Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Let It All Out"

Thursday's I go to Franklin for a book club meeting for my Africa team. We are reading a book called "When Helping Hurts." Parts of it are very difficult to read, especially if you are involved in missions or any kind of ministry that serves the poor, but I HIGHLY recommend this book.

This weeks chapter was specific to short term missions, which I am involved in right now. I have never gone anywhere on a mission trip. But I attended a church, First Alliance, when the leader of our group, Kevin, took his first team to Burkina Faso. It is a country in Africa that Kevin has been involved in every since he took the first team in 2005 (I think). He has gone several times and I am unbelievably excited to be going with him this time.

But I am also getting very scared. Firstly, the book really convicted me and has made me think a lot about why I am going. Am I going for the experience for myself? Am I going because this is what God wants me to do? Will I actually be helping people? Spreading the Gospel? Forming genuine relationships with people through Christ? Honestly, I think it's a little bit of all this. I pray that I will be helping and not hurting. I know I am going a little for my own experience.

But I think the experience is necessary for everyone who lives in America. We are so spoiled. We have so much. Even the poorest person here has more than the majority of people living in Burkina. I mean, we have public transportation here in America, clean water, soup kitchens. This doesn't exist in Burkina, or in many countries. We don't even understand just how rich we really are until we see it and I cannot wait to see it and to really get it.

MAIN REASON I am writing tonight though is that I think God is doing so much more in my life through this trip. This trip is going to turn my world upside down. He is going to break my heart with what I see and what I feel and with what I want to do. I have not been on a mission trip yet so I am not sure if this will hold true. But tonight I just got this feeling that this 2 week trip is not going to satisfy me. I am starting to feel that God wants me to do more. That He maybe wants to use me in full time missions. And this is before I have even set foot in Africa so it may change--the feeling might get stronger. And this scares me so badly.

Full time missions. Leaving the comforts of this country. Leaving my family for long periods at a time. I can't even imagine how this conversation would go with my mother, it would break her heart! Not just because she will miss me. But I feel that my mother and father so love this country; they don't desire to go anywhere else. And I love America too. I have so many luxuries here, God has blessed me. However, I have to go and share it and share the good news with those that don't know it. I have to do what He calls me to do, no matter what sacrifices I have to make. And I don't want to do something that will upset my family, my friends, those that I love. But I want to do what God has called me to do.

My heart longs for my eternal home. And sometimes, I feel very alone, aside from my God who is always with me. I know I have people I can talk to about all this, maybe even people who feel the same way. The church I am involved with is so supportive, it's been such a blessing. I think it's this idea that I don't belong here. This is just a stop on the way to eternity with God. I am here to do His work and then, one blessed day, I will go on to join Him in all His glory and I will be with Him forever.  

This is a lot tonight. I just feel scared and overwhelmed and all I know to do is pray. I especially pray for the people who will be around me these next few months especially; I think this will just get more intense after I actually go to Africa.

Last, I want to leave on this blog some lyrics to a Relient K song that came to my mind as I wrote this blog. I think for God to work in my life, He has to break my heart. Africa will do that. I want to be ready for it. Here are the lyrics. Thanks for reading and have a blessed week!

"Let it all out
Get it all out
Rip it out remove it
Don't be alarmed
When the wound begins to bleed

Cause we're so scared to find out
What this life's all about
So scared we're going to lose it
Not knowing all along
That's exactly what we need

And today I will trust you with the confidence
Of a man who's never known defeat
But tomorrow, upon hearing what I did
I will stare at you in disbelief

And you said I know that this will hurt
But if I don't break your heart then things will just get worse
If the burden seems too much to bear
The end will justify the pain it took to get us there

And I'll let it be known
At times I have shown
Signs of all my weakness
But somewhere in me
There is strength

And you promise me
That you believe
In time I will defeat this
Cause somewhere in me
There is strength

And today I will trust you with the confidence
Of a man who's never known defeat
And I'll try my best to just forget
That that man isn't me

Reach out to me
Make my heart brand new
Every beat will be for you
For you

And I know you know
You touched my life
When you touched my heavy heart and made it light"

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