Last night, I awoke at 3am on my own, and gosh, took a loooong while to get back to sleep.
Over the past months, God has been leading us to explore Africa as a place of service, and while it was discouraging to have no leads for a long time, we suddenly had two.
I wrote back.
Waited and waited.
No answers again.
Then, out of nowhere, we received incredible news of an international medical missions conference, held once every 4 years, usually in a highly developed country, taking place in exactly the same area of the 2 hospitals we were exploring, in exactly the same time frame we had availed to travel, if needed.
What were the chances?
Before bedtime, we checked on flights, accommodation etc.
And I didn’t realize how much it stressed me out to contemplate
1. How costly this endeavor as a family would be (think potentially $12-15K for tickets and lodging for 4 people!)
2. How uncomfortable the long 16-hour flight broken up into two legs, time differences, inefficiencies, potential water/power outages, long bumpy car rides over potholes would be for our kids.
3. There was every possibility this endeavor would lead to nothing.
ALL MY “BAD MOM” THOUGHTS CAME GUSHING IN.
At 3am, my thoughts ran wild:
“How can you subject your kids to this?”
“This is YOUR dream, not theirs.”
“You have had such difficult experiences yourself- remember the water/power outages, the cross-cultural stresses, the inefficiencies, the endless frustrations?”
“This will be your toughest trip yet. Worse and harder than Canada.”
“You will hate every minute of the ride. Just think of all the potholes, mosquitoes and bug bites you had!”
“They will come to hate you eventually.”
I awoke, bleary-eyed, praising the kids for sleeping through the night but explaining why I still struggled with poor sleep.
This is what my 6 and 4 year old had to say to me when I told them,
“Mama worried about all these things and thought, maybe it’s not such a good idea for us to go after all.
Or maybe Papa and I go, without you both.”
Here’s what my six-year old said—
“I want to go.
God gave me another dream.
He told me to go to Africa, because there was a pretty house waiting for me.
Even if it’s hard, even if it’s uncomfortable, even if the flights are SUPA-long, I want to go.”
This broke me because I’ve always prayed deep down that God would speak to each of us personally. I couldn’t bear the thought of us dragging unwilling people halfway across the world for something they did not feel led to do.
Here’s what my four-year old said—
Are there lions?”
“No, EP. Not where we’re going.”
“Are there earthquakes?”
“Then, I want to go too. To see the giraffes.”
I am learning—
Over and over…
That what we think we are protecting our children from, is actually the very thing God could use to fulfill their destinies.
Our well-intentioned shielding could, in fact, be at greater danger to their joy and eternity than any of our high-risk acts of obedience to God’s call for our lives.
RISK ALWAYS LOOKS DIFFERENT IN THE KINGDOM.