I write to capture this journey.
I write to reflect and never lose this moment.
I write because the ripple may reach someone somewhere and be helpful in some way.
Due to confidentiality and respect I cannot disclose many of the intimate details that brought me to this place but I will give a general overview because it is crucial to this testimony. Some time ago I met a child in my city and had the blessing to connect with this child. The child is from a place beyond my imagination in the very worst ways and to be very honest I really had to take some weeks bordering on months to wrap my head around the magnitude of damage that I saw. It took me a couple of months to confess to God that I felt mad at Him.
Why does humanity destroy children?!
Why did God let this happen?
Where was God? Where is God still while other children continue to "live" in agony?
I see the news, I see pictures and stories all over the world and I was content to pray for them and believe that God is with all of his children and somehow he protects them...
Except that here is this child in my arms and in my heart and from what I can see, there was no divine protection from the world.
At first I drew away from God and I tried to reconcile it in my mind. I didn't mean to draw away but I just felt so overwhelmed by compassion and heart break and I felt like God was deafeningly silent.
It wasn't until I confessed my anger and just let it flow openly and poured my heart out to God (yes in anger) that the silence was broken at last.
In true God style, the answer was beyond my wildest imagination.
God first brought to my mind the last time I questioned his goodness and his presence. Only one other time in my entire life have I ever asked God "why".
My sweet Drew was in the hospital 12 years ago and during a long stint in the ICU, I broke down during a procedure that Drew had to endure without sedation. This sweet innocent helpless soul endured so much pain and I questioned God. I challenged Him. I wanted to fight Him.... He laid upon my heart an answer that I had tucked away until now.
Instead of "why us?" I should be asking "why are we chosen to persevere through this and how will HE use it?"
God added one more tag to that answer for my most recent outcry, he also laid upon my heart Job 38:4 "Where were you when I created the foundations of the Earth..." and to expand upon that "Where are you in your faith that you think that I'm [God] not there?"
So I prayed and waited and was humbled and repentant. Until...
April 23, 2017 - I woke up on this cool Sunday morning with the unquenchable fire to seek God. To go to Africa specifically and to seek him outside of my own perspecitive on a short term mission. To see him in the rawest of faith and to find him in the most humble of places. To see my questions outside of the context in which I asked them and yet see some small portion of God in the midst of pain and chaos.
I don't know when. I don't know where. I don't know how. I don't know who.... I do know that the more I study in the word and the more I pray, the more I realize that all of my trials and my victories - they were His trials and victories and this mission is one of the reasons for all of that.
Now, I'm not flying completely blind. I've spoken to my Pastor and I have made some connections in the mission field. I'm just waiting and praying and preparring for His timing and ultimate destination.
I ask for your prayers and I hope God willing that this journey can be used not only to seek him and find him, not only for the fruit of the mission itself, but to maybe be of some use to even one person who may be asking a lot of difficult questions and not realizing that those questions and those trials are actually a call to serve.