Designing for Hope...and Hoping I Never Have to Go to Africa

I remember when we got married...shocking, isn't it, considering it was so long ago? Weddings are funny things. You plan and you make a million and one decisions and you worry and you become filled with anticipation and you your parents fork out bookoodles of money and you dream. And then it's over. Just like that. The thing you've looked forward to and worked toward your whole life (for most girls) is over. And you feel thankful to have such sweet memories (hopefully) and you're glad you're married (hopefully), but you feel this strange sense of let-down. And the rest of life stretching before you seems either dull or stressful (like if you get married the day before your new husband graduates college and then go on your honeymoon for three nights only to return on Christmas Eve to the craziness of the holidays and then your new husband must desperately search for a job because you still have another semester of school and, oh yeah, he has to move into your apartment - not that anyone would ever do such a crazy thing).

So, I don't know if you've ever had a similar sensation, but that's kind of what some of us are feeling tonight, on a little smaller scale. The missions conference went really well. We met a lot of amazing people and Chris and Matthew did a great job presenting their design. The name, idea, and info is out there to people who actually live in or go to Africa on a regular basis, so the mission was accomplished. Yet I think there's still that let-down feeling that comes with something that you work feverishly toward for weeks and months. Then you return home to real life which seemed to pile up in the week you just devoted to this other event.

Now comes the hard part...waiting on God. Is anyone really good at that? And even if they're good at it, do they enjoy it? But it's in the waiting that you realize your powerlessness and weakness, which is the prime time for God to show up and do the amazing. So, now we wait (okay, obviously there is still some stuff to do) on God to put the next piece of the puzzle in. But the cool thing is that, when it happens, we'll know it's Him and not us.

And can I just say one more thing? Of course I can. This is my blog and no one is here to stop me. When I go and meet people like the missionaries I met today, I have several moments where I doubt if I'm really of the same faith as these people. Really...I pretty much stink at this whole Christian thing. Forget "The Very Worst Missionary." I'm going to rename my blog "The Very Worst Normal Run-of-the-Mill Christian" which is so much worse than the very worst missionary, because at least she's willing to be a missionary!

I sat there listening to these completely normal-looking, humble people talk about living and working as missionaries in Africa as though it were the most normal thing in the world. And I would be trying to imagine that person in their house in Africa hanging out with Africans. I just couldn't do it. And then they'd talk about the people and the great need for the Gospel there and how few missionaries there are and I'd think, "I should go there." And then I'd think, "There's no way I'm going there! There are rats and lions and snakes and hyenas and it's 125 degrees!"

There weren't really warm and fuzzy Jesus moments, but more so moments where I'd be amazed that people are really willing to do this...and not only willing, but eager. It was all very fascinating, in a I-totally-hope-I-never-have-to-go-there kind of way. And then Emily and I would look at each other, tell each other what horrible Christians we are and think how we need to do, right here where we are or maybe in someplace not too far away.

Seriously, there are people out there willingly sacrificing more than most of us have ever even momentarily considered giving, and they're excited about it! They love it. It's in their blood and they wouldn't choose anything else if they could. And they totally act like it's no big deal, "like when we both had malaria at the same time and our African neighbor in Mozambique had to bring us a tray of food every night." Yes, I hate when Chris and I both get malaria at the same time. Please remind me not to complain the next time I get a cold.

So I will gladly sit and wait for God to bring people to Chris and Matthew's fabulous ministry that is based in the good ole U.S. of A. and hope that it never means moving to Africa. But believing that, if it came to that, the Good Lord above in His great mercy would give me a new brain and personality so that I could go without wishing I were dead instead. Feel free to nominate me for this year's round of Christian of the Year Award.


Popular Posts