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It’s Not Easy But It’s Simple: Trusting God by Going Global

Written by Hannah Hartzell on

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“It’s not easy, but it’s simple.”

As a collegiate athlete, I heard those words often—usually given in reference to success. And
I think the same thing can be said for trusting God. Sure, there are unique complexities in our decision to daily trust Christ, but at the very basic level, trusting God is not complicated. Our calling is simple: we are to let our love for God and our knowledge of who he is overpower our fear and lead us to trust (Prov. 3:5).

Enemies of Trust: Anxiety & Vulnerability

But here’s the thing: I struggle with anxiety. Plus, publicly trusting God requires a level of vulnerability with others that is highly uncomfortable for most people, including myself.

So, when I felt God nudging me to go on a mission trip as a teen, I brushed it off with a long list of excuses. When I came to College Park in 2013, I continued to hear about the importance of global missions. I met friends and Small Group members who had taken the leap of faith and gone on a Vision Trip with College Park. Still, the thought of doing that myself—of ceding my familiar surroundings and routine for a week or more of the unknown—was nothing short of terrifying.

It wasn’t until last January that I finally stopped making excuses and heard what God had been clearly telling me for years: “Go!” By God’s grace, though, I didn’t waver. In fact, my excitement grew as I shared my decision with others: “Guess what? I’m going on a Vision Trip! Where? Oh… yeah, I don’t know yet. But I’m for sure going on one!”

Leaning on My Small Group

My Small Group members had been faithfully praying for my anxiety and ability to trust the Lord for quite a while. So, when I began telling them of my decision to go to the Caspian, they understood it wasn’t an easy choice. Despite my deep love for travel and adventure, I was constantly battling against fear from the moment I decided to go to the moment I left, which was nine months in the future.

I had detail-oriented questions like, “How will I navigate the differences in culture and language?” and “Will my anxiety skyrocket if I can’t exercise for ten days?” There were also big-picture questions like, “How will I pay for this?”

In many ways, my Small Group members were as much a part of this trip as I was. As I pressed on in faith, they prayed with me, encouraged me, and helped generously support me. In fact, the majority of financial support I received for the trip came from my Small Group members!

So, when I scanned my boarding pass and intrepidly left American soil, it was with joy. The Lord had prepared me. He had also surrounded me with people who loved me and were praying for me—including my Small Group family.

Prayer Team During, Welcome Party After

During the ten days I was in the Caspian, I sent out a daily prayer update email. My Small Group members were often the first to respond. They regularly encouraged me—offering Scripture to anchor my heart and excitement to buoy my strength.

And when our team flew home, bleary-eyed at 12:30 a.m., my Small Group leaders greeted me with smiles, carrying my luggage and driving me home. My own family lives out of state, so the fact that I had a welcoming party when I arrived back in Indy meant the world to me. It was just another reminder that we serve a loving, faithful God who always provides for his children.

Trusting God + Walking Together = Simple

Trusting God is simple. But it is not easy. Neither is walking through a broken world alongside other broken believers. And yet, my Small Group—my Indy family—has demonstrated time and time again that both choices are worth making.

College Park Church Vision Trips
4 Ways Your Small Group Can Support Missions
How Can Your Small Group Affect the Nations?

Hannah Hartzell

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