “Why do you insist on wearing makeup and fixing your hair before always going out?” I tried to make it a joke by saying, “Because every day is a potential day to meet my husband for the first time.” The more I thought about my “joking” response, the more I realized how serious I was. 

If I replace the time I spend fantasizing over something I can’t magically make appear- like a boyfriend or future husband- with time with God, I have no doubt that I’d make so much spiritual progress. The bible says that God is supposed to be our portion for everything we need, that we’re supposed to turn to HIM. God gives us what we need when we need it, I really do believe that. So if I started practicing it, I know that my faith in God and His faithfulness to me will feel more secure.  Therefore, every time a boyfriend-marriage-family related thought pops in my head, I will immediately pray and spend time in God’s Word instead. I know that as a young girl, the priority shouldn’t be finding a husband, but rather preparing myself to be the Godly woman and wife I’ve been called to be for a husband.

For Lent, I’m going to allow God to be the keeper of my heart that I know He already is. By making GOD that love of my life, my life will be more ready to receive love.  I won’t have the need to give my love away if I’m giving it to the One who deserves is more than any man.

-Madalyn Payge <3

“The LORD is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words” –Psalm 119:54

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Links and Information

For those of you who have been asking, here are the links that you can find more about the organizations I will be affiliated with: :
This is where I will be working this summer! On the home page of this site, you can read all about RCE and what their vision is. You can also click the link "Darius House" and find out more about the children I'll be working with and how to donate towards helping these abandoned children who have special needs. :
This site will lead you to information about my missionary sending agency. Here, you can learn about all the different countries and people groups Global Outreach serves and also about their missionary families and how you can contribute to their missionary opportunities.

Madalyn's Mission

To all my family and friends,

I am excited to share that I have been accepted by Global Outreach International of Tupelo Mississippi, to serve as a Short Assignment Missionary to Romania, in Eastern Europe, this summer. While going through the processes of paperwork and applications, I have felt God leading me towards an opportunity much larger than I could have fathomed. Let me first share how God has worked in my life over the past year and how He has led me to make this decision.

I began working fulltime as a life coach at Walton County ARC Center after graduating from high school in June 2011. My job is to serve people with special needs and disabilities in helping them become more independent individuals. The experience I have gained over the last eight months has been life changing.  Each day my clients teach me more than I can ever hope to instill in them.  I have learned to look at life and people from a new perspective. God has given me a “new heart.”  I now am fully aware and know in my heart that all of God’s children are perfectly created by a loving, sovereign God; He has and does design each of us for ‘His’ purposes.

After working as a life coach all summer, I started my first semester of college in August 2011 with a heavy heart. I continued working full time at ARC, and my passion for people with special needs grew more intense; something inside me was quickly changing. One day during a class lecture, my professor spoke very briefly about disabilities, how they affected people in all countries and that not everyone has the same resources and facilities we have in America. For two months I prayed fervently, asking God how I could help or work with people with special needs and disabilities that live in other countries.

In October, God opened a big door for me as I learned about a place in Romania that needed volunteers who were trained to care for children with special needs. It was a great joy to also learn that the facility was Christ-centered.

My next step was to make a trip to the home of Global Outreach International in Tupelo, Mississippi where I shared my desire to serve. I learned of a mission ministry opportunity that could not have been more perfect. I am now preparing to spend three months in Arad, Romania, where I will serve at Darius House‑‑ a full-time care facility for children with special needs. Global Outreach will be my sending agency. Global will partner with Romanian Christian Enterprises (RCE) who is the organization that established the Darius House ministry.

I must raise all the funds needed before leaving for Romania. Will you please be a financial partner in my first mission ministry? Round-trip airfare will be approximately $1,300. Living accommodations, meals, and transportation will be $50 per day.  I must also cover my personal financial responsibilities while I’m away ( i.e. rent, car payment, utilities, etc.).

Global Outreach will be my sending agency and will accept all gifts towards my summer mission. Global is unique in that one hundred percent of all funds raised by the missionary go directly into his or her ministry account and that all gifts are tax-deductible.

Preparing myself financially and spiritually for this trip has been rewarding and I am very excited about what is to come.  Being so young, this is a big opportunity, however, I am confident in the abilities and gifts God has given me and it is my desire to use them for His glory. Please pray that hearts will be touched to give that I may meet my budget for the three month period.     

Seeking to honor HIM,
Madalyn McCombs