So this is the week, the long-awaited departure date to travel with ManUp and Go as part of a mission team to serve.
Let me give you a little back story.
Last fall I committed to traveling with ManUp and Go on a missions trip to Kenya. As we prepared our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits for this trip I was sure this was the time to go. My heart was set on spending my birthday in Kenya loving and serving and experience whatever the Lord had in store. What I wasn’t prepared for was the trip being cancelled due to the unrest in the country. I grieved this trip as weird as it sounds, to prepare your heart to go and let the Lord work through you to serve the widows and orphans was devastating when it didn’t come to pass. When the trip was cancelled we had the option to keep our funds in reserve and go on the Kenya trip the next fall. Due to the airlines guidelines on ‘when’ the plane tickets needed to be used up, the next fall Kenya trip was out of the time frame. There were a few trip options but they all overlapped previous commitments in my life. One being softball season, I’m a coach, and the other being during my business convention trip in which I had already paid for the tickets to go, and I was super excited to be ‘recognized’ for my business growth. I remember feeling this still small voice asking me to consider giving up my convention. I hadn’t even considered it. I’d been involved in this business for over 4 years and had never made it to convention. I was beyond excited to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate and be pampered for my accomplishments. Yet this voice still whispered to me to consider letting it go to fulfill what I originally committed to back in the fall.
What if THIS trip gets cancelled? My big struggle was looking beyond the first cancellation and making peace with it. I had so many negative thoughts going through my head. “Maybe I wasn’t ready, maybe it got cancelled because my heart wasn’t in the right place, maybe THIS trip will to get cancelled because I’m still not right in my heart?” Oh the negative assault was heavy.
I called my travel partner for the business convention and explained that I felt I needed to cancel and instead go to Africa. I just had to go on this mission trip. She understood and I made a commitment to travel to Africa yet again. I battled with feeling as though I let my business team members down in not staying with my first commitment. Yet the Lord has given me great insight into seeing opportunities and not becoming so stuck in our ‘plans’ that we aren’t willing to budge. So I budged and chose to leave the celebration and awards and go serve.
I’m not blogging to get some kind of a ‘that a girl’ pat on the back, but more to share with you my vulnerable spot in knowing my selfishness got in the way of seeing a bigger picture. It took me quite awhile to even receive the idea because I was so blinded by my reward.
We leave for Ethiopia and Uganda in 5 days. So what do I take with me? What shouldn’t I be taking with me?
I take an attitude of love and compassion, I take an open heart and mind, I take the heart of a servant and I take an approach that God has this, all of it, the hard, the joy, the craziness, the unknowns and I am called to do but one thing, trust Him. Trust His protection, His abilities, His spirit within.
What should I leave behind; worry, stress, anxiety, fear, judgement, a hardened heart and a closed mind.
I think we all could take the challenge of leaving things behind in our lives at times, and letting God lead and accepting that HE is ALL we need. Jesus is the greatest reward I will ever receive, and to go and serve in His name is an honor. Not every person is called to this kind of going. Some are called to go locally, within your family, your friends, your work, within the country and some outside of the country. We must be open to listening to what the Lord wants to do in our lives, and sometimes it’s at the most unexpected time or even dare I say, the most inconvenient time to my flesh, but NOT to my spirit.
So here’s to Africa… Seeing the Jesus that is already there and loving others right where they are at.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27