This time of year our society loves to look back and reflect on the year..the best moments, people we lost, defining moments, Facebook will even sum your year up for you in pictures, we pause for just a fleeting moment to take a look back. As I was putting together a video of my past year, I began to reflect. Did I truly live most of this past year in Uganda? Did I really learn to live and submersed myself in a different culture? Have I become too syndical after three years? Have I truly seen and witnessed miracles that I would have said “never would I ever” while living here in the States? Have I seen the most heartbreaking scenes play out in front of me? Has my heart been broken over a child? Have I tasted of Jesus in a way that has completely ruined me and keeps me coming back for more?
Who am I that He would call me worthy? I am still pondering that question daily. Then He reminded me during this season that Mary, the one who felt him move within her, was younger than I when she said “yes”. I freaked out when Jesus spoke to me and told me to began preparing to live a different life and move to another country, I can’t begin to imagine if an angel showed up in my room and told me I was pregnant how that scene would play out for me. Mary just straight up said, “I am your servant, may it be unto me what you have said.” She brought into the World my Savior. She could have said no. She could have been devastated that the plan she had for her life was now being altered and the man she loved might leave her. Instead, “My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior….for the Mighty One has done great things for me.”
I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to miss the feast. Even during the times in Uganda where I wanted to pack my bags and come home, even those moments of me fighting out my flesh, I need them. When as a 30-year-old, who has been independent for most of my life, is no longer independent but learning to walk in submission, I learn that even He came to serve and not to be served. I don’t want to miss the joy of being called “mama” and seeing their faces light up when I walk into the home. I don’t want to miss out on the friendships that have changed me but only made possible because of Uganda. I feel so incredibly blessed that my perspective has changed. While worshipping I can see the faces of people all over the world and know that this is not all there is. If words could describe how sweet it is to fall in love with Him and truly walk where He has called us to walk then I would write them everywhere. No words can describe.
No matter what, He is good. A statement that is becoming more of my weary heart crying out in prayer. To believe it, to know it and to walk in it. No matter if we get to bring our daughter home, He is good. No matter if I miserably fail at resettling 56 children back to their biological families, He is good. No matter if Uganda never comes out of the dark history of sexual abuse, polygamy, abuse and broken families, He is good. No matter if I only make a difference in 10 lives while I have given many years here, He is good.
It is time to allow Him to remove the veil that we have put over our eyes. Suffering is what we must beg for. It is suffering that will bring upon His presence and revival. We must not think that because we live in America we should not taste of days like the rest of the world lives daily. Where poverty and hunger are their daily bread. Suffering is their way of life. But oh their joy. But oh their hope.
My hope lies in Him. This is not all there is. Until that beautiful day where He comes to take me, I want to be found living right where He has called me. I never want to be set back by fear of the unknown. Fear of losing my life. For to lose my life, I gain. I gain Him…face to face. I want to be found drinking deeply of what His covenant came for. He has planted me here and here I will live. If He calls us into the fire, He will not withdraw His hand. I will gaze into the flames and look for You.
This next year my word is, Joy. I will find it. Some days I have to seek hard when my hard grows calloused to the desperation I see daily, everywhere. “Consider it pure joy.” The fight for joy is mainly the fight to see. I have to fight to see how everything I do here daily is a chance to display His glory. And when we see His glory there is this taste that happens, “taste and see that the Lord is good”. Satan’s main job is to get my frustrated with this culture, with me always giving and it never being enough, to feeling inadequate…to keep me from seeing His glory. The battle for joy is the battle to keep ON seeing glory. In all of this…I want to see God. I don’t want it to just become routine, which is so easy to do. Preach to myself the glory of the Gospel every day so that I can continue to pour out.
I want this for you. I want my journey, my stories to quicken your heart to live beyond yourself. I want you to trade these earthly desires for something more. I do not know the way, I am still learning daily and I still take my own road sometimes but I will say..”Let’s try this together.” You have a story. Go find it. In the coming years and days, we will either have to run hard or we will be defeated. Let us start now. The world will be looking to us.
All glory and honor to Him who has invited me to be a part of what He is doing. My words are inadequate, we cannot say thank you enough to those who have encouraged us, financially supported us, and prayed for us. I am beyond humbled that anyone would read my words on a blog and take the time to stop and pray or send a quick note. How beautiful is the Body. Thank you for allowing us to go. Thank you. Thank you.
We will continue to walk these Orange Road together in 2015. I am confident it will be even more beautiful.