You may have noticed some quiet over here on my little blog these last few months. I think there are seasons like that. Or, perhaps, you didn’t notice at all. Both possibilities seem completely par for the course. If there is such thing as a course in the world of blogging.
Now, it seems that the words fluttering around in my head and the murmurings in my soul are starting to find their way toward one another again. It’s such a beautiful thing. A gift from the Father, the grand Author of all things, who imparts bits of Himself to mere humans like us. Besides, when a girl like me realizes she is headed to a whole new continent, it is something worth sharing about.
Once upon a time, I was 20 years old and about a hundred pounds of feisty. I was full of understanding of all the things and the world was mine to control. At the very least, I felt a little too cute, smart, and sassy for my own good. A friend of mine was genuinely interested in pursuing Jesus, and all that that sort of life entails when you are a student at a Christian university in a small west Texas town….right down to a mission trip to Africa. And me? How shall I put this? Well, I responded with something along these lines: Why would anyone ever want to go to Africa? It’s dirty and there’s lots of diseases and starving people and deadly wildlife. It’s just not safe. Utterly ridiculous.
It’s just not safe.
I had no idea. No idea how tightly wound my chains were. No idea how tiny my cage and how tight the bars. I can’t stop thanking God from waking me up from that version of Christian.
When someone asks you to go to Africa, here is what happens. Your brain immediately starts reaching for all the reasons you CAN’T go. It’s this phenomenon that occurs somewhere in the right ventricle of the brain. (Really? I have no knowledge of brain structure or function. So let’s just pretend for a minute.)
I don’t have enough vacation time. I can’t leave my job. I run a small business. I have kids. Who would take care of my kids? I can’t afford that. Where would I get the money? I’m a mom and that would be irresponsible of me to leave my family floundering without me for 10 days. Who would walk the dog? What if something bad happened to me or to my family in my absence?
You know what I mean. These all seem like good excuses. But here’s the kicker: GOING TO AFRICA IS NOT CONVENIENT. Or easy peasy. It’s not Destin, ya’ll. (Where I am headed later this summer, with my family, Lord willing.) It is not without cost. And needles. Lots of needles.
Following Jesus should cost everything. He is the only prize. And my soul could not bear the cost of missing out on what He is doing, this thing He is asking of me that lies in wait in a little place called Kenya. I don’t want to miss it. I have to go to the exact place He leads.
I am desperate for Him. I need to throw myself off of the proverbial cliff and wait for Him to catch me. I think that by stretching myself, by going out of my comfort zone, I will know Him in ways I could not have otherwise.
In starting this journey, I was afraid. I challenged God to show me that He is in it. I asked him to completely cover my trip. From the get-go, my husband said yes to this without question, aside from making sure our boys were take care of. I sent out letters and held one fundraiser. When it came time to purchase the airfare last month, I had exactly enough donation money to cover it. I have my husband, grandparents, and a babysitter covering childcare needs. A doctor even generously stepped in and guided me through all of the vaccines. People have stepped up to donate money and supplies for me to transport to the orphanage.
So, here goes. Nerves and all.