So I prayed, earnestly and feverishly, and then I waited. Last year, I felt the Spirit’s nudging to join Him on an adventure in a country not my own. This year, I wanted to go, but I wouldn’t unless it was His will to send me.
And then one day I went for a run.
And He said, “Yes. October”.
And I smiled. Big.
I’ve had a chance to reflect a bit on the the trip last year. I’m still am a loss for words as to all that He revealed during this special time of serving. The sheer fact that I GET to travel again is a miracle. It’s not an entitlement, it’s a gift. A gift only made possible by a team of prayer warriors and financial contributors. I’ll say it again, it’s not possible without the “team”. The Lord did not place us on this Earth to live separate lives. He gave us each other for a reason. And though I’m physically there, I’m traveling with an army. I count it a privilege to simply represent the stories of His world-wide reach. And while there, His reach extends out so personally that I’m never the same.
I read a book this evening. In her writing of Mended, Angie Smith describes her experience overseas in such a way that it was as if she penned my own heart:
In Kolkata (Choluteca) I was her. And here, I am me again. They didn’t know anything about me except that I had hands and that I was there to help. It was a breath of fresh air to be used by the Lord in this way. Everything that I have tied myself to in this life became beautifully, naturally, and completely irrelevant.
And I want to be her.
So how do we manage to combine the beautiful calling the Lord has on our lives while actually living our lives? Do you ever feel like you want to make an impact but your life doesn’t feel big enough? This isn’t right thinking, but it is natural. Up to this point, I hadn’t met the faces that taught me about her. The girl who lived inside of me and wanted to be better, not because of the accolades, but because of the most exquisite peace that came from going where He led me. Trusting Him relentlessly, with great joy.
And I liked her.
And I believe that’s where I last left off on my return to the States. I found myself desperate to hold onto the lessons learned in a life of simple gratitude and mountain-top faith. To feel the presence of the Lord in such a tangible way, making decisions in a spontaneous, audacious, moment-to-moment way was invigorating. And then I returned home, and desperately grasped at ways to fit my new heart back here. And I missed her.
And the reality is that the Lord HAS placed me here. The truth of the matter is that impact comes from obedience – and in that case it doesn’t matter what the scope is. I don’t have to fly around the world and rescue orphans in order to bring the Lord glory. If that is my calling, I certainly want to be obedient to it, but it might be something on a smaller scale. And that is okay. In fact, it’s more than okay. We all have “assignments”, and we aren’t being graded on how enormous they are. We do have a responsibility to be good stewards of the situations and people that He has entrusted to us, and perhaps that needs to be our goal.
And so, I will walk around the neighborhood with the kids on a prayer walk, and we will leave special drinks for the men and women who serve us our mail and remove our trash, and we will respect our authorities, and ask the lady at Kroger how her day has been. We will follow Christ, control-freak tendencies and all. And until October 19th when I will GET to visit my brothers and sisters in Choluteca, I will continue to strive…
To be her.