My Life Is Not My Own

God is amazing. I was sitting at Camp, having a deep discussion time in the field at night with some absolutely amazing people and the stars....oh my goodness, the stars!
The stars were absolutely breathtaking. I haven't seen stars like that since we camped at Fisherman's Camp above Lake Naivasha in Kenya.
They were so close, like you could touch them, watching you coolly. When I was younger I used to think that the angels had poked holes in the floor of heaven to watch over us....I still like to think it's true.
Sitting there, the wind cool, the air warm, amazing people surrounding me, I just laid back and watched the stars, saw two shooting stars, watched the yellow-green glow of the fireflies dancing in the trees.
Nostalgic. Idyllic. Words I haven't been able to use in a while. They apply when you're at Camp. It still amazes me how God can use my servitude to serve me.

And speaking of serving God......I have a confession to make.
Serving God is something I have always longed to do. I was ready and willing to do His work....but I always wanted to serve God in my own way. The promise I made was always "God, Your will be done as long as I will it too"
I am good at fooling myself. Really, really good at it. I used to think of it as self-preservation thing. So I fooled myself into thinking that MY dream was actually GOD'S dream.

My Plan:
I was going to decide what skill I needed. Be it teacher, EMT, etc. I was going to find the perfect man, start a family, raise support, load up and move to Morocco or India or Ethiopia and start a mission. Change lives. Settle in one place, raise my kids the way I was raised. End up like those amazing elderly missionary couples like Wayne and Greta, still living and serving in a foreign country they call home.
That was the dream. Sounds pretty great, huh? Doing what I love. Loving what I do. Serving God.......nope.
God got to show his "sense of humor" and completely flip my dream upside down.

God's Plan:
I am going to get my degree as a photojournalist and I am going to find some mission or something like that to work for. I am going to travel all over the place. War-torn countries, natural disaster sites, slums, famine-struck villages, clinics over-run with AIDS victims, countries left in the dark....I will go to them all.
I will tell the stories of every woman who was beaten and raped and left to die with no justice. I will tell the stories of the little hungry children with bloated bellies and tears in their eyes. I will tell the stories of every man, woman and child persecuted for loving Christ and still dance and sing because they are saved. I might not get married. I might not be able to have a family. I may not be able to settle down and form a home......

I get it. It's perfect for me. I have the experience and the confidence to travel alone. I have the restless soul that longs to see it all. I have the gift of photography and writing.....and living in the US really does make me see the need for someone to spread the word.
The people of America have tried to make this country a "safe haven" where you don't have to hear about the reality of this world if you don't want to. If you want to know about "bad things" then you had to go looking for them. They only knew statistics.
In the words of Stalin (who I don't normally quote) "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of thousands is merely a statistic"
And unfortunately, this has become true. These people give $15 to a number every month when their tithe is due....They never see the faces. They never learn names. They never hear the stories.
So it's my job to raise awareness. Ignorance is *not* bliss anymore.
It's time to show them what the real world is like. But still.....sometimes I would rather just settle in one place, work with one people group, learn one language, form long-term relationships.....
Where am I going to find a guy who wants to just wander around the globe, often-times be hungry, be threatened, be in danger.....honestly, I think I am great and all but not *that* great.
So there is the lonliness factor I'll have to deal with. And lonliness is one of the strongest emotions you will ever feel.
It's scary. It's thrilling. It's amazing. It's a done deal. I have no say in the matter.
I made the promise, didn't I? I said "Send me....I'll go."
So this is Him sending me. So this is me going. Willingly....reluctantly. It's funny, the mix of emotions I feel. I have a hard time with authority, and lately I have been challenging God's. O_O bad thing to do, I know.
So that is my job this summer. I need to learn to let go of my own feelings. Let Him take control. It's not easy to surrender my life when I have been fighting for every inch I have for years.
So this is me. This is my plan...His plan.....OUR plan.

Your Will, not mine, be done.


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