June 24, 2011 § 1 Comment
It’s been a little over a week since we landed down in Atlanta, the tail end of our 9 day trip to the DR.
Since then I’ve had time to look at the hundreds of photos posted from the trip, unpack, catch up on laundry, and enjoy the simple luxuries of clean water, air conditioning and fresh vegetables. My mind has been able to catch up to my heart somewhat…
Being in the DR and living such a busy, physical lifestyle kept me busy mentally too. Everything I took in went into my mind and heart- much of it being ‘stored’ up for later. Later, when I could sit and quietly unpack all those thoughts and images.
Well, it’s later.
I’ve quietly been unwinding all those thoughts, images and feelings, one by one. I’ve been praying over the impact that this trip had on my life and the lives of those that were with me. I’ve been praying that I would not forget, but worse that I would not ignore what it’s done to my heart. The stirring, the passion, the desire to do something, to do anything once we were back home.
I feared for complacency in my Christian life.
I well remember being okay with just getting by for Christ. Never stepping outside of my comfort zone, never wanting to feel ‘uncomfortable’ for the sake of loving others, doing more, or letting go of something.
Going on this trip was a decision I made based on obedience. I had prayed over going- not wanting to honestly. Not wanting to go somewhere that was poor, dirty, hot, uncomfortable. Not wanting to leave our son behind for all those days- because wasn’t I the one that knew his schedule and filled his needs the best? I think the question came down to “What could God possibly want with me?” This question resided in my heart, and the reality is it was a selfish, human focused thought. I was relying on me for a feeling based decision. Stepping outside of me- and stepping firmly out on faith- and seeking what HE wanted me to do, changed my human thinking. I knew that God wanted me to go. I knew the simple answer was ‘yes, I’ll go’.
With that came peace, and provision step by step to prepare me. When I felt the urge to take control, I again released my selfishness and continued to step out in faith, again and again.
I was surprised at the joy that followed the peace in following God. While I’ve heard of this from Christians, experiencing it over and over again in my own life has been such an incredible blessing. Really, who in their ‘right’ mind (I say that in reference to a carnal mind) would think there would be joy found in serving others in dirty, hot uncomfortable conditions? How could there be joy in constant travel and self sacrifice? Because it as all for Christ. The very reason I was there was for Jesus. And I knew this day in and day out. When things were tough, I prayed for Him to speak through me. I continually asked for Him to use me. I knew that He had a plan for me to be there, and I embraced that wholeheartedly.
All of this to say, I walked away from it all feeling blessed, joy from serving, joy from loving others, and a rawness- spiritually that I otherwise could not have felt. I feel like my heart is more open now than it was before I left.
There is a brokenness that makes me ache for the lost, the poor, the needy. I know now how truly blessed I am, with all the worldly posessions I own, I am moved to give. I am moved to help, I am moved to tell others about Jesus tremendous gift of love, that He gave by dying on the cross for each of us.
Since I’ve been back I have been thinking daily about what I can do. What exactly can I do to help others, to tell others about Christ? There are so many needs right here surrounding me. It’s overwhelming. I have so many different ways I’d like to go. From helping with sex trafficking, to donating to families in need, to playing with underpriviledged kids, to raising money and supplies for the orphans back in the DR.
The biggest hurtle I’ve faced is not having time to do any of this yet. As I jumped right back into my job I have had my hands tied. But my heart is still racing to go, to do. As I wind down and end my job- only a few more days left, I am eager to end it for several reasons. One is the tremendous call to be at home training up our son- what a joy and honor it is to do this. But secondly, it’s the overwhelming need to minister to others.
I’m praying for this passion to stay lit. That I will act on it as soon as I am able, and that God directs my path to the areas He wants me in. With so many needs, it’s easy to give up, not knowing which one to pursue. But I write this to say I don’t want to be that one that gives up. I want to be the one that moves, that walks, that listens.