Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Miss Them

I love communication-listening, talking, writing, reading; I can't get enough of it. Anyone who knows me can tell you I am rarely at a loss for words. Like oil-well-in-the-backyard, lightening-striking, 80-degree-weather-in-January kind of rare (we are from Minnesota, people). Therefore, when I don't know how to articulate a thought or emotion, it can be...confusing. It totally throws me off my axis.

Anyway, I had one of these rare emotions that I couldn't describe when it came to how I felt about going to Africa. I knew going was right, but there was so much I couldn't explain. How do you explain to a non-believer HOW you know you've been called? They would suggest that maybe it wasn't God's will, but our will. Really? I know I've always wanted to live in a mud hut, not have real showers, be away from almost everyone I love for a year, coexist with scorpions, snakes, and insects, and be exposed to all sorts of fatal disease. Good times. Then there were the people that acted like it wasn't a calling, but rather a vacation. I would just smile at them and not say much.

I try not to make decisions based on emotion (see the Campus Crusade for Christ Fact-Faith-Feeling train). I knew all the facts behind our decision, I had faith the Lord had brought us to this point-He told us through prayer. But the ultimate decision also involved feelings: Josh and I both had an active sense of peace, an enthusiasm for the "assignment," and a burden to serve.

I experienced another overwhelming feeling, one I couldn't articulate, one that grows more intense every day. It was only through the movie Facing the Giants that I heard it described. When the lead characters wife talks about her desire to have a baby, she says, "How can I miss someone so much when I haven't even met them?" That is it; that is exactly what I feel. Only, it's not about my child, it's about God's children.

He has put a burden in my heart that is so powerful, sometimes I feel I can't even breath. I hurt for them, I cry for them, I want to hold them and put them in time-outs when they're naughty and care for them. I can't wait to meet them. I predict I'll spend a solid week just bawling after I meet them. I already love them.

But who am I, to meet such a need? Father, guide me. Give me wisdom, strength, energy, patience, love...

Their need is like none I've ever seen. My parents have done foster care my whole life, and I believe God has been using that as preparation for this time, but it doesn't compare. Disease, child soldiers, sex slavery, poverty, starvation, bitterness, and broken hearts. How can your heart not break???!!!

As the time to leave draws nearer, the greatest struggle for me becomes clear: it will be to leave the kids who have stolen my heart here. The Lovewells, Princess, and my new baby nephew have all taken a piece of my heart, and refuse to return it. But I know that I will see them again. It will be far to long a separation for my liking, but I will see them again.

When we leave Africa, we will most likely never see those kids again. I am already aware I will spend a year of my life pouring myself out, only to never see their future. From a purely logical standpoint, it doesn't really seem reasonable, does it? Nonetheless, God has so convicted me as to not even make it a choice; it is a command. A command to love and serve with my whole heart. A command to make sacrifices, to suffer for put the needs of His children ahead of my own comfort...

How could I refuse? I can't.


Kelly @ Love Well said...

That is stinkin' BEAUTIFUL, my friend. I think I'm going to bawl, sitting on the couch in a messy living room while Corey is watching football.

I love seeing God's fingerprints.

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