The night before I left for Ghana I was so afraid. I remember sitting in the room after our last orientation session and just bawling my eyes out. My emotions were completely jumbled. I was so excited to go back to Africa. I knew that I left part of my heart there the first time and I needed to go back. However, a part of me was petrified about going. I was so afraid that I would love it so much that I would know that God wanted me to be there forever. And at the time, I didn't want to obey God in that way. I loved my family too much. I loved my friends too much. I loved the comfortable life that I had in America too much. I didn't want to surrender my comfortable life over to God. And I think sitting in that chair that night, I knew that I would have to. That was the moment that I knew that my life was not my own anymore. I knew that God had greater plans for me than anything I could imagine. That night, I opened my hands and I let go of control of my life.
As soon as I was back on African soil, I knew without a doubt that that was where I needed to be. It was so right. I needed to be with those kids. I needed to be loving on them and sharing the gospel with them. I needed to be helping the mothers deliver their new babies and educating them to keep them healthy. I needed to be traveling to villages and sharing the name of Jesus.
After that night, It was easy to say "yes" to God's direction in my life. It wasn't that I loved my family and friends any less (if anything I appreciated them more) or that I hated my life in America. It was just now I knew that there was a need that with the Lord's help, I could fulfill. I knew that the gospel needed to be spread to the ends of the earth and I wanted to do my part in fulfilling that.
When I came home from Ghana last summer, I was so set in this new path that I thought the Lord had laid out for me. I was ready to follow the Lord wherever He desired for me to be as long as it was overseas serving Him. (funny how your heart can change so quickly!)
Then the Lord threw another curveball at me that I was not expecting. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. At first, I didn't think this would change anything. I was determined that even with symptoms and getting sick, I would still follow the Lord to whatever adventure He had planned for me. Then I was told I had to take Humira. Because it suppresses my immune system, while I am on it, I cannot go overseas. Period. And just like that, I felt like I was back at square one.
It was relatively easy for me to say "yes" to God about going overseas. But now that for the time being, I am staying in America. I just want to fight Him. I want to be that stubborn girl who says that no matter what, I will go overseas. I want to fight Him because I don't think He's right. I willingly opened my hand and gave Him my life...so why won't He allow me to live the way I now want?! I just want to cry now because I don't think He knows what He's doing and I can't understand.
But wasn't that His whole purpose in the beginning?! When He created me, It wasn't so that I would come to the realization that I should serve Him overseas and that was it. It was so that I would hand my life over to Him NO MATTER WHAT. Whether trials, persecution, sickness, health, prosperity, poverty, sadness, pain, laughter, or peace, I would be in His hands, in His control.
Even though, it was easier for me to say "yes" to Him when I thought I would be serving Him back where my heart belongs. I know now that it is just as important to truly say "yes" to Him now. To trust Him that He knows me. He knows what I love and how I excel and He will put the perfect opportunities and ministries in my path here so that I can serve Him well.
So that is where I am at. I haven't quite figured it out. I definitely don't understand. My heart is still a little broken, BUT I KNOW THAT MY GOD wants the best for me. I know that He knows the desires of my heart and He will align them with His.
I am learning to desire the advancement of His glory and His name before everything else. Whether in America or overseas.
Father, I am clay in your hands. Mold me, make me more like You.