Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Story of my heart

Since the moment I was old enough to fully comprehend it, I've been in love with Africa. As a little girl, we always had visiting missionaries in our church who'd share stories & show slides from every country imaginable. But there was always something about the stories and faces from Africa that my spirit had a particular connection with. Going there has always been on the very top of my list of things to do. Seriously. In elementary school I had a list. Even at that young age-across the top it said "Move to Africa to start and run an orphanage/ministry". 

Then life happened. Things got messy and confusing and I ended up in a lot of deep bondage. Things like Africa were a dream shoved so far into the back of my head I forgot it was there.  About five years ago, God decided it was  time. And a crazy chain of events began to take place that would ultimately heal, restore, redeem, grow, and equip me for one wild ride of a life. This past summer, God clearly and specifically told me "This is it. Congratulations. You've made it, Baby Girl. We've walked through the fires of healing  together & you're free. Done." 

In the moment I realized the last 5 years of intense healing work was over, my eyes were opened to the life I was living. To all I was doing and surrounded with. I saw it all in a completely new light. And while it was all very "good" things, there was a voice somewhere deep within me that was saying "hey! Don't forget that the "good" is often the enemy trying to keep you from the "best"." I began questioning who I am. What I'm doing. If it's what I want with my life. And I began a gigantic wrestling match with Jesus. I argued over every single area of my life with Him. Why I'm great where I am. Serving at church, being Him to my co-workers who don't yet know Him. Being a Zumba instructor in an Image-obsessed culture. These are all good things, right!?..........

Don't try arguing with Jesus. You won't win. You'll just get very tired. I finally got to a point where I actually admitted that I'm not satisfied with my life. I can't handle the normal. The Christian life I was living that was just like everyone around me. There is something in me that is wired completely different. That makes me actually unhappy with the normal. I am meant to be doing crazy abnormal things in crazy places. I just fully realized and accepted this about 10 weeks ago or so. And since then I've been on the wildest ride of my life. I've moved. I've changed jobs. I've been re-evaluating how I want to do church. And I am actually and finally going to Africa.....

This is like my biggest dream coming true. And a weird way of that item on my list coming true. Because my church-Big Valley Grace-actually built the orphanage I'm going to work in. And they're sending a small team of us to go over there this June.  I  am only going for a few weeks this time around. We're going to work on the orphanage and with the kids. I may even be painting a mural on the outside! The more I plan for the trip, the more I am falling in love with Africa already and all over again. And the more I am dreaming and asking if there's a place for me to be there for a very long time. I believe so deeply that I am meant to live there that for the very first time in my life, I have not made plans for myself past this year's trip. I am open. I am ready. I am free. I am so excited to jump on the crazy roller coaster of what He's doing without looking back. I'm ready to be crazy and live crazy. And I can't wait! 

The hardest part for me? Money. It costs a lot to do this stuff. If you would pray for my fear of this-that it wouldn't take over-I'd appreciate it. And yes. I need a lot for my trip this June. I don't want this to be all about support,but I do need it. If that's something you think you're interested in, just let me know. 

If not me, who? If not now, when? It's time. 

3 comments:

Annie said...

There's no safer place to be than inside the will of God. He will provide the funds! Wish I could sponsor your trip myself!

Elisabeth said...

Well, I wish I could sponsor all you're
up to on very grand scale. But the God who owns even more than that cattle of a thousand hills is totally taking care of us. And I'm excited to see what's
Unfolding!:)

Lisa@afnet.org said...

Uh oh, you're a goner and you haven't even got here yet! When you wrap your arms around these beautiful children, you will never let go. I am glad that you recognize that it was God who planted the children of Africa in your heart, then you will be more confident as you take the bold steps it takes to come here long term. I also know He'll make it happen, that money will not stand in the way...