Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Stretched.

I found myself nearly gasping for breath as I made my way to the open air on Deck 8.  If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you’ll know that’s where I always find myself when I’m feeling needy, desperate, aching to hear God’s heartbeat and to remember why I’m here. 

It’s been a great ten days since we’ve arrived in Congo – a sprint from day one.  As I sat back, mesmerized by the huge moon, I thought about where I was and why, letting my consciousness just meander along.

Usually when I find myself gasping on deck 8 it’s because I’m feeling bruised and beaten and maybe even bleeding; not in a literal sense, of course, but in a figurative, wow this is really hard type way.  But this time I’m not feeling that – at all.   Rather, it’s because I’m being stretched, my territory of responsibility growing and expectations expanding… which, in any other place might be scary, but here, in this incredible community where I will be stretched but I know I will not break, it’s not scary at all… at least, it doesn’t have to be. It’s exciting.  It’s a lot of work. It’s tiring.  It’s fun. It’s juggling a gazillion details and balancing expectations and reality and supporting others well and managing and planning and organizing and tap dancing all while speaking French. (well, maybe not tap dancing…. Yet.)

But, as I said, it doesn’t have to be scary… but still sometimes it is.  I still find myself irritated at my own fear of failure, my own insecurities, the fact that much of the time I feel completely inadequate and that I’m just disappointing everyone. Thinking like this isn’t anything new, though it may come as a surprise to some.  Thankfully those times and thoughts are lessening, and the fear is not as paralyzing as it once was.  Forward progress is being made and I’m starting to actually believe, more and more, that maybe I can actually do this thing that God has called me to – as long as he’s right there beside me where he’s promised he’ll always be.

This quote really spoke to me this week: Our dissatisfaction with our weakness & struggles points to the reality that continuing to live in them is not our destiny. ~Stasi Eldredge

Oh, the hope in that statement!  The fact that I’m irritated about my own insecurities just indicates that it’s not my destiny to remain that way. Ultimately it’s a sign of my new heart beating strong; a sign that I recognize all isn’t as it should be, that there is more than this, that freedom is possible and not far from reach.
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Tonight I find myself searching for the words to say as I have been asked to speak to the entire AFM community on Sunday night.  Tomorrow I’ll be putting my French skills to the test as I translate and tour around with a visitor all day.  Next week it’s all feet on the ground as we get our first opportunity to say yes to those who have travelled for miles or days for the hope we offer; we also will grieve as we have to say no to the ones we cannot help.  Every day I will be stretched; my heart will beat on and my faith will grow as I press into this calling and purpose and season. 
 
 

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