Thursday, June 29, 2006

grand canyon, guatemala, and mat kearney

these are some of my favorite pics and lyrics from mat kearney... check him out...

i meant it all and every part
and every word right from the start
i’ll never let this love fall in the middle
‘cause you know you broke the hardest part
you know you broke the hardest heart
i’ll never let this love fall in the middle through it all

no parachutes or safety nets here
one foot on the water to face these fears
coming out strong like i can’t be wrong
i said eh, i wont fall in the middle

i’m gonna be alright
with you through this fight...
through it all...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

walking on

if there is one thing i have learned for certain in this life, it is that life is not certain. right now, i should be in a car on my way to chicago to pick up all of my things from storage before moving to north carolina where i would be starting a job on a medical-telemetry unit. instead, i am sitting on my bed in casa grande, arizona beginning a blog that will be my primary source of communication with my friends and family for the next 10 months as i live in canilla, a small village in guatemala. i am learning that this road of life does not usually shine with a beaming path of streetlights, but instead glows from a dimly-lit lamp that just barely reveals the few steps for the moment. and, while the Guide places dreams in our hearts and visions in our heads of what is to come, he does not seem inclined to show us the map that reveals when and why and how those dreams and visions become a reality.

in november of last year, i attended a medical missions conference and felt that god was leading me overseas for six months after i graduated. i was excited. for three months, i grasped at the dream of mine to return to kenya, africa and practice nursing. i pounded on every door i could find and pursued every opportunity until i was completely out of options and energy. i finally found myself crying to god, "where are you in this? you called and then you abandoned me!" and there it was, smacking me in the face. in the pursuit of ministry and the god-given desires of my heart, i had failed to simply pursue god, to trust him, to follow him daily, to worship him for who he is outside of me. it is a lot easier to take out my own flashlight and start wildly looking for where the path to the promises is leading, than to hide the promise in my heart, look back at the face of the Giver, place my hand back in His, and keep walking, one step at a time, trusting that the promises will be fulfilled without my help.

so, i held a little more loosely to the dream of going back overseas for six months and walked each day as doors opened for me to move to north carolina and live by friends dear to my heart. i planned a trip to guatemala for three weeks to stay with a friend of mine and her family. her mom is a nurse and i got to go with her to each clinic. it was beautiful and heart-wrenching all at the same time. to look into eyes that have seen more pain in their first five years than i have known in my twenty-three, yet hold more strength and depth than i may ever realize. to hear the sweetness of laughter in the midst of hunger and death. "to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 27), even when it is a struggle to be living. i have never felt so needed and yet so useless. so full of purpose, yet seeking direction. but, my heart was stirred in a way it hasn't been since i was in kenya, and it was like God whispered to my soul, "this is why i have created you."

and yet, while this means everything, this means nothing. i was talking to a dear friend of mine a couple of days ago, and she asked me why i was going back. i started explaining, but finally we concluded that none of these reasons are reasons to go back if it is not where God is leading. and so instead i have looked at how over the past few weeks in the midst of confusion, doubt, tears, laughter, the joys and pains of my desires, i have had to hide all of these deep in my heart, look back into the face of my Father, grasp onto his hand, and keep walking, one step at a time, trusting that he will reveal all in His time. " strong and take heart and wait for the Lord" (more of Psalm 27).

i do not know why this happened the way it did. i do not know why god allowed me to struggle over a decision of which state to move to and which job to take after graduation if it was all going to change anyway. but, i am learning that this journey is not just about the end results of the decisions we make, but it is also about the person that making these decisions changes us into. i may not be in north carolina this fall, but through that decision-making process, i learned that i need people and that true community is more important to me than almost anything, even the ideal job. i learned that many times decisions must be made before all the pieces have fallen into place (and i learned that this is scary... hehe) i learned that there are times we have to stand strong in our decisions even when people close to us will be hurt or may not understand, and so much more. and through making these decisions my heart grew in ways that cannot be simply cast aside.

and so i keep walking. the light from the lamp may not be far-reaching, the road may be rocky or paved, there are times when the Guide's voice may be faint and i may even fall off the road at times. but tears or laughter, hard or easy, almost running or barely moving, i am walking on.