Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Oh...Ministry Life

I prayed fervently to God to use me...send me.  I especially wanted to GO...anywhere...everywhere.  Except, probably, South Carolina. 

Tomorrow, marks the one year anniversary of us meeting a jam packed moving van full of all our belongs at a house we would call our home.  And tomorrow, one year ago, was when I followed God...and my husband's job...to South Carolina.

For the past ten years, my prayer has been the same...SEND ME....USE ME.   I can remember, as a teenager, pouring over the Christian teenage magazine I received (can't remember the name of it!) and staring for hours at the advertisements for short term mission trips.  I would pray and beg God...why did you create this heart in me that LONGS to go?  Won't you please send me?

I know that heart-beat does not exist in everyone...in fact most people I talk to have no desire to go.  I don't understand that at all. 

I can also clearly remember the first time the Holy Spirit moved in my heart and said, "He WILL send you...do well where He sends you."  I started thinking....Africa?  Europe?  Surely He won't send me to....South Carolina of all places.

Guess where He has sent me...yup...South Carolina.  And He has taken my thoughts and expectations and blown them out of the water.  Not because of success or numbers or budgets...but because He has caused my heart to break over what breaks His heart.

His heart breaks over....single mothers struggling over the burden of choosing to feed her kids or pay the electric bill.  His heart breaks over....children who are neglected and left to fend for themselves.  His heart breaks over...the woman who continues to go back to the abusive boyfriend because she feels trapped and has no self worth.  His heart breaks over... a pregnant teen who's family has told her they are so ashamed of her they never want her to come home.  His heart breaks over...moms who make horrible decisions about their children and put them into harms way. 

Now..I talk to these women on a daily basis. And I am overwhelmed with the sadness.  I find myself often crying on Georgia Road. I don't know why...maybe because I am close to being home at that point and know that in my home, I will find respite and sanity and order and love...and after the days I have, I need that.

I cry because I know I let people down.  I know I fail some of them and can't do everything they want me to do.  And there are many days that I ask the Lord, 'Did you know what you were doing when you sent ME?'  Because I am so inadequate...so inexperienced...so in over my head most days.

Then, I get a letter from a mom in prison...and I am humbled to the core about what this ministry is doing for her.  Then, I get to take a truck load full of diapers to a mom struggling to care for her son with Down Syndrome. Then, I get to deliver groceries to that mom who was making the decision to feed her children or pay the electric bill. 

That mom wrote me a letter later that day...and she shared how words could not adequately express her gratitude toward the people who generously gave.  For that day...she had hope.

While this ministry life is draining and exhausting..I know that IS God's plan for me...to keep me humbly in a place that says, "I can't do this..it is impossible or me to do this," so that everyone, including myself, is constantly being pointed back to the Lord. 

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