In One Week...
The girl in this picture is only 19 years old. She's only met these children about an hour before this sneaky photo was taken. She doesn't know their language. She doesn't even know their names. But she knows the little boy is upset because he has paint on his arm. And suddenly, instinctively, she reaches out to him to make it better; using her shirt and water bottle to clean up his arm and singing a silly, made-up-on-the-spot song to him in broken Spanish... doing whatever she can to make him smile. In that moment, she wasn't worried about her to-do list, or what others might think, or what her future held. She was only worried about the child in need in front of her. Little does she know he's just one of many kids in her life that will point her towards her future.... a future that only God could have laid out, that only He could orchestrate, a future that takes a big turn in just one week.
In one week I'll be boarding a plane with everything I own in suitcases, begging the airline to allow me just one extra checked bag. In one week I'll be sitting in the airport trying to find the words to tell my parents how much I love them and how much I'll miss them. In one week I'll be starting the very long journey to my new home, in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. In one week I'll be letting go of all the control I thought I had in my life and learning to live just one day, just one hour, just one minute at a time.
And if I'm honest... I get nervous thinking about it! The girl in this picture would have never thought this would be possible, going to Africa to help kids in need. She would have been so excited at even the idea of it all! And I am! But the closer I get to leaving the more the nerves act up. It's that whole human side of me getting in the way again. It's the organizer in me wanting to look beyond the here and now and forgetting the truths the girl in this picture knew; the truth that tomorrow is made up of moments spent today... one moment at a time.
Don't get me wrong! Just because I'm nervous doesn't me that I doubt I am supposed to go. And I don't doubt that He is with me every step of the way, even now as I write this. But just because I don't doubt the truths He's shown me doesn't mean that my heart doesn't flutter at the thought of boarding the plane. And it doesn't mean that I am not constantly talking to Him and reminding myself of His presence, His provision, His protection, His love, and His claim on my life. It's just the human side kicking in.... the reality of it all sinking in. My life is changed, forever, in one week's time, whether I'm ready for it or not.
And while the nerves act up God does something amazing. He surrounds me with little reminders that He's in control. God reminds me who I am: a child of God protected and dearly loved. He reminds me that no matter what happens He's got me in His hands! He reminds me that it's not up to me to do any of this; that's His job. He reminds me to simply take one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. And He reminds me that for today (not one week from today, but today) I am enough. I don't have to prove myself to anyone. I don't have to live up to anyone's standard of a "missionary" or Christian but His. I am His and that's all that matters. And because of these reminders I can face the reality of one week from today. I'm so glad we serve a God who not only fully understands us as we are, flawed and struggling, but also provides for us the things we never knew we needed!!
Thank You Lord for today, for one week from today, and for everyday in-between! You are an amazing Father! Thank you!