I have become an ostrich...
When you read the news, click on the link, or that article and an overwhelming sense of sadness and helplessness comes over you, because what can you really do? So much suffering. So much poverty. Babies being killed. Women and children being sold for their bodies. People starving. No clean water. No education. Brutality. No religious freedom. Disease rampant. People who have never even heard the name of Jesus. If you have the courage to even lift your head out of the sand for a second, you are so moved and overwhelmed by the ugliness, the evil, the sadness of it all, you just stick your head back in the sand. For me, living in a third world country, it's not just pictures on the news. It's real people I'm seeing.
Sometimes I feel pulled a thousand different ways. I want to stop abortion. I want to help the poor. I want to put an end to human trafficking. I want to get food and water to those who don't have any. I want to be a doctor and help sick people in third world countries. I want to teach people to read. I want them to be able to worship God without persecution. I want every unreached people group to hear the name of Jesus. But I can't. Most days, I don't even leave my house. Who am I kidding anyway?
I feel deeply. I am deeply moved by things. Sometimes to the point that I can't function. When a friend found out she had cancer yet again, I couldn't get off the couch for hours. A couple of years ago, I asked God to show me things the way He sees them, to love like He loves, & to care how he cares. Well, be careful what you pray. Because He answers and sometimes it is more than you can handle.
What do you do? Once I realize I can't do all these things, I basically just give up and do nothing. So very helpless. I am one person in a HUGE world of evil.
But I am one person in a HUGE world of evil with an even BIGGER God, the LIGHT of the world in me. I am not called to all those things. Yes, I know I say this a lot. But I have to remind myself a lot.
I just finished reading, "Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith is No Longer Enough" by Kristen Welch. (Highly Recommend by the way). She talks about how one small "yes" to God started her down the path of starting a non-profit organization in India for pregnant girls. One person and one yes. God led her down a path and gave her a passion and that is what she and family do. It is their calling. But that is not my calling. It's hers.
My mama raised 16 kids. 16!!!!! She gave herself and her life to giving kids life who wouldn't have had a chance otherwise. But that is not my calling. It's hers.
I have many dear friends who live in the jungles, hot and sweaty, sometimes with no power or water, for months and years of their lives, bringing the name of Jesus to those who have never heard. But that is not my calling. It's theirs.
I have family in politics, real estate, doctors and nurses, anthropologists, and writers. I have friends who run organizations to help people get clean water, stop human trafficking, and end abortion. But that is not my calling. It is theirs.
Our family is in a bit of a transition time right now. The job that we have trained for years for and spent thousands of dollars on, being a missionary pilot family, has come to an end. We have been filling in here and there for the last few months here in the Philippines and are coming back to the states for a little while to help with some things there, then back to the Philippines again. But we don't know what we are coming back to. We believe that God has called us to serve here in the Philippines, but it could be something totally different. In other words, sometimes God changes your callings. But some callings never change.
God called me to be a missionary when I was 11 years old and that will never change, even if the location or "job" does. God has called me to be passionate, pray for, and support those who are on the front lines bringing Jesus' name to the unreached. God has called me to be a wife and that calling won't change until "death do us part."
You know the ostrich? Well, it is actually a myth about ostriches burying their heads in the sand. They build their nests and lay their eggs in a hole in the sand. They constantly check on, tend to, and turn the eggs by poking their head down in the hole. Um...yeah. She's taking care of her babies. God has called me to be a mother. To tend to and care for my babies. But she doesn't live with her head in the hole. There is a world too. An evil world outside that hole that must be dealt with. And one day, her babies will be out there too. And there are some of you who don't have babies. But I guarantee there are some eggs that need looking after! Young mommies, old grandmas...the list is endless. Together, if we all say "YES", by the power of our God we serve, the world will be changed.
I would love to hear from you how you balance the time of your head being in the hole and out of it. How do you get involved in things you are passionate about without completely overloading yourself?
So basically. Be an ostrich. Tend to your eggs, but don't shut the world out. Ask God what your "yes" should be. And for now, it may be only to your family. But that, my dears is a high calling!