I can't say specifically why I feel called or lead on mission to Africa, but I do. Maybe because the first time I heard about, and knew someone going, was for mission work at an orphanage in Africa during the time we were active foster parents hoping to adopt. I guess it struck a soft spot and stuck, because here I am, now seven years later, at a different church with a different mission, but still to Africa and my heart still feels lead to go.
The only problem? I have a husband I adore, four little loves I homeschool, and my almost 92 year old Gram who lives with us that I also care for. Sure, my husband is amazing and can handle the house, kids and even their school. He is also wonderful with my Grandmother, plus we have other family able to come in to help out, just in case, but won't it all fall apart without me here?
I think satan would like me to think so.
He would have me believe the kids will fall apart without my ensuring their nutritious breakfast, allergy medicines, sufficient water intake throughout the day and bedtime snuggles. He would have me certain their school work will fall behind and my organizational system for said schooling will fall into disarray. He would have me worry that out of 52 weeks in a very full and active year, those two weeks of serving, something is sure to go wrong with Gram and I won't be here to take care of it.
And you know what? That all may be true.
It might be two weeks of cereal and too much juice, minimal work done, very little organized the way I like it, and they might cry at bedtime. And, Gram could get sick. She may need me and I'll be around the world unable to be here.
That hurts me. It all hurts me. The cereal, the dishevelment, the snuggles, and Gram needing me.
But it's the strangest thing. I've heard people say things like, "You'll have such peace about it if you're supposed to go", which always makes me think either they are whacked, or just trying to 'speak Christian', but
it's the truth!
Together, Scott and I decided I'd go on this years trip back before the end of 2016, so I attended the first interest meeting in January, full of trepidation and excitement. And then Gram's health declined. We had one month until the commitment meeting and during that time she slowly slipped more and more into a routine of sleeping most of the day away. Four days before the meeting, on a Wednesday, she fell asleep trying to eat one of her favorite lunches...a chili dog, and dropped it on the floor. She was so devastated and defeated by what her days had become, I could tell she was giving up the desire to keep pressing on.
I told Scott, there's no way I can go. If she needs me, I need to be here, plus, the kids....and he agreed, so I let the team leaders know. The day of the meeting I was feeling regret, confusion, frustration...I was sad that Gram was declining and sad I'd decided not to go. I went on to the meeting and am still not sure what I hoped would happen. We discussed fears, because we all have them, so I talked about Gram. The team listened, encouraged and shared opinions and wisdom. I left that meeting not exactly sure what I would do, but was sure that I wasn't sure.
When I woke two days later, Gram still not improved, I knew I needed to go. Scott knew too. Now I just had to find a time and a way to tell my Gram, who is not keen on the idea, at all. I went down that evening and shared with her that I had decided to go and being that she has supported me in everything my whole life, I needed her support in this. She said she wasn't sure why I was going, but she would never be upset at my decision to go. At this point she was only staying awake a few minutes at a time before she'd drift off so we just sat together for a bit, like we did when I was a child falling asleep as she loved over me.
I sent a message to the team that I was in. I cannot explain it, but I instantly felt a peace about it. I knew it wasn't just empty words I was speaking when I said, or thought, come what may, God is in control,
I really meant it. He really is in complete control, whether you think I'm whacked or just trying to 'speak Christian', or not.
The next night we thought we were losing Gram. Her temperature spiked, she shook and her body cramped as her blood pressure feel to dangerously low levels. It was awful. I called my mom and uncles who decided to cross the country to come to town. But I wasn't sure they'd make it. As my amazing Gram has done on a few other occasions, she pulled back from the brink of death and slowly made a comeback. I keep telling her God is keeping here for a reason! She keeps saying it's to take care of me and the kids! Either way...she's here, I'm going to Africa, and God is working on both our hearts.
It might not make sense that these two things go together, but they do. I will miss my husband. I will miss my kids...like crazy, and Gram...I'm her person, as she's always been mine. But God...He is my God. And that love supersedes them all. He saved me from the depths of my wicked heart and put in me a desire to serve in Africa. I can't justify telling Him sorry, not right now.
So I will go.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind', and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"