Friday, July 11, 2008

Am I Crazy??

I’m going back to Africa. I’ve been waiting to say those words for a long time. Now that I say them, it sounds kind of surreal.

For about the last month or so, I’ve been strongly pursuing my potential call to missions. Why do I say potential? I’m not quite sure to be honest. Perhaps its because God is still calling me and I’m beginning to hear Him. Perhaps its because I’m not sure how long term this calling is. Or it could be that He’s already calling me and I’m just getting used to the idea and haven’t surrendered yet. But I guess that’s another blog for another time.

I applied to and was accepted to International Teams in about 5 days, but I wasn’t able to actually commit to serving with them … until today. Yep, its official. In January, I’ll be going to Rwanda for 6 months. I laugh out loud when I think about it. Me? Rwanda? For 6 months? Am I crazy?? But it just feels right. I’m afraid, but I’m excited too. Its nice to finally have the excitement that everyone else around me had when I first started this process, excitement that I didn’t have. I can’t sleep tonight because of it so what better time than to start my first blog. I can picture myself there – with the kids, the church, the team leader, the community, the village. I don’t understand why I’m not more freaked out – I’ve had doubts about whether I can do this, be there and do whatever I’m going to do. Can I survive all the doubts and inferiority complex that was such a stumbling block in Malawi? And its weird … b/c I think I can, I know I can. Especially when I think about how I won’t be doing anything alone – God will be doing it with and through me! Now, please remind me of these words when I’m in Rwanda and in the middle of tearing myself apart. Wow, Rwanda. When I say it, it still makes me do a double-take. Rwanda. Really?

Its been a fearful, emotional, and sometimes frustrating process as I began inquiring and then applying to different mission organizations. It took me several weeks to return the first couple of phone calls I got responding to my inquiries. In my mind, a conversation meant a commitment and I was still too afraid to think about even applying anywhere. Peter is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. In Matthew 14:22-32, when Jesus calls Peter to get out of the boat and come to him in the middle of the lake, he must have been terrified before he took that first step out of the boat onto the water. Surely he would sink! But he didn't let that fear stop him - he did it anyway, and everything else after that was smooth sailing, until of course he took his eyes off Jesus and thought about what he was doing. But my point is, Peter didn’t let his fear of drowning in the raging waters stop him from going to his Master. As John Ortberg says, “if you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat.” I find that with myself, it usually is the first step into something that is the hardest and scariest for me to take and it takes me forever to put my dang foot over the edge and onto the other side. But each step that follows gets easier and easier. In this case, it took me forever to take the first step out of the boat and just apply, but once I did, the other foot just seemed to follow naturally. And now I find that I can see and hear the waves all around me, but I can’t really feel them. I’m sure every once in a while I’ll feel some splatters, and some days they’ll even be splashes, but for now we’ll just call it a mist.