Ever since I was fourteen years old I have had a deep desire within me to be a “missionary.” This desire was sparked by a short-term mission trip I took several years ago to San Francisco. It was on this trip that my eyes were opened in a new way. My innocence and naivety had never seemed to notice the poverty, injustice, depression, loneliness and despair that co-existed in the world around me. I had seen poverty on an international scale on several vacations with my family. The poverty and despair that I took notice of even as a child seemed cultural or specific to the country I was a tourist in, but seeing poverty first hand in my country of origin was a destiny marker for me. I remember as I walked the streets of the poorest district in San Francisco I realized I was “made” to do missions. I was made to live alongside people that find themselves in the midst of physical, emotional, and spiritual poverty. I believe that even at the age of fourteen, I was starting to recognize my purpose, which is to serve those in need of Christ-like mercy. Over the past few years God has taught me that this purpose can be lived to the fullest wherever I am, whether I am at home or in college, or in a community I barely even know. God showed me that I do not have to travel the world to find people needing someone to meet them in the midst of their circumstance and live alongside them. While I do not have to have a passport with pages full of stamps, I have to be willing to surrender my life to Christ. I have to be willing to put down my desires, my wants, and my dreams at HIS feet daily. As I lay myself down, I am only then able to pick up a life directed by God so that my life mission will be displayed with HIS glory written throughout the story.
As I look back on my journey I can see that God’s grace and patience has been so evident to me throughout my walk. Even in the midst of my inability to lay myself down, God continues to open door after door. Like a chivalrous gentleman he is showing me that his manners do not change with the situations of my life or with my reactions to him. Several weeks ago while I was at a missions fair I found myself learning about a mission trip and completely rejecting the idea of the trip. I said to myself and to God for that matter, I will only go if its on my spring break and the coincidence of that happening is unlikely, so I probably will not go, but thanks for the offer Lord. Soon thereafter, I came to find out that the trip was placed right in the midst of my spring break, and this made me so frustrated. It was like God was laughing at me, his child, trying to tell him how to be my father and how to raise me. As the next few weeks went by, I found myself thinking of Haiti. I found myself praying for the trip, and I found myself at Gods feet praying for an answer. What I found was the Lord saying, I would rather have you sitting at my feet just to be in my presence for me, and not for my answers to your questions. Even though my time with God was so self-centered he made his answer clear. Go to Haiti and come back changed my daughter. Go live, love, laugh and have a beautiful journey so that my name can be heard in the midst of tears, so that my people are reminded of the hope that is found in me and so they may have strength in the midst of weakness, tears of joy in the midst of pain, and healing where sickness is spreading. Go my daughter and learn, learn to be brave, and learn to leave fear behind. Learn to smile while you are uncomfortable. Learn to focus on meeting the needs of others even while your needs are not being met. Learn again to see the world outside of your box, and to see the world inside of my hands. Learn yet again to Go run with those beautiful feet.