I got up and put together the perfect outfit. I even called my sister to make sure I chose the perfect shoes. I snuggled on my cat and made a cup of coffee. I grabbed my Bible and headed towards church. As I was driving, I talked with God about my dilemma. I knew I was struggling. Struggling with the same thing I struggle with day in and day out. Some days are better than others. Really it is more like week by week. I was struggling with where he has put me and what he has called me to do. In the world's eyes I don't fit. I can hear some of you now trying to reassure me that I do fit but the truth is I don't and I shouldn't. A mid-western girl in her mid 20's should have met the love of her life in the 3rd grade, married right out of high school and had 2-3 kids by now. But that is not where I am at...not even close. I am by no means writing this post to whine about not being married and having a family. I don't really desire that. However, it does effect my life a lot. I don't know if I can explain it. It is honestly, mostly in my head. Needless to say it is a struggle to not desire the Pinterest life and dream about what I would make my life look like if I had the chance. What would my house look like? What would my wardrobe look like? How would people view me? What other titles would I hold? How would people look up to me? All of these things focus on myself and what I want. It has nothing to do with God or what he has in store. Not just for me...this has nothing to do with me but about his glory. I had gotten so caught up in myself this week that I had forgotten why I exists in the first place. It is for his glory, not my own. So I prayed what I knew I should pray. That God would open my eyes to his work and his plan and not my own. That I would be focused on the eternal and not the earthly. At this point, I had driven through the mountains and was on the outskirts of town when I saw a sight that immediately made my heart drop.
There she was in a brown tattered and torn uniform. She looked dirty, bent over by weight of who knows what. She carried a tattered black purse in one hand and two plastic bags in the other. I was going 50mph but I could see her. I saw her struggle along the side of the road and I knew. I immediately knew what God was telling me to do and I denied it. I kept driving as the Spirit tugged at my heart and wouldn't let me forget it. I thought, "There is too much traffic." then I prayed, "Lord what can I do?" I heard him loud and clear. "Turn around."
"But Lord! That isn't safe!" I told him my dad wouldn't approve. I told him it was dangerous. I then told him that I would be late for church and I shouldn't forsake the assembly. I told him that by this time she probably won't be there. But he wouldn't leave me alone.
Here I am, a missionary, teaching young men and women how to be a missionary, and I didn't have enough love to immediately stop and help. My excuses?? Did you read them? I realized how stupid they were when I began talking to the Lord about them. Dangerous? Really? That lady was bent over, older, ragged. Honestly, if she did try and over power you Jack, I think you could handle yourself. I mean you have been running, working out. Even if she did somehow over power you... If it was a life or death scenario... WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?
"What is man, that you are mindful of him?"
I had just asked God to tune me into his plan and his will. Here it was. And I didn't like it. I turned the car around. As I drove back to where I had seen her, I silently hoped she might be gone. MY HEART! Oh how desperately wicked it is. I was shaking as I pulled over beside her, parked my car and got out to greet her. I gazed into the face of a person. A person created in the image of God. She was beautiful. She was fearfully and wonderfully made. She needs Jesus.
Yeah, I missed church this morning. I didn't get to give her the whole gospel message. I didn't get to hear her whole life story. I don't even know if I will ever see her again or if I made any impact at all. But that doesn't matter. God knows. It is his plan after all, not mine.
I drove away from where I dropped her off, the smell of her still permeating my car. As I drove down the road my heart broke all over again. Ok, God. I got it. This is your world. This is your plan and it is all for your glory. Help me to continually think not about not my pinterest life, not my latest idea for my apartment but instead about others. Help me see the brokenness. Help me love people the way you love them. Lord here I am, SEND ME! Send me to the broken and hurting and lost. Send me to those who have struggles and problems and help me love them.
You know God always has an amazing plan and he is so good at leading you right where he wants you if you surrender. I was thinking this great experience was to send me overseas, to go minister to the homeless, to do something crazy. Well, he may call me to do some of that but as I asked him to send me to the broken, to the ones that struggle, he quietly said, "look at your doorstep." I have 10 young men and women literally come to my doorstep every year. They may not be homeless on the street but they bring with them their insecurities, their struggles, their brokenness. Am I loving them? Am I loving them the way GOD LOVES THEM?
God has sent me. The way he sends us and where he sends us is not always as romantic or exciting as we wish it to be. But he has sent us. He has sent us to the broken, to the dying, to the struggling, to the hurting. It may be someone on the side of the road. It may be an orphan. Or maybe it is the next door neighbor. Maybe it is that kids in Awana. Maybe it is a sibling, a cousin, a grandparent. It may be a number of different scenarios. BUT ARE WE FAITHFUL? Will we listen when the Spirit prompts us? Are we faithful in the little? Are we willing? Are we willing to go anywhere or stay anywhere? Are we willing to talk to anyone, care for anyone, love anyone?
I often come to the place in my life where I say, "Here I am, Send me!" but often when I get the assignment I shrink back.... I should BODLY and FEARLESSLY serve my Lord no matter WHAT THE COST! Have you counted the cost? Have you given it to him? Are you willing to give it all for the cross? Not everyone is called to the jungles of Africa but we are all called to SACRIFICE. What is he asking you to give up? Guess what? HE IS WORTH IT!