Monday, January 13, 2014

Rene Cross

Well 2013 has come and gone and has brought 2014 upon us. This last year has probably been one of the most challenging ones for me..and as we all know, challenges can break us and at the same time make us.

My prayer for a long time (and still) was "God just do something in my life, use me". I didn't know what I wanted to do, all I knew was I wanted to love God and love his people. I told him "I don't care how that looks, just open a door no man could have opened without you".

One of the biggest situations I found myself in was in June. I was working at a local consignment store for 6 months when my current boss approached me about a huge, life-changing opportunity...she asked me if I would take over the store. I was shocked, surprised, honored, and excited that she would even consider me. I quickly shrugged it off as a "cool" thought. But the more I thought about it and talked about it, the more I considered, "what does it hurt to look into it?".  I sat down with my boss, we talked many, many times. We prayed and with much consideration, I decided to take the offer (also knowing I was leaving for Haiti just one month after I would have taken over the store).

The first month was a mess with processing my LLC, DBA, business accounts, setting up taxes (ugh!) and every little thing you don't see up front or as a customer. While I was undergoing all of Restyle's newness and responsibility for keeping it running, I was also responsible for organizing our first mission trip to Haiti.
I have a heart for missions and people. I looove to go out and meet people and their culture. I went into YWAM right after high school and was able to go to South Korea and fell... in... love. with not just Christ but his heart for his people and learning how to find Him in other places, not just when I'm comfortable or when it's convenient for me. When the opportunity for Haiti came, I was sold. At the time I had no idea what my life would look like when we went.

I found myself an owner of a small business at age 21 and scheduled to  leave the country in a month. I was a mess and times came, where it was easier to say no to Haiti. But I said yes to the call to go long before being a business owner was in the works and I'm pretty sure God knew what my life would look like. So I freaked out many times (thankful for a very understanding and patient family, friends and boyfriend) and God orchestrated all the pieces to fall in place, while supplying me supernatural peace for my frayed mind, of everything that had to get done.

We went to Haiti, sweated, cried, got bit by alien-like mosquitos, saw the most beautiful sunsets and rises, held babies, played with children, painted houses, met and heard unbelievable people, ate a million PB&J sandwiches and grew so much closer as a body of Christ to our Lord and rekindled my love and passion to "go into the nations".

When we came back, (the store didn't fall part, YAY, thanks mom! ;)) I found myself confused and honestly, discouraged. I started thinking of how different my life looks from what I thought it would and feeling like I wasn't really doing anything that mattered for God's kingdom. I knew the church answer and I knew what I would have told my friends if they said that to me; my heart wasn't there though.

I was convicted immediately. I've been praying for God to move in my life and to use me and he opened a crazy big door that doesn't "just happen" and here I was complaining on how I thought it would look. It was a hard pill for me to swallow. But his grace and mercy is sweet.

Intentional living”was our phrase and heart for Haiti and to remember when we arrived back home. When I came home, I was reawakened. The life Christ has given me is far greater than I could even imagine and how much more he truly knows my heart better than I do. Where else could I be surrounded by fashion and SHOESSSS, and love people? I had no idea that God would use me, of all people, and Restyle as a place where we can help women find their true beauty, love them for who they are and show them how to embrace their body image and that you don't have to be a size double 0 to feel beautiful. Beauty is already in us. We are created in Christ's image and HE is beautiful; so, therefore, we were created with beauty. It is the very backbone of who we are and it looks different for every individual.

We are called to recklessly abandon all we know and follow Him. Not follow Him when it's what we want or think we want. Reckless means without caution, no matter what. He abandoned His throne for the sake of me for pain and death, He's asked us to abandon our lives for an abundant life. Who am I to question Him? To abandon ourselves to Him we have to be completely surrendered, including the way we want our life to look and to trust in Him knowing His way is the best for you (not always the easiest but always the best).

To intentionally live with complete and reckless abandonment and be moved by the love of Christ is what we were called to do. God gave me the mission field I was always meant to have, it may not be what I thought, and it doesn't look like yours...but it matters just as much and I wouldn't want it any other way.

He has you where He wants you and has equipped you for such a time as this.

- Rene Cross

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