We all have our ideas of what we want to do, and God has His ideas of what He has called us to do. These are not always the same ideas.
I’ve felt for some time now that God wanted me to serve Him in some sort of mission/ministry project (preferably in the area of fighting human trafficking or rehab for the survivors). And I was right…except for what that mission/ministry was going to be. My heart has been prepared for loving “the least of these” and I’ve learned about sacrifice over the last four years. I let go of what I felt was holing me back and have been waiting for a year now for God to “reveal my path” as ministry-type people like to say. I’m co-leading a short-term mission trip to Guatemala in three weeks, and I’ve been on a few of these trips before, so I figured when it became a full-time gig, I’d be ready.
Now I know God’s calling in my life, “my path,” so to speak, at least for now, and it isn’t what I was expecting.
I have suddenly found myself in the position as a caretaker of a four-year-old girl who is not incorrect in believing she is a princess, because she’s a child of the King of kings. She’s not an orphan in the traditional sense as she does still have a mother who loves her, but for now, and we do not know how much longer, my husband and I are filling in. We knew it was the right thing to do, and I knew God had put us in the place we needed to be in so that we could take her in, but I still didn’t realize this was the ministry He had called us to do, the path He chose for us until I read chapter 29 in The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. The first line written by Warren in the chapter simply reads, “You were put on earth to make a contribution.” Our purpose is not just to suck up everything around us and what others give us, but to make a contribution, a difference…to DO SOMETHING. Ephesians 2:10 says, “[God] has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.” Wow. This means God prepared me to be a part of raising my sweet little grand niece. He knew she would need me and chose me for this very special ministry. He also chose my husband to be part of all this. According to Romans 8:28, “…God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them,” and so it is now evident that all the pieces have come together as they have for this purpose.
I feel blessed that God chose us for this important mission/ministry of being Linnea’s caretakers, for however long it turns out to be. But I’m human, and I have my low moments where I feel God should have picked people who are more experienced than we are, and I worry I’ll never have time to get all my previous responsibilities taken care of now because a little girl takes up a lot of time and attention. I think about all the things I want to be able to provide for her, and look at our budget with tears in my eyes. I selfishly long to have time to read and write again, and I feel a bit like I’ve already lost who I am, my identity.
And then I remember that God has it all under control because He planned this and chose us. The only experience we need is knowing how to love and how to pray. I’ll find my balance of time management; it’s only week two, and I didn’t have time to prepare, so it just might take a little while. Yes, she takes up time, but it’s time well spent and I love it. God always has and always will provide for our needs. Just as I will learn to manage the time I need for accomplishing the mundane parts of life’s responsibilities, I will begin to learn how I can carve out time for reading and writing, because writing is a gift God gave me, and He wants me to be able to use it.
If any of my readers are believing, praying people, please keep us in mind when you do pray. I know the highs and lows will continue, as that’s part of life, but we’ll need encouragement and wisdom for sure.