Freedom to Move Forward Part II

south sudanI did something brave.



(If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, this one won’t mean as much, so check it out!)

Just over a week I was surprised by the desire to visit a third world country as part of a team reaching out to spiritual leaders of a new country learning its freedom.

While I have long desired to serve others and even wished I could meet special people, like my World Vision “daughters,” I’ve never been one to jump at the idea of this sort of thing. Europe I’ve dreamed of visiting. Third world countries? Not so much.

But I couldn’t resist the truth: I was interested, longing to go, even.

But my mind went other directions, and I let the thought drop for over an hour until I “accidentally” stumbled right into the informational meeting about this trip.

Again intrigued, I stayed. Longing. Wondering.

I came home and went on-line to check out the application procedures. My computer wouldn’t let me into the system, and I walked away frustrated. Ended up in bed sick the next day and dragging for several after. But always in the back of my mind the desire lingered.

I prayed. Asked friends to pray. It seemed too big a decision to make without one of those huge, red check marks in the sky beside the “yes” (not that I’ve ever had that exact cosmic direction, but you know what I mean).


As real life got in the way I assumed this, like many of my ideas (I’m pretty impulsive and interested in many thing!), would fall away.

Until Sunday, the deadline for that application.

Sunday Jerry and I took a drive in the mountains, lingered over a picnic lunch, and explored all the stuff 20140629_132412of yesterday’s post. As we descended back to the Colorado plains in our little silver car we were freer than when we began the climb. Hopeful for next steps. Excited about living outside the fear of getting it wrong.

We hit I-70, just below Genesee where the view opens up and reveals Denver far below, and I caught my breath.

“South Sudan,” I whispered.

“So it’s back to that,” said Jerry.

“I don’t have to wait for a cosmic sign. I can apply.”

And so I did.

God had revealed the freedom to move forward, to follow that desire inside of me calling out for attention.

To do something brave.


Hard and unexpected and adventurous.

To do it with His blessing even without a shocking confirmation of His will.

I could simply go for it.

Something that might turn out breath-takingly beautiful. Something that might hurt. Or even be dangerous. Certainly uncomfortable.

Something bigger than me.


I came home, and my stupid computer (I say this with great affection) still wouldn’t let me into the application process. I stumbled a moment. Was it a sign I shouldn’t do this? I shoved the thought away and went with the forward motion of my heart.

Jerry offered me his computer, and I was in on the first try.

I don’t know yet if I will be chosen to even interview for one of the spots, much less as part of this team.

But I had the FREEDOM to try. The FREEDOM to reach way beyond who I am to do something I’ve never once before imagined.

The tears pool in my eyes as I type.

Where can I go in my newly-understood freedom of forward movement? What possibilities lie ahead that I never before dreamed? I have a catch in my chest where the breath should come out. It seems so crazy wonderful big.

This blog started as an inside-out journey to physical weight loss.

And that freedom plays into this one.

About a year and a half ago I was out for my walk. The pounds had dropped away. I had another 20 to go. I trotted downhill when blindsided by the urge to run. I couldn’t resist. I let those feet fly, pounding the pavement like I hadn’t done in years and years and years.

I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to run! “What in the world are You doing with me, God?” I whispered. “What are you preparing me for?”

I heard no answer, but felt his chuckle in the breeze upon my face.

At 210 pounds the idea of the sort of venture I applied for on Sunday would have been immediately dismissed.

But I am freed for forward movement. Free in my body. In my heart. In my mind. In my spirit.

I couldn’t sleep Sunday night. I just kept soaring.

Wishing you a freedom discovery of your own,

paula cropped

(South Sudan pictures taken from Wiki.)


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8 thoughts on “Freedom to Move Forward Part II

  1. paulfg July 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm Reply

    “I don’t know yet if I will be chosen to even interview for one of the spots, much less as part of this team.”

    Paula what really caught me in your words was that sentence. The “listening” along with the assumption that if we get as far as applying, then that is the sign we will. Without a thought of how He might be working at every stage.

    LIKE – the massive moments you had just getting the application done. I so love this post, because the hesitation, highs and lows, wow moments and oooh moments – all of it so similar to how my head strides with complete certain uncertainty and discovery!

    “I couldn’t sleep Sunday night. I just kept soaring.” – Wheeeeeeeee ………!!! 🙂

    • Paula Moldenhauer July 1, 2014 at 5:28 pm Reply

      Yes, He does all kinds of things with us and every stage has new freedom, new grace, new Truth to explore. ;o) And glad to know I’m not alone in the process being just that–a process of discovery in how to live in the new paradigm.

  2. isaiah41v10 July 1, 2014 at 7:06 pm Reply

    So exciting! The verse that comes to mind is: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” You are delighting yourself in the Lord, and you have the freedom to have these desires, and He loves to bless His children. 🙂
    I really am enjoying your blog very much. It seems like God is teaching us similar things. I am a little bit behind you in the process, with my children all still in the nest and needing constant attention.
    Your previous post really blew my mind and I will have to come back to it a few times to chew it over!
    God bless you abundantly as you walk with Him.

    • Paula Moldenhauer July 1, 2014 at 8:28 pm Reply

      I can tell you that it did some mind blowing on me, too!! I’m so blessed by your comments. Enjoy those precious children!

  3. Sheila Stacy July 2, 2014 at 5:08 am Reply

    Kind of reminds me of the story in the Old Testament of the lepers. They just steped out on faith and went into the enemy’s camp. They went not knowing what was going to happen to them but They went anyway. And God had caused the enemy to hear a great noise and they got scared and left everything. And those lepers were greatly blessed and an blessing.

  4. Paula Moldenhauer July 3, 2014 at 5:05 am Reply

    Wow. Great story!

  5. mariekeates July 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm Reply

    Fingers crossed for you. Africa is the most ‘different’ place I’ve ever been but I loved it. It will open your eyes for sure.

    • Paula Moldenhauer July 4, 2014 at 11:13 pm Reply

      Thanks, my friend. I’ve only traveled in the states and Canada, so if I am chosen it will be quite the stretch.

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