Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Heartbreak, Closed Doors, and Jesus Led Me Here

As I mentioned in my post about Free to Laugh (which you should all go to by the way!!), there is a pastor at my home church that is very near and dear to my heart. BRAD. Brad is someone I have such respect for! Honestly, he is one of the people I respect most in the entire world. He just "gets it."

What do I mean he "gets it?" Let me tell you. Brad is someone who is so passionate about missions. Helping others. Sharing the love. Social justice. And so much more! I can't even describe his passion and his understanding for what we as Christians are not only called to do, but expected to do.

He gets me so fired up about ministry and missions and social justice and love and. . . You get the point. Soo as you can imagine, when Brad asks me to be a part of something, I am on board!
But wait. . .

I shared with him a few months back something that hurt my heart. I shared some news. News about something so important to me. So meaningful. A huge part of my life. A huge part of my being.

It broke my heart to sit and say the words that the Lord was calling me to do something other than go to Jamaica this summer on a mission trip. Jamaica sounds like all fun and games and beauty and vacation - think again. Just yards away from the resorts and "honeymoon capital of the world" is a third world country. A country in dire need of Jesus. In need of love. In need of clothing. Food. Clean water. Purpose.

Jamaica has been a part of my life for three years. And each year was a roller-coaster of emotion. Each brought new battles, new children, new love and a new outlook on life. It was extremely difficult to build the courage to tell BRAD of all people that I wouldn't be a part of his mission trip this year.

He understood completely.

I shared my heart about something else as well. My dream to do medical missions in Africa. It's a subject that is so close to me. Something I haven't really spoken to anyone about on a deep level. I knew he would share in my excitement and my passion. And I was right. He was so encouraging and excited for me. . .

So I began my search for a trip to Africa in summer of 2012.

Well, I found about 20 trips. INSANE right?! Wellllll hold up a second! Each and every one of them had a certain something that made me incapable of going. Whether it was age, deadline, or date. Whatever it was - all 20 trips were ruled out.

I'm gonna be honest with you; I was very discouraged.

Now, there's something you should know. Brad has mentioned a certain mission trip to Guatemala a handful of times over the past few years. Each time saying I would be the perfect person for such a trip. And each time, I dismissed the idea without a second thought. You see, it was a construction trip. And, well, HAVE YOU SEEN ME?! I'm clearly not cut out for that sort of work. . .

WELL, God has a funny way of working things out.

This year, the trip to Guatemala is a MEDICAL MISSION. Hold up - did I hear that right?! A medical mission?? YEP!! I heard right. Okay, now you've got my attention.

As Brad and I sat over coffee and he spilled the details about this trip, I knew right then it was what I've been waiting for. I knew right then, why God had closed the doors to Africa for me this summer. I knew right then what I was supposed to do.

Before agreeing, though, I told Brad I would pray about it and talk to my parents. I have done both. And it's official! Guatemala, HERE I COME.

(More details to come)